Fresh legal action over axed housing targets

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
Share

Communities secretary Eric Pickles faces two more legal challenges from developers over his controversial decision to scrap regional housing targets.

House builder Catesby Property Group has taken on top legal firm Eversheds to challenge Pickles’ decision to refuse planning permission for a £50m development of 400 homes in Bude, Cornwall.

At the same time, developer Colonnade Land is also taking legal action over a decision to block 326 homes at Rochford in Essex.

Earlier this year Cala Homes led the legal fight back and is due to have its case heard in the High Court on 22 October.

Pickles abolished regional spatial strategies in July, which set out house building targets, arguing the Government was returning planning powers to local communities.

Since then councils have turned down countless planning applications to build homes.

Last week a survey by the National Housing Federation found that since the move by Pickles, 1,300 planned homes have been scrapped everyday.

The NHF predicts local authorities could eventually ditch up to 300,000 planned homes across the country

The crisis has prompted the house builders to challenge Pickles on several fronts.

Cala Homes and Colonade Land claim that Pickles acted unlawfully because scrapping the strategies required primary legislation and transitional arrangements should have been put in place before the announcement.

The challenge from Catesby Property Group takes a different tack.

Its green field site – which was to contain 30% affordable homes – was recommended for approval by the planning inspector at appeal.

But Pickles rejected the findings of the planning inspector when the decision to revoke regional spatial strategies was made.

Catesby will argue that the Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to notify them of this departure from the inspector’s recommendations and by not providing the opportunity to present evidence at a re-opened Inquiry.

Stuart Andrews, head of planning at Eversheds, said: “Catesby have been left with no other choice than to challenge this decision in response to a complete failure by the Secretary of State to afford the opportunity for a fair hearing and, more particularly, the opportunity to present evidence as to housing need.”

A Communities and Local Government Department spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate for the government to comment on any legal proceedings.”

Councils that have reduced housing plans

  • Milton Keynes Central – by 13,360 homes
  • Luton/Central Bedfordshire – 10,650 homes
  • Horsham District Council – 6,888 homes
  • Exeter City Council – 3,000 homes
  • Bristol City Council – 9,560 homes
  • Torbay Council – 5,000 homes
  • Cotswold District Council – 900 homes
  • North Somerset Council – 10,750 homes
  • North Hertfordshire Council and Stevenage Borough Council – have suspended plans for 9,200 homes.

Councils that intend to reduce their targets

  • Ashford Borough Council
  • Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council and South Northamptonshire Council (with regard to the West Northamptonshire Growth Area)
  • Leeds City Council
  • Aylesbury Vale

Latest news

Construction bond bombshell as major player quits market

QBE currently provides cover for 20 of the industry's 30 biggest contractors
13 hours ago

Balfour seals £192m deal for trio of Scottish substations

Work to start this summer to enhance electrical transmission in Argyll
12 hours ago

United Utilities names another 18 winners for £2.7bn water spend

Water giant cuts out large management contractors in latest spending round
1 day ago

Green light for £130m Dundee Eden project

Former gasholder site to be transformed into green house
13 hours ago

Four tower scheme in Glasgow gets green light

Go-ahead for major mixed-use scheme at Central Quay
13 hours ago

‘Green collar’ construction workers earning £134,000

Cost consultant T&T says insulation and heat pump trades earning £70 an hour in London
13 hours ago

£65m Trafford Waters resi blocks approved

X1 Developments plans over 200 homes in 13- and 8-storey blocks
13 hours ago

Over 100 firms win £1.5bn ICN housing framework

Great Places Housing Group names key partners for new homes programme
2 days ago

Steelwork firm went down owing £4.5m to suppliers

Subcontractors left holding unpaid invoices from SH Structures
2 days ago

Scottish civils firm to buy stake in piling specialist

Advance Construction in talks for 25% stake in Northern Piling Ltd
2 days ago

RSK secures £500m for fresh acquisitions spree

Acquisitive group aims to buy another 200 businesses by 2030
2 days ago

Beal Homes gets green light for £105m Humber scheme

Work to start on more than 500 homes in North East Lincolnshire
2 days ago

RED wins £20m East London office refurb

Grade II listed Victorian building to be upgraded to Cat A offices
2 days ago

Employee-owned Neilcott staff share £250,000 payout

Employee-owned building contractor sales jump 38% to £139m
3 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne supply chain hit for £26m

More than 500 suppliers and subcontractors left holding unpaid bills
5 days ago

Race for £800m South West Wales framework

Up to 16 firms face fight to renew spots on regional contractors framework
3 days ago

SME contractors agree 4% pay rise for site workers

Workers will also get an extra day of holiday
5 days ago

South East expansion paying off for Meldrum Group

Turnover up to £55m as North East based contractor expands national coverage
3 days ago

Wates boosts paternity leave to 12 weeks

Latest leave benefits apply from first day of working for contractor
3 days ago

Taylor Wimpey chief honoured with CBE

Jennie Daly recognised in King's Birthday honours
4 days ago

Labour to mothball £320m A27 job to fix potholes

Manifesto confirms Arundel Bypass canned as "poor value for money"
6 days ago

Lendlease’s £1.9bn Smithfield Birmingham scheme approved

Initial work to start later this year despite questions over Lendlease's degree of involvement
6 days ago

Crest Nicholson rejects £650m Bellway bid

Second Bellway approach rebuffed
6 days ago

Hill submits £800m East London estate rebuild plan

Over 1,900 homes to be built in five phase at Teviot Estate in Poplar
6 days ago

Plan approved for 8,500-seat Edinburgh indoor arena

Construction expected to start next year once a contractor is appointed
6 days ago

Statom starts on £25m Bristol Airport precast car park

Major work package on transport upgrade being overseen by Griffiths Farrans JV
6 days ago

Build problems plunge Crest Nicholson to a £31m loss

House builder unearths more defects on completed sites
7 days ago

Rebooted Amey lifts contract win rate to 1 in 3 bids

Amey chief says firm exceeded expectations in first year under new owners
7 days ago

BAM Nuttall fined £2.3m after worker drowned

Court hears how series of safety failures led to tragedy
1 week ago

OCU buys Scottish civils contractor RJ McLeod

Deal takes multi-utility infrastructure specialist revenue to over £800m
1 week ago

Contractor services