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London Borough of Islington v Mayor of London [2014] EWHC 751 (Admin)

DATE: 25 Mar 2014

This case concerned a challenge brought by 8 London Boroughs to the Mayor of London’s Revised Early Minor Alterations to the London Plan (“REMA”).  Specifically, the claim was directed at the provisions of REMA which seek to prevent London Boroughs from using Local Plan policies to set borough-wide rent caps on the government’s affordable rent product.  The Inspector responsible for examining REMA had recommended that these references be removed, but the Mayor had disagreed.

In the High Court, Lang J. rejected the Claimants’ contention that the REMA would prevent the Boroughs from fulfilling their duty under para 47 of the NPPF to meet the objectively assessed need for affordable housing in their areas.  In deciding to adopt REMA, the Mayor had given proper consideration to the conclusions of the Inspector who examined the London Plan, but had been entitled to disagree.  Provided he ultimately made up his own mind about the interpretation of the NPPF, the Mayor had also been entitled to have regard to the views of the Secretary of State and other Ministers on whether the REMA was consistent with the NPPF.

Lang J. also concluded that the principle that London should be regarded as a single housing market had already been established in pre-REMA London Plan.  If the Claimants had valid grounds for challenging this approach, they should have done so when the London Plan was published. They were now well outside the time limits prescribed by section 113 PCPA 2004 for bringing any such challenge.

Paul Brown QC advised the Mayor throughout the process of adopting REMA, and was instructed on his behalf in these proceedings.

A copy of the judgment can be downloaded here.