Thursday, 20 March 2014

Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum ends legal action

Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum has ended its legal action after its case was thrown out by the appeal court. The judge’s ruling has important implications for neighbourhood planning.

The DHNF had argued that Wycombe council was wrong to exclude the former RAF site at Daws Hill and the Handy Cross Sports Centre site from the neighbourhood area designated for the neighbourhood plan.

In his appeal court judgement, Mr Justice Supperstone said: “The discretion given to the authority is a broad one.” He concluded the council had dealt with the designation of the neighbourhood area correctly.
Many communities will begin neighbourhood plans at a point where plans for development in the plan area are well advanced. This was the case for Daws Hill. Judge Supperstone ruled:
“The council was entitled to consider if any useful purpose would be served by the proposed neighbourhood area when the sites would be under development before the process was concluded.”

The judgement will be studied by councils around the country. It allows them to exclude areas from neighbourhood planning where development plans are underway. That will limit the ambitions of communities who want to shape – even prevent – major developments in their area through neighbourhood planning.

Local Government Lawyer reports that DHNF will not be continuing its legal action. It quotes Wycombe council saying: “At a local level it means we can all move on and work with Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum to help our district flourish.”

Bucks Free Press reports DNHF members saying the judgement: “Makes a nonsense of the legislation, which is supposed to be there to encourage participation."

No comments:

Post a Comment