Following the change of government in 2010 the government announced the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) which sets out part of the overarching planning policy position affecting development of land at the sub-regional level. These policies set out details such as the numbers of houses which should be built within regions to meet the expected demand for housing. Many house builders are said to have stopped promoting planning application for developments such as major housing schemes whilst the policy position remains unclear.
10 November 2010
Following a challenge by Cala Homes, the High Court In November 2010 ruled that the removal of RSSs without passing new legislation was unlawful (with the effect that RSSs were reinstated). The government response to the High Court ruling was to issue a letter to all planning authorities to state that it intends to abolish RSSs and that local authorities could take that impending change into account, now, while new legislation is being promoted through Parliament. The letter effectively affords councils the opportunity to refuse or approve planning applications even though it is contrary to their adopted policies.
7 February 2011
Cala Homes issued a further challenge against this stance by the government as the letter appeared to undermine the High Court ruling. In the latest ruling at the High Court, Mr Justice Lindblom ruled that the letter issued by the Government is proper exercise of the government's power. The saga is set to continue as we wait to see what the outcome of any appeal might be.....