Rights: Community: Action, a new NGO committed to tackling the Climate Emergency, has today launched a legal challenge in the High Court against the new changes to permitted development rules and use classes.
On 21 July 2020, the day before Parliament’s summer recess, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government laid three statutory instruments before Parliament. These changes enact sweeping changes to England’s planning laws. The Prime Minister later described them as “the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War.” The timing of the Secretary of State’s decision means that Parliament has had no opportunity to debate the changes before they come into effect next week.
Rights: Community: Action challenges the lawfulness of the three statutory instruments, on the basis that they should have been subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment and an Equalities Impact Assessment. RCA also alleges that the Secretary of State breached important consultation duties, including his own express promise to consult further on the new Class ZA (commercial demolition and rebuild) before enacting the proposed change.
RCA has requested urgent interim relief in the form of a suspension of the statutory instruments pending the outcome of the challenge.
Alex Goodman works with Rights: Community: Action.
Further information is also on available on Leigh Day’s website.