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Eversheds Sutherland wins Court of Appeal case to overturn decision of the Planning Court

  • United Kingdom
  • Global


    Established client succeeds in overturning quashing of planning permissions.

    Eversheds Sutherland, acting on behalf of Catesby Estates, has won a Court of Appeal challenge to the decision of the Planning Court. This decision quashed two planning permissions for residential development granted on appeal by a planning inspector. The issue in the Court of Appeal was whether the inspector had erred in law in his approach to the effects of the development on Kedleston Hall as a Grade 1 listed building to protect this heritage asset. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision on whether to grant planning permission which affects a listed building or its setting, special regard is to be had to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting.*

    The robust judgment provides guidance as to the general approach that should be taken in the decision making process and offers much awaited clarification of the earlier Court of Appeal decision in R(Williams) v Powys County Council [2017] EWCA Civ 427.

    The decision in the Planning Court held that the inspector had adopted an unlawfully narrow approach to setting of heritage assets, focusing on the visual connection to the extent that the historic, social and economic connections were set to one side. Lord Justice Lindblom did not agree with this conclusion and allowed the appeal, confirming that the planning inspector’s “approach cannot be faulted, and his conclusions were well within the limits of lawful planning judgment”…”[a]t no stage did [the inspector] exaggerate the importance of physical and visual considerations, or unduly diminish the significance of the historical, the social and the economic”.

    The Eversheds Sutherland team was led by National Head of Planning and Infrastructure Consenting, Stuart Andrews and assisted by Senior Associate, Matt Nixon.

    Stuart commented:

    “There has been sufficient ambiguity as to the proper assessment of heritage impacts to ensure that this is now the key risk to most development and regeneration projects. The Kedleston judgement is an important step forward in clarifying the law and will hopefully help address the risks associated with promoting development where the impact upon heritage assets is a particular challenge.”

    David Morris, Planning Director at Catesby Estates said:

    “We welcome the decision by the Court of Appeal nearly two years after the grant of planning permission. The findings of the Inspector have been robustly defended and upheld by the court of appeal and we look forward to moving towards the submission of reserved matters and the delivery of much needed new housing. The assistance we received from Eversheds Sutherland throughout this process was delivered in the usual professional, diligent and commercial way.”

    The consideration of the extent of setting and the effect of a proposed development on the setting will continue to depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the case under consideration, but this judgment provides further clarification as to what is to be taken into account in such assessment and reinforces the Court’s position of respecting the expertise of inspectors.

    *Failing to discharge the statutory duty in section 66(1) of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.


    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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