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Parish fails to get quashed aligned core strategy adopted by three councils

A parish council has failed in a High Court bid to quash, in part, the aligned core strategies (ACS) of three councils in Greater Nottingham.

Calverton Parish Council had made the application under s. 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 over the ACS, adopted by Broxtowe Borough, Gedling Borough and Nottingham City councils in September 2014.

The parish is within Gedling’s area and has been described as an enclave within Green Belt. It feared that the village would increase in size by a third.

Two interested parties, which own property in Toton (technically Green Belt but within the main built-up area of Nottingham), intervened in the proceedings.

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The ACS sets out the vision for the planning of the three council areas over the next 14 years. It was subject to an independent review by a planning inspector. She approved the ACS, with modifications, in a report published in July 2014.

The advisors to Calverton Parish Council claimed there were legal deficiencies in the inspector’s report, but despite this the ACS was adopted by the three councils.

In Calverton Parish Council v Nottingham City Council & Ors [2015] EWHC 1078 (Admin) (21 April 2015) the claimant argued that there had been:

  • A failure to consider whether housing numbers should be reduced to prevent release of Green Belt land;
  • A failure to apply national policy in considering the release of Green Belt land;
  • A failure to comply with the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.

However, Mr Justice Jay rejected the challenge. The judge said that the inspector had adopted a legally tenable approach, one that was "both sensible and appropriate in the instant case".

For the judge's full reasoning, click here to read the judgment on Bailii.

In a statement Broxtowe said: "The decision means that the plan, adopted by the councils in September, remains a sound document and provides the councils with a strategy for development going forward."

The parish was refused permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, and was ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.

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