The High Court Judgment in the Cala Homes case challenging Eric Pickles’ abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies has been made today. The Court found that the way in which the Secretary of State went about the revocation was unlawful. This means that the decision to abolish Regional Strategies has been quashed, and they are now reinstated.
The Government has suggested that this decision will make little difference to its plans, and the permanent abolition of the Regional Strategies will form part of the ‘Decentralisation and Localism Bill’ due to be introduced in parliament later this month.
The policy vacuum created by Pickles’ abolition of RSS may be filled in the short term, but it remains to be seen how long the new Bill will take to pass through parliament.
For clients with appeals pending, we are anticipating that the Planning Inspectorate will issue some guidance to Inspectors (as they did following the now unlawful abolition earlier this year). Please refer back for updates.
UPDATE: The guidance for Inspectors can be found by using this link. It therefore appears that some appeals may be re-opened for comment.