DC Casebook: Court cases - Restrictive policy applied to care home

A healthcare company has lost a High Court challenge to an appeal inspector's decision to reject a care home in secluded woodland near a Kent village.

The proposal comprised 56 bedrooms, treatment and staff training rooms and parking. The council refused the application, citing a policy aimed at preventing overdevelopment of small villages and encouraging the use of urban brownfield sites for new residential buildings. The inspector found that the replacement of woodland with a substantial institutional building would transform its character.

The company argued that the policy only applied to houses and not to residential institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. Judge McKenna decided, however, that the inspector's approach made sense and that the policy applied just as much to care homes as it did to dwellings.

Barchester Health Care Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Date 18 October 2010

Ref CO/15841/2009

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