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Dartford Borough Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWCA Civ 141

DATE: 14 Mar 2017

This case concerned the definition in the Glossary to the National Planning Policy Framework of “Previously Developed Land” and in particular the exclusion of "land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments". Dartford BC challenged a decision of one of the Secretary of State’s Inspectors which had held that the site of the proposed development in that case, which was in the countryside rather than a built-up area, was previously developed land since it was within the curtilage of an existing dwelling and not caught by the above-quoted exclusion. Dartford BC’s case was that to treat residential gardens in built-up areas as excluded by PDL but not to treat residential gardens in the countryside as PDL, was illogical. The Secretary of State submitted that Dartford BC’s interpretation defied the clear wording of the NPPF Glossary. The Court of Appeal (Lewison LJ giving the lead judgment) agreed with the Secretary of State.

Charles Banner appeared for the Secretary of State, instructed by the Government Legal Department.