A challenge arguing that the section 106 (s106) agreement intended to deliver appropriate public benefit (which benefit the claimant argued could not be guaranteed) failed. The council had acted reasonably in deciding there were sufficient grounds to conclude that the public benefit would be delivered.
The proposal was considered to cause significant harm to a grade 1 listed building. The council resolved to approve in view of the significant economic benefits through job creation. The terms of the s106 agreement went back and forth between the parties as they considered how to secure these benefits.
The focus of the obligations was around the length of time in which the buildings should be up and running, and how long the owner should be required to occupy them afterwards. In the end, due to concerns over achieving funding for the scheme if significant restrictions were imposed, the matter was referred back to committee, but with a weaker form of s106 agreement than had originally been sought by the council.
The court found that council had been entitled to take the view, based on all the circumstances (including, but not limited to, the s106 agreement) that the owner would implement the scheme and that the economic benefits would follow.
The claim succeeded on a separate ground of failing to refer the application to the Secretary of State under the 2009 Direction. However, the court postponed quashing the permission until the Secretary of State had decided whether or not to call in.
R (on application of Lady Hart of Chilton) v Babergh District Council