England: The Court of Appeal has just handed down judgement in the Governments’s appeal against the West Berkshire and Reading judicial review judgement of 31 July 2015 (see our post here). The appeal has been allowed which reverses the original judgement thus effectively reinstating the Government’s policies which were originally introduced in November 2014 – originally by Ministerial Statement and later amendments to the Planning Policy Guidance.
Of most interest to our clients is that it means the return of the 10-unit (or 1000 sqm) threshold below which Local Authorities cannot require affordable housing (excepting certain rural areas where a 5-unit threshold may be applied). It also means the return of the (rather confusing) vacant building credit in relation to offsetting the floorspace of existing buildings against affordable housing contributions.
Our original Briefing Note on the original policy changes may be found here. The Government have now issued a robust response to the judgement through Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis – that press release may be found here.
There will be many implications of this judgement which will pan out in due course – in the meantime if you have any queries as to how this affects your current or forthcoming proposals then please get in touch with Pure Town Planning in Bournemouth on 01202 585524 or Winchester 01962 832695 or email email@example.com.