Mr Justice Hickinbottom today quashed a planning permission for 31 houses in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cornwall. He held (at paragraph 51) that the proper interpretation of paragraphs 115 and 116 of the National Planning Policy Framework is that in determining an application for planning permission in an AONB, a Council is required “not simply to weigh all material considerations in a balance, but to refuse an application unless they are satisfied that (i) there are exceptional circumstances, and (ii) it is demonstrated that, despite giving great weight to conserving the landscape and scenic beauty in the AONB, the development is in the public interest”.
Cornwall Council had failed to understand the policy requirements; failed to apply them; and failed to give an adequate summary of its reasons for granting planning permission. Is decision was accordingly quashed. The case also contains a helpful summary of the law regarding the exercise of discretion not to quash for breaches of EIA screening obligations.
Alex Goodman acted for the Claimant Mevagissey Parish Council.