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Supreme Court Rules on National Planning Policy Framework

The Supreme Court has dismissed the joint appeal by Suffolk Coastal District Council and Cheshire East Borough Council in the case of Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes, with law firm DLA Piper acting on behalf of Hopkins Homes.

The case addressed the question of which policies are caught by paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published on the 27th of March 2012.

Paragraph 14 of the NPPF deals with the “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, and includes the ‘tilted balance’ provision: that where the development plan is silent or policies out-of-date, permission should be granted unless “any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole”.  Paragraph 49 adds that: “Relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites”.

In Suffolk Coastal the council refused planning permission for a development of 26 houses in Yoxford, upheld by the inspector on appeal. The inspector considered which local policies were “relevant policies for the supply of housing” within the meaning of paragraph 49 of the NPPF.

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