To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.
The challenge to the Statutory Instruments (SIs) used to bring
in the changes is being made by campaigners Rights: Community:
Action (RCA) whose claim for judicial review will heard at a
'rolled up' hearing in the High Court sitting as a
The rolled-up hearing means that two judges will hear the
group's application for permission to apply for judicial
review, which if successful, will lead into a hearing of the
application for judicial review. A listing before the Divisional
Court is a recognition of the significance of the case.
Naomi Luhde-Thompson from Rights: Community: Action said:
"The judge's order is encouraging because it
recognises that the case is significant and needs to be heard
promptly. RCA's claim will proceed on all the grounds,
challenging the government's failure to undertake environmental
or equalities assessment and its failure to properly consult before
making the rules. The changes brought in by these SIs will
have huge ramifications for planning and development across the
country. Our challenge to these new planning rules seeks to put a
pause on the new statutory instruments so that they can be properly
RCA has decided not to pursue its application for interim
relief in light of the Court's decision to list the case for
hearing on an expedited basis.
Represented by Leigh Day solicitors, RCA's claim
challenges the SIs which, from Monday, 31 August, have allowed the
following changes which RCA says will be detrimental to the
- A detached building, used for offices or industry, can be
demolished and replaced with flats within the same footprint, but
up to two storeys higher, up to a maximum height of 18 metres.
- New storeys above an existing dwelling-house will be able to be
added without planning permission (permitted development).
- Change of use for several kinds of building will no longer
require planning permission.
The claim is on the following grounds:
- The failure to carry out an environmental assessment of the
SIs, is a breach of Article 3 of the EU Strategic Environmental
Assessment Directive, because the SIs amount to plans or programmes
for the purposes of the Directive.
- The SIs were introduced without an appropriate equality impact
assessment, which is a failure to comply with a Public Sector
Equality Duty under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
- Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has failed to take account
of previous consultation responses and the advice of his own
experts, which according to established principles, must be
"conscientiously taken into account".
"RCA believes that the manner in which these reforms have
been brought in means they have not undergone proper
scrutiny, despite the obvious detrimental impacts they are likely
to have. Our client is therefore delighted that they have granted a
rolled-up hearing before the Divisional Court and that their case
will be heard in a matter of weeks."
RCA has also been granted costs protection under the Aarhus
rules for environmental claims.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Real Estate and Construction from UK