Developer seeks judicial review in relation to Stafford local plan

Out-Law News | 28 Aug 2014 | 4:25 pm | 1 min. read

A developer has applied to the High Court for permission to challenge Stafford Borough Council's decision to adopt the key planning document for the borough, according to a local newspaper report .

The local plan for the borough was adopted by the Council on 19 June, after an independent planning inspector found that it provided "an appropriate basis for the planning of the borough until 2031", subject to agreed minor alterations. The plan recommended the construction of 10,000 new homes in the borough between 2011 and 2031, with most of the housing development to be concentrated in the towns of Stafford and Stone.

In his report, examining inspector Stephen Pratt noted that comments had been received during consultation from parties seeking to "increase the amount of new housing in ... the rural area", but said that "it is important to direct new development to those settlements with the most facilities and accessibility, whilst recognising the need to enable local housing needs to be met, so as to ensure a sustainable pattern of housing". The inspector concluded that the Council's development strategy was "appropriate, effective, deliverable, sustainable, justified and soundly based".

According to a report in the Staffordshire Newsletter, developer Gladman Developments, which had submitted an application to the Council for a 115-home development in the village of Hixon, has applied to the High Court to challenge the Council's decision to adopt the plan.

"Many developers were trying to jump the gun and get plans through the system before the plan was adopted," said the Council's cabinet member for planning and regeneration Frances Beatty according to the report. "For a developer to start disputing our figures is unacceptable and we will resist."

Council spokesman William Conaghan added: "We are providing a statement to the court with evidence to show an appropriate amount of housing for the borough has been allocated and will strongly fight this legal challenge by a developer". 

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