2 December 2010

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Planning Inspectorate have issued further clarification over the status of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) following the latest court action by Cala Homes.

 The Planning Inspectorate has posted the following statement: “Local Planning Authorities and planning inspectors should be aware that the Secretary of State has received a judicial review challenge to his statement of 10 November 2010, the letter of the Chief Planner of the same date and to the Secretary of State’s letter of 27 May 2010 on the ground that the Government’s intended revocation of Regional Strategies by the promotion of legislation for that purpose in the forthcoming Localism Bill is legally immaterial to the determination of planning applications and appeals prior to the revocation of Regional Strategies.

 The Secretary of State is defending the challenge and believes and is advised that it is ill founded. Nevertheless, pending determination of the challenge, decision makers in local planning authorities and at the Planning Inspectorate will in their determination of planning applications and appeals need to consider whether the existence of the challenge and the basis of it, affects the significance and weight which they judge may be given to the Secretary of State’s statements and to the letter of the Chief Planner. 

 The Secretary of State will notify the determination of the Court once it has been made. This is currently expected to be by the end of January 2011.”