The 2012 NPPF: A Digest of Decisions


NPPF 186-207

NPPF 196-198

Cash [2013] EWHC 2028 (Admin), John Howell KC
Katrina Yates appeared on behalf of the Secretary of State

“The unwary reader of this guidance, who simply assumes that sustainable development is development that has certain characteristic results, might see a tension between paragraphs 196 and 197 of the NPPF if sustainable development is not in accordance with the relevant development plan” [12].

Keith Langmead Ltd [2017] EWHC 788 (Admin), Lang J
John Litton KC and Graeme Keen appeared for the Claimant
Stephen Whale appeared for the Secretary of State

“There was some debate before me as to the interplay between NPPF 196 and 198. In my judgment, the general statement of law in NPPF 196 applies equally to all parts of the development plan, including neighbourhood plans. NPPF 198 does not give “enhanced status to neighbourhood plans as compared with other statutory development plans ” (per Holgate J., in Woodcock Holdings , at [24], approved by Lindblom LJ in DLA Delivery Ltd at [11]). Nor does NPPF 198 merely re-state NPPF 196 insofar as it relates to neighbourhood plans – that would be pointless repetition. Under the heading ” Determining applications “, the NPPF reiterates to the decision-maker some of the key principles and policies set out earlier in the NPPF which should be applied when determining an application. NPPF 196 re-states the statutory framework within which decisions must be taken. NPPF 197 reminds the decision-maker to apply the presumption in favour of sustainable development. NPPF 198 reiterates to the decision-maker the importance of the role accorded to neighbourhood plans in the policies of the NPPF, in particular at NPPF 17 and at 183 to 185.” [46]

NPPF 198

Woodcock Holdings Ltd [2015] EWHC 1173 (Admin), Holgate J
Christopher Boyle KC appeared for the Claimant

“the Secretary of State accepts through Mr. Honey, that paragraph 198 neither (a) gives enhanced status to neighbourhood plans as compared with other statutory development plans, nor (b) modifies the application of section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”). Moreover, housing supply policies in neighbourhood plans are not exempted from the effect of paragraph 49 and the presumption in paragraph 14 of the NPPF (see paragraph 21 above).” [24]

R (Irving) v Mid-Sussex District Council [2016] EWHC 1529 (Admin), Gilbart J
Robert Walton appeared for the Defendant

“the effect of s 38(6) PCPA 2004 is to the same effect as NPPF [198]”

NPPF 204

Oxfordshire County Council v SSCLG [2015] EWHC 186 (Admin), Lang J
Andrew Parkinson appeared as Junior Counsel for the Claimant

“There is nothing in the wording of the TCPA 1990 , the Planning Act 2008 , the CIL Regulations , the NPPF or the Guidance which suggests that authorities could or should claim administration and monitoring fees as part of planning obligations.” [45]

NPPF 206

R (Frack Free Balcolme Residents Association) v West Sussex County Council[2014] EWHC 4108 (Admin), Gilbart J
James Maurici KC appeared on behalf of the Council

“The occurrence of past breaches is of course relevant to the policy tests which apply to the imposition of a condition- such as necessity and enforceability (see NPPF paragraph 206) but as planning permission runs with the land, it is very hard to justify a refusal based on past breaches unless they go to the issue of enforceability.” [110]

Forest of Dean DC v Wright [2017] EWCA Civ 2102, McFarlane, Davis, Hickinbottom LJJ
Jenny Wigley appeared as Junior Counsel for the Second Appellant
Neil Cameron KC and Zack Simons appeared for the Respondent

“Although paragraph 206 of the NPPF provides that “planning conditions should only be imposed where they are necessary…”, the statutory requirement for necessity does not apply to the attachment of a condition to the grant of planning permission.” [28(iii)]

Gladman Developments Ltd [2020] PTSR 128, McCombe, Lindblom and Peter Jackson LJJ
Richard Moules appeared for the Secretary of State

“63. There is no statutory requirement, or principle of law, to the effect that in determining an appeal under section 78 of the 1990 Act, the Secretary of State, or his inspector, must always—and even if entirely unprompted by any of the parties—seek to make an unacceptable proposal acceptable by imposing a planning condition in “Grampian” form to prevent the development going ahead until a particular objection to it is overcome.

64. Nor is there any statement of national planning policy creating such a requirement. Paragraph 203 of the NPPF—now paragraph 54 of the replacement version published in February 2019— said that “[local] planning authorities should consider whether otherwise unacceptable development could be made acceptable through the use of conditions or planning obligations”, and that “[planning] obligations should only be used where it is not possible to address unacceptable impacts through a planning condition”. And in the Planning Practice Guidance, issued by the Government in March 2014, para 49, reference ID 16-049-20140306, headed “What type of behaviour may give rise to a substantive award [of costs] against a local planning authority?”, giving examples of unreasonable behaviour by a local planning authority, says that “refusing planning permission on a planning ground capable of being dealt with by conditions risks an award of costs, where it is concluded that suitable conditions would enable the proposed development to go ahead”. But neither government policy nor government guidance requires an inspector always to undertake his own quest for conditions that might render an unacceptable proposal acceptable, so that he can allow an appeal he would otherwise have dismissed.”

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