Larkfield Homes recently launched a legal challenge to the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan (UNP) in Rutland because it had been refused planning permission for new housing on the grounds that the site had not been allocated for housing in the UNP.  The High Court rejected this challenge and, last month, the Court of Appeal backed the High Court’s ruling.

The courts concluded that ‘it would be very surprising if neighbourhood plans could not allocate sites for housing and other uses since the location of housing is likely to be the single most important issue for a neighbourhood’.

Larkfield Homes has called upon the Government to “amend planning legislation to ensure that neighbourhood plans are brought forward and examined on the same robust basis as local plans”.  However, the neighbourhood planning regulations already require neighbourhood plans to be consistent with national planning policy and to conform to strategic policies in a Council’s adopted Local Plan, which would usually include housing targets.

These rulings will help neighbourhood planning groups to move forward with confidence when considering allocating sites for housing and other uses within their area.

Source: Winnie Agbohlahor, Planning Magazine (hard copy), 3 July 2015