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Our challenge to the Government on neighbourhood planning

Richborough Estates has joined a group of 18 housebuilders and land promoters to bring a Judicial Review against the Government’s plans to alter policy in relation to Neighbourhood Development Plans.

In a Written Ministerial Statement, made by the planning minister Gavin Barwell in December, new proposals would stipulate that a neighbourhood plan is not out of date if the Local Authority can demonstrate a three-year supply of deliverable housing sites.

This is at odds with current policy, detailed within the NPPF, making it plain that local planning policies should be considered out-of-date in the absence of a five-year housing land supply. Ahead of bringing forward a Judicial Review on the issue we have asked the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, to withdraw the statement and ensure that any future changes are subject to full and rigorous consultation.

As well as numerous flaws within the policy itself – including the assumption that neighbourhood plans include approximately 10 per cent more homes than a local authority’s own plan – the lack of consultation on what amounts to a major policy change is alarming.

Whilst we are looking forward to the publication of the impending Housing White Paper, and the Government’s continued response to the housing crisis, we have also called on Sajid Javid to ensure that any new policies are subject to full consultation with the property industry.

The full response, sent to the Government, can be viewed here:

Our response and the application for judicial review can be viewed here: 

Download Government response to the proposed claim

Download Claimants Statement of Facts and Grounds