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Housebuilder succeeds with legal challenge after Welsh minister rejects decision by planning inspector

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes has successfully challenged a decision by a Welsh minister to overturn a planning inspector’s decision in favour of a development in Caerphilly.

Persimmon had applied to build some 300 homes at Bedwellty.

This was rejected by Caerphilly County Borough Council, but Persimmon won on appeal.

Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government, then overturned the inspectors’ decision and Persimmon challenged that at judicial review.

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The Caerphilly Observer has reported that before the case was due to be heard, “the Welsh Government conceded defeat”.

Hugh James, the law firm that acted for Persimmon, declined to discuss what its grounds were for judicial review.

In a letter sent by Ms James to Persimmon’s planning consultant Savills last October, she said: “I am committed to a plan-led system in Wales and I consider the primacy of the adopted LDP is key to providing certainty for communities and developers, regarding the type and scale of development that will be permitted in local authority areas throughout Wales.

“Whilst I accept the proposed development would provide some benefits, particularly the provision of affordable housing, I am not satisfied these benefits outweigh the identified conflict with LDP policies, which have been designed by the local planning authority in order to control housing development outside defined settlement policy boundaries.”

Mark Smulian

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