High Court orders Javid to reconsider Gladman refusal

Communities secretary Sajid Javid must reconsider plans for 180 homes in Gloucestershire, after a High Court judge ruled that his decision to refuse the application, against an inspector's recommendation of approval, was 'procedurally unfair'.

High Court: has overturned secretary of state refusal (picture: Ian Bottle)
High Court: has overturned secretary of state refusal (picture: Ian Bottle)

In December 2016, Javid refused appellant Gladman Developments’ application to build 180 new homes on farmland near Coleford, against a recommendation of approval from inspector KA Ellison.

The inspector’s letter recommending that planning permission be granted highlighted a shortfall of more than 600 homes in the council’s five-year housing land supply.

In his decision letter, Javid accepted that the local authority - Forest of Dean District Council - was unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply, but he concluded that, despite a need for more open market and affordable housing, he did not believe that this translated into a need to use some of the best and most versatile agricultural land, given the landscape and visual effects.

He also said the council was "making progress" in overcoming the shortfall in housing land and the position had "improved" since the inspector's report.

Gladman Developments subsequently mounted a challenge to Javid's decision at London's High Court.

Upholding the company's arguments, Mr Justice Jay said it had not been given a fair opportunity to counter new evidence on the degree of the council's five-year housing land supply shortfall.

Javid had effectively taken into account "new evidence" without giving Gladman a fair chance to respond, the judge added.

His decision was therefore "procedurally unfair" and had to be overturned, he concluded.

The ruling means Javid must reconsider Gladman's planning application in the light of the court's judgment.

Gladman Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities And Local Government & Anor [2017] EWHC 2448 (Admin) (06 October 2017)

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