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Challenge to QPR Training Facilities on Metropolitan Open Land Fails

DATE: 09 Mar 2017

On 9th March 2017 the High Court dismissed a challenge to the grant of planning permission by the London Borough of Ealing for new training and sports facilities intended for shared use between Queen’s Park Rangers FC and the local community.

The proposed development was on a site designated as Metropolitan Open Land. As such the policy approach set out in the NPPF for land designated as Green belt applied. The development was considered to be inappropriate development and thus very special circumstances had to be demonstrated to exist.

Paragraph 88 of the NPPF states that "'Very special circumstances' will not exist unless the potential harm to the [Metropolitan Open Land] by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations."

Dove J rejected the contention that the Officer’s Report to Committee identified that the proposed development had identified harm which had not then been weighed as "any other harm" in the balance required by paragraph 88.

Stephen Whale was instructed on behalf of the London Borough of Ealing and Reuben Taylor QC was instructed on behalf of Queen’s Park Rangers.

Click here for the judgment.