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High Court hears challenge to Mayor’s Affordable Housing SPG

DATE: 03 May 2018

The High Court (Ouseley J) has heard (1st to 2nd May 2018) a judicial review application brought by the four main private for sale retirement housebuilders, in which they seek to quash the Mayor of London’s August 2017 Supplementary Planning Guidance on Affordable Housing. 

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited, Churchill Retirement Living Limited, Pegasus Life Limited and Renaissance Retirement Limited allege that the SPG is unlawful, because it (1) amounts to new planning policy not made by the correct statutory means, (2) should have been the subject of Strategic Environmental Assessment, and (3) discriminates against the elderly due to the disproportionate impact on delivery of housing to meet their needs. 

The Mayor resists the challenge on all grounds, arguing that the SPG is not new policy but guidance; SEA was not required, and no discriminatory effects arise, having given due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty objectives when formulating the SPG. 

The Court has reserved its judgment. 

Rupert Warren QC appeared for the retirement housebuilders. Paul Brown QC appeared for the Mayor of London.