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Fri October 30 2020

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Developers launch legal challenge against scrapping of house-building targets

8 Oct 10 Three developers have launched legal challenges against the government following its decision to scrap regional spatial strategies, which included house-building targets.

Three developers have launched legal challenges against the government following its decision to scrap regional spatial strategies, which included house-building targets.

Cala Homes is arguing that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles acted unlawfully because the scrapping of the strategies required primary legislation. The challenge will be heard in the High Court on 22 October.

Catesby Property Group and Colonnade Land have also challenged Pickles' decision.

Catesby is unhappy about the minister's rejection of a £50m scheme in Bude, Cornwall, comprising 400 homes. The project was recommended for approval by the planning inspector at appeal, but Pickles rejected the decision when he decided to axe regional spatial strategies.

The developer said he had “acted unlawfully by failing to notify them of this departure from the inspector’s recommendations and by not providing the opportunity to present evidence at a reopened inquiry”.

Colonnade Land is challenging Pickles' decision to block a 326-home development in Rochford, Essex, along similar lines.

The government abolished regional spatial strategies in July as part of its wider 'localism' agenda, returning planning powers to local communities.

But research by the National Housing Federation suggests that 85,000 planned homes have since been scrapped.

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