As promised, senior associate Patrick Munro shares the key take-aways from his presentation at our planning & CPO webinar held on 29 November 2022 below. He covered three cases of interest from this year in relation to the Town and Country Planning Act regime:

  • Patrick summarised the recent judgement of the UK Supreme Court in the case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority [2022] UKSC 30. The case concerned whether a planning permission granted in 1967 for a 401 unit scheme had been rendered un-implementable by the development of specific plots within the wider site under a series of subsequent planning permissions. The decision upheld the principle established in Pilkington v Secretary of State for the Environment [1973] 1 WLR 1527; that a change in a site by a subsequent planning permission which is in conflict with the first planning permission so as to render it physically impossible to complete the first planning permission effectively brings the first planning permission to an end. The Court considered that implementing any subsequent planning permission that departs from the original scheme in a “material” way would make it physically impossible to complete the scheme, rendering the original permission un-implementable. The developer’s attempts to distinguish Pilkington were dismissed. We are currently advising on the implications of this decision on a number of schemes so please be in touch if you require any advice on this.
  • He also covered the key points set out by the High Court in R (oao Cathie) v Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council & others [2022] EWHC 2148 - that the test for the discharge of a planning condition requiring submission of a management plan was whether the plan proposed was a ‘satisfactory’ solution to the issue to be addressed. It was noted that a satisfactory solution did not need to be an ideal solution. The Court also confirmed that the financial and practical circumstances of the applicant were a relevant consideration in considering whether the plan was suitable.
  • Finally, the decision of the Court of Appeal in Barton Park Estates Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and local Government [2022] EWCA Civ 833 serves as a useful reminder that the intensification of an existing land use can amount to a material change of use through changing the character of the use. In this case, the Court considered that the description of the development within the permissions and conditions attached to it made clear that permission had been granted for a specific mix of accommodation on the site and that it was not to be interpreted more generally as a permission for a “caravan site”. Whether a change in character has occurred through intensification of a use is a question of fact and degree, and a matter of planning judgement, subject only to review on Wednesbury unreasonableness grounds.

The highlights from Gary Soloman's CPO update will follow next week, and the recording of the webinar is now available to view on our website.


For the final webinar of our 2022 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Webinar series we round off the year with an update on recent planning case law. This webinar provided a review of the standout cases of 2022, focussing on Development Consent Orders, Compulsory Purchase Orders and the Town & Country Planning Act.