Fresh legal action over axed housing targets

Aaron Morby 12 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

Investment giant buys Bristol M&E contractor

RDCP Infrastructure acquires Avon Combined Electrical Services
52 mins ago

Demolition start for £50m Farnworth town centre rebuild

Caddick Construction is tipped for main works due to start in the spring
2 hours ago

L&G Modular strikes deal to build 1,000 affordable homes

Modular homes business teams up with Hampshire's Vivid housing association
2 hours ago

Former Erith operations director joins John F Hunt

Scott Exell named new operations director at demolition specialist John F Hunt
9 hours ago

Green light for £135m Leeds twin tower resi scheme

Construction to start in New Year on 500 build-to-rent apartments
17 hours ago

Mace hits 1m tonnes carbon saving target for clients

Present work pipeline betters 2026 carbon emission saving target
13 hours ago

Plans in for £40m surf park at former Kent colliery

Seahive surf lagoon and health resort will be built near Deal
1 day ago

Crushed demolition worker vows to return to industry

Shannon Brasier hoping to return to construction following horror accident
1 day ago

Mount Anvil to start 900-home North London estate rebuild

Planning approval paves way for Barnsbury Estate rebuild in Islington
1 day ago

Green light for major laboratory campus in Cambridge

Developer BioMed to tender first building on 600,000 sq ft lab complex in the New Year
1 day ago

Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit

Fibrus to hook-up rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under £108m deal
1 day ago

McLaren wins Leeds logistics park contract

Work to start imminently on warehouse complex for Firethorn Trust
2 days ago

Work restarts on £683m waste power plant after site death

Construction suspended for a week of investigations following fatality
2 days ago

Demolition starts on £135m Wigan Galleries scheme

Contractor BCEGI starts work on project to redevelop Wigan town centre
2 days ago

Amey CEO to step down following private equity buyout

Amanda Fisher to leave once business is transferred to new owners
2 days ago

New body set up to vet plant operator card schemes

Contractor trades bodies unite to tackle competency concerns over plant operator skills cards
2 days ago

Kier leads switch to hybrid battery generators

Battery units work alongside smaller generators cutting run times by nearly 60%
2 days ago

Plans in for first Leeds co-living scheme

Watkin Jones submits plan to convert old Direct Line HQ into 230 studio flats
2 days ago

Demolition worker crushed by excavator

Court hears 20-year-old woman was left with "life changing injuries"
3 days ago

Government pays £700m for 50% stake in Sizewell C

New body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up to develop pipeline of nuclear projects
3 days ago

Costain wins Heathrow Airport asset renewal deal

Firm takes early contractor involvement role in Terminal 2 baggage handling upgrade
3 days ago

Worker killed on £683m waste power plant site

Fatal collision involving heavy goods vehicle on giant north London site
3 days ago

HS2 JV shifts four Wembley Stadiums of earth in record time

EKFB team digs and hauls 15 million cu m of muck in 20 months
3 days ago

Milestone wins £300m Wiltshire highways upkeep

Ringway will hand over to Milestone in March next year
3 days ago

Low-risk business model helps Renew post record results

Renew reveals latest acquisition with £15.6m purchase of water specialist Enisca
3 days ago

London Albert Embankment hotel towers approved

Two separate hotels rising to 26 and 29 storeys approved
3 days ago

Keltbray names new director of strategic engineering

Tim Lohmann takes up newly-formed role to drive innovative engineering solutions
3 days ago

Go-ahead for £200m lithium refinery on Teesside

Work to start next year on Europe's first lithium hydroxide processing plant
4 days ago

HS2 agency workers paid the wrong wages

Payroll software problems leave workers out of pocket
4 days ago

Electric car whizz joins O’Rourke

Contractor looking to learn tech lessons from other sectors
4 days ago

Contractor services