Casebook: Court Case - Green belt policy overrides brownfield benefits

The redevelopment of a scrapyard in the West Midlands green belt has been blocked again after a High Court judge refused to overrule the deputy prime minister's decision to refuse planning permission for four houses at the site.

A call-in inquiry inspector had advised that retaining the scrapyard was undesirable, particularly if the use was intensified, and that the homes would bring a number of benefits to the area and local residents.

But the deputy prime minister decided that the need to protect the openness of the green belt was of fundamental importance and refused to accept the inspector's recommendation. Mr Justice Crane decided that however unpalatable the decision might be to the appellants, the deputy prime minister had been entitled to find against the scheme on green belt and housing policy grounds.

De Mulder and Others v First Secretary of State; Date: 30 November 2005; Ref: CO/2279/2005.

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