Court of Appeal upholds planning decision

On Thursday 19th December, the Court of Appeal upheld a judgement made by the High Court last year which put the spotlight on a significant planning dispute taking place in Whitebirk, Lancashire.

The case of Peel Holdings vs Hyndburn Council has brought a widespread developer tactic, which uses a planning loophole to push through applications by stealth, to the wider industry's attention. From a national perspective, the case's outcome closes this loophole which has latterly been used by out-of-town developers seeking to circumvent planning rules. The Court of Appeal's decision demonstrates support for the Government's 'town centre first' policy and prioritises community regeneration.

Commenting on the ruling, Mark Bourgeois, Executive Director for Capital & Regional said:

"Today is a good day for town centres throughout the UK. The Court of Appeal decision to uphold last year's High Court ruling marks an important precedent and closes a loophole designed to circumvent town centre first policy.

"The judgement provides necessary reassurance that town centre investment will be supported by a well implemented planning policy and a just legal system, and it follows Eric Pickles' recent statement in which he publicly reaffirmed his commitment to town centres."

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