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Hopkins Homes Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Suffolk Coastal District Council [2015] EWHC 132 (Admin)

DATE: 30 Jan 2015

In Hopkins Homes Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Suffolk Coastal District Council [2015] EWHC 132 (Admin) the principal issue was the application of paragraph 49 of NPPF, in the absence of a 5 year supply of housing, to “relevant policies for the supply of housing”. In William Davis [2013] EWHC 3058 Mrs Justice Lang had confined the term to policies for the provision of housing, and held that it did not extend to a green wedge policy. In three subsequent cases - Cotswold, South Northamptonshire/Plummer, and South Northamptonshire/Barwood - it was held that the term related to policies that are relevant to, or constrain, the supply of housing.

In Hopkins, the Court followed the latter approach, specifically that of Ouseley J in Barwood, and quashed an Inspector’s decision which had proceeded on the William Davis basis.

The Court also found that the Inspector had failed to assess the significance of a (non-designated) heritage asset, in accordance with paragraph 135 of NPPF and the definition of “significance” in Annex 2.

Counsel for Hopkins Homes Ltd: Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC.