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Divisional Court to hear legal challenge next month on permitted development changes

A Divisional Court will next month hear campaign group Rights : Community : Action’s (RCA’s) judicial review challenge to the government’s new rules on permitted development.

On 2 September Mr Justice Holgate directed that RCA’s claim should be heard over 1.5 days on a date in early October 2020. The case will be heard as a “rolled up” hearing.

RCA, which has withdrawn its application for interim relief, said the fact that the case would not be heard before the usual single judge, but before a Divisional Court of at least two judges, reflected the importance of the issues raised.

“The judge’s order is encouraging, because the Court has not exercised its powers to stop a claim in its tracks and instead has seen fit to secure an early hearing for this important claim,” it added.

The group also said it had been awarded the costs protection that is awarded for important environmental cases. 

RCA said its grounds of challenge included that the government had failed to undertake environmental or equalities assessments, and to properly consult before making the rules.

It said: “The rules have also been prayed against in Parliament and will now be subject to debate, though unusually the government sought to ensure they take effect before the debate is held.

“However, this challenge to the new planning rules has the potential to overrule the new ‘statutory instruments’ bringing them into effect - which carries huge implications for planning and development across the country.”

See: Government hit by legal challenge over new permitted development rules for more details on the grounds of challenge

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