The Secretary of State has granted planning permission for a major redevelopment of intu Milton Keynes, having called in the matter for his own determination. The appeal was significant, as it considered the first Business Neighbourhood Plan to be made in England.
The Secretary of State, following his Inspector’s recommendation, concluded that the Neighbourhood Plan should not necessarily be interpreted according to the views of those involved in the drafting of it. Neither should there be flexibility or leniency of interpretation on the basis that policies have been drafted by non-professionals. The proposed development was in accordance with the statutory Development Plan as a whole, including the Neighbourhood Plan.
The proposal would give rise to considerable public benefits. There would be harm to the setting of the listed Shopping Centre, but this would be less than substantial harm, and within the lower end of that classification. The public benefits of the scheme were found to outweigh such harm. No material considerations indicated that application should be refused contrary to the Development Plan.
Christopher Katkowski QC and Richard Moules appeared for intu.
David Elvin QC and Alistair Mills appeared for Milton Keynes Council.