Developer loses High Court challenge against West Sussex neighbourhood plan

A developer has failed in a High Court legal challenge against the adoption of a West Sussex neighbourhood plan which did not allocate its land for development.

London's Royal Courts of Justice
London's Royal Courts of Justice

Loxwood Parish Council’s neighbourhood plan was adopted by Chichester District Council in July 2015.

The land on which developer Crownhall Estates Limited hoped to build 25 new homes was not allocated for housing in the plan.

In challenging its adoption, the developer pointed to a substantial shortfall in housing land allocations in the wider district and argued that the plan conflicted with national planning policies.

In rejecting the developer’s complaints, however, the court found that sufficient housing land had been allocated to satisfy the draft local plan provision for the village.

Other grounds of challenge, including an attack on the scoring system used to select sites for housing development, were also rejected.

Crownhall's challenge to an earlier decision to adopt the neighbourhood plan had succeeded on the basis that there had been an unlawful screening decision that a strategic environmental assessment had not been required. On that occasion 97.7 per cent of votes had been cast in favour of the plan in a local referendum.

However, following a fresh ballot in June last year, the majority in favour was even greater.

R on the Application of Crownhill Estates Limited v Chichester District Council & Anr. Case Number: CO/1812/2015

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