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West Lancashire Borough Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2009] EWHC 3631 (Admin) - 26 Nov 2009

DATE: 26 Nov 2009

Important case concerning the interpretation of PPG2 para. 3.12, which provides that a material change of use of Green Belt land is inappropriate development unless it "maintains the openness of the Green Belt".

Following a two day Administrative Court hearing in Manchester, Parker J held that there was no scope for interpreting this policy in a way that would be satisfied by a scheme which would impact on openness, but which could be mitigated by conditions so that the impact would be minimal. The duty to maintain openness, in his Lordship's view, was an absolute one.

Parker J's judgment is likely to have widespread ramifications for proposed changes of use in Green Belt across the country.

Charles Banner appeared for the Secretary of State for the Communities and Local Government, instructed by the Treasury Solicitor.