Judge backs Cheshire East legal challenge over 150 homes approval

A Cheshire council has triumphed at London's High Court in a challenge to a planning inspector's approval for almost 150 new homes at Willaston.

Cheshire East Council's offices
Cheshire East Council's offices

A High Court judge has ordered communities secretary Eric Pickles to have the matter looked at again.
She ruled that there had been an "error of law" in the way the inspector reached his decision in a planning appeal.

Mrs Justice Lang quashed the planning permission, ruling that the inspector had made an error in his application of a key planning policy relating to maintaining a green gap at Willaston.

The inspector granted outline permission to the Richborough Estates Partnership on appeal last August, approving the 146-home development at Moorfields, Willaston.

But Cheshire East Borough Council claimed that the inspector took the wrong approach, and argued that the development would harm the green gap.

While the judge rejected some of the council's objections she found that the planning inspector had been wrong to regard the green gap housing policy as one that was out of date.

She ordered the government to pay the council's legal costs, to be assessed later if not agreed between the parties.

Cheshire East Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Case Number: CO/4217/2014

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