Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Gladman not so happy with Schrödinger's cat

Press reports on Gladman Developments' disappointment in the outcome of some of their recent Court rulings made me take a look at a recently published judgement [2020] EWHC 518 (Admin).  This reiterates that, whilst the tilted balance and presumption in favour of sustainable development (NPPF para 11d) may be well-trodden paths in much of Dorset, the balancing exercise must take into account the development plan policies (and their intended primacy in decision making under S38(6)).  The decision maker can then decide and given reason for what weight these policies should be given, as part of the balance.

The placing of footnotes (and footnote 6 in particular) and stance on Neighbourhood Plans (as set out in para 14) both helped to confirm this approach.  Footnote 6 explicitly rules out the consideration of development plan policies - but is pegged to the end of 11(d)(i) and therefore does not apply to the balancing element of 11(d)(ii).  So by omission, policies in this Framework in that second part can and do include the development plan considerations.  Para 14 also talks about when Neighbourhood Plans should be considered under para 11(d) which would not have been needed to be said if all development plan policies were excluded in any event.

Interesting.  Well, depending on your outlook!  Looking at the bigger picture, it will still boil down to the decision maker's judgement on the whole balance, and with that, Schrödinger's cat always comes to my mind... and Gladman's too by the sounds of it.

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