Here is a link to the website of Landmark Chambers where you will find a useful summary of today's judgement from the Court of Appeal. Cala's appeal failed. It is appropriate (or perhaps "not inappropriate" would be a better way of putting it) for a decision maker to take account of the Secretary of State's intention to revoke RS as a material consideration - so the issue goes to weight rather than materiality. However, the judgement suggests that there may be very few cases where that weight should be significant - but even giving the point some limited weight may be enough to give rise to a significant outcome.
On a similar point, I was talking to my partner Christine de Ferrars Green today about the recent finding of lack of soundness in the Stevenage Core Strategy. This prompted me to re-read the Inspector's report. He points out that the Secretary of State's announcement of July 2010 prompted North Herts DC (who up to then were cooperating in order to provide for substantial growth for Stevenage in NHDC's area) to pull out of that joint working. That being the case, the Inspector was driven to find the CS unsound.
What the report also points to the difficulties in funding infrastructure without growth to justify the investment - and the importance of these in driving important economic, physical and social changes within Stevenage.
The vexed question of growth at Stevenage is one which generates many strong views - and I refrain from giving mine here - but we should all hope that the beefed up duty to cooperate in the Localism Bill will be sufficient to find solutions to these inevitable cross boundary questions. There is a similar need for cooperation east of Luton Airport with a potential expansion of Century Park into North Herts. This again is a development which could help bring forward infrastructure investment, not least to support economic growth.