As we commented on this blog in December, the Ministry of Justice consulted on proposals to alter the procedures around JR challenges, including the time limit for bringing these cases. The results of that consultation exercise have just been published.

Probably the most significant point is that, in spite of a significant proportion of consultees being opposed to the change,  the time limit is to be reduced from 3 months to 6 weeks - with no requirement that the case be brought "promptly". The promptness requirement is seen as not necessary with the reduced time limit. The pre-action protocol will be disapplied from these cases.

MOJ also advise that they are looking at other ways of streamlining JR process, particularly for infrastructure and housing projects so we can look forward to more proposals for reform over the coming months.

This time limit reduction will be good news to the property industry - but bear in mind that there is now a cap on the costs exposure for "environmental" JR challenges (5k where the challenge is brought by an individual) and this, together with the disapplication of the pre-action protocol, may make challenges more reaslistic for third parties, even if they have to move more quickly.