Council approves legal challenge on Development Strategy

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A call for a Judicial Challenge of a Planning Inspector’s decision over Central Bedfordshire’s Development Strategy was approved by full Council last Thursday.

The Inspector recently reviewed the planning document, which governs how much housing and land for employment should be provided for in Central Bedfordshire, and concluded that it should be withdrawn. This is because the Inspector felt that the Council has not co-operated sufficiently with other local authorities.

On Thursday 26 February full Council agreed that the Development Strategy should not be withdrawn. Instead the Council sanctioned Judicial Review proceedings against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government over the Inspector’s conclusions. Should the Secretary of State wish to contest this challenge, then the matter would go to a hearing in the High Court.

Speaking about the decision, Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Regeneration, said: "It is with sadness that we have reached this point as we do feel we have discharged our co-operation responsibilities, which we take very seriously. As evidence of this, our Development Strategy includes 5,400 homes as a contribution to meeting Luton’s housing need.

“We have taken legal advice, which is that we have a case to make that the duty to co-operate was incorrectly interpreted by the Planning Inspector as a duty to agree, which is quite different.

“We are committed to sustainable development and to serving the best interests of our communities, neither of which could be achieved if the Development Strategy was withdrawn or rejected.”


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