The recent judgement from the Court of Appeal in Suffolk Coastal District Council –v- Hopkins Homes Limited and The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWCA Civ 168 has been granted permission to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
As a brief reminder, the Court of Appeal held previously that unless a local planning authority is able to demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites, then all “relevant policies” ancillary to the supply of housing were to be deemed out of date. A non-exhaustive list of “relevant policies” include policies for greenbelt land and the conservation of wildlife and cultural heritage. Please click here for our detailed report on the Court of Appeal judgement.
Suffolk Coastal District Council, along with Cheshire East Council, have now been granted leave to have a joint appeal heard by the Supreme Court. A date for the hearing has not yet been set, but it is thought that it will be heard at some point between April and July 2017. The focus of the appeal from the two local councils is likely to centre on the interpretation of paragraph 49 of the NPPF; namely whether “relevant policies” should be construed on a narrower basis so as to not include ancillary policies and to only effect policies that directly and positively concern housing supply.
Whatever the outcome at the Supreme Court, the ramifications for local planning authorities are likely to be significant.