New homes to be built in Derbyshire despite High Court challenge

Kylie Chapman
X The Business Desk

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New homes are set to be built on land in Derbyshire after a judge rejected a High Court bid to overturn planning permission.

In July 2016, South Derbyshire District Council made a decision to refuse planning permission for 34 houses, which were due to be built on land off Egginton Road, in Hilton.

Planning permission was granted in February this year by the Planning Inspectorate after an appeal, however a local resident then challenged the decision and launched proceedings in the High Court to attempt to quash the development.

However, Nelsons Solicitors successfully defended the planning challenge against the residential development.

Kylie Chapman, associate and solicitor at Nelsons, who acted on behalf of a consortium of landowners, said: “While this challenge caused uncertainty and delay for our clients, we are really pleased the claim has been brought to a swift and positive conclusion.

“With the national housing deficit, it is increasingly important that sites with planning permission are capable of moving forward to deliver the housing as soon as possible.”

The local resident who challenged the decision claimed the planning inspector’s interpretation of the district council’s planning policies was inconsistent with the National Planning Policy Framework, therefore making it ‘irrational’ – a decision that is so unreasonable that no reasonable authority could have come to it.

Nelsons, assisted by Thea Osmund-Smith of No5 Chambers, argued that the inspector’s approach was correct and there was no error of law in their decision-making process. It was not for the Court to intervene in the inspector’s judgement.

The judge agreed with the defence and ruled the permission granted should stand and awarded costs to the Secretary of State and the consortium of landowners.

He found that he could see “no real possibility of finding the inspector was wrong to consider the local policies in question were out of date”. He added the planning inspector’s judgement cannot be said to be “irrational”.

If the High Court had quashed the permission, the application would have had to have been reconsidered by the planning inspectorate, delaying and possibly preventing development of the site.