New Planning Court rejects challenge to Grantham relief road scheme

Out-Law News | 16 Apr 2014 | 2:59 pm | 1 min. read

A judge has dismissed a challenge to a planning permission for a relief road in Grantham in one of the first cases to be heard in the newly launched Planning Court.

The judge refused to grant permission for a full hearing of a claim by a landowner that the environmental impact of the proposed road should have been assessed together with plans for an urban extension scheme comprising up to 4,000 homes. 

The judge concluded that the two schemes were separate for environmental impact assessment purposes, according to a report by Planning Magazine

The Planning Court opened in England and Wales on 6 April following an announcement by the UK government in February. The government said that the Court aims to allow more than 400 planning cases per year to be fast-tracked for hearings and to reduce "unnecessary and costly delays".

Mike Pocock, planning law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind said that the case was “a good example of the administration function of the new system in action where a claim under the Administrative Court is transferred to the new Planning Court". "We have similar examples of cases being transferred to the Planning Court over the last couple of weeks and so this is not an isolated case,” he said. 

"It is understood that the claim was already scheduled for a hearing on this date and therefore the case was not heard any quicker simply because it was transferred to the Planning Court.  However, it is clearly an encouraging sign that cases are being transferred to the new Planning Court so quickly and bodes well for existing and future cases," Pocock said. 

"The real challenge is whether the Planning Court can deliver on the new targets to determine significant claims quickly at the permission stage and list substantive hearings within the shortened timescales as set out in the amended Civil Procedural Rules,” he said.