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Developers hit by localism plans poised to mount legal challenge

Developers frustrated by the government’s housing policies are set to launch legal challenges, lawyers predict.

Catesby Property Group last week went to the High Court to challenge the decision of communities secretary Eric Pickles to refuse planning permission for a 400-home development in Cornwall.

The scheme was recommended by the planning inspector but rejected after Mr Pickles scrapped the Regional Spatial Strategies.

With research suggesting plans to build 85,000 homes will be scrapped due to the targets being abolished, a significant number of developers will also go down the legal route, according to Stuart Andrews, head of planning at law firm Eversheds, representing Catesby. “There will be a litter of claims made on site-specific cases
between now and the autumn,” he told Construction News.

Michael Gallimore, head of planning at law firm Hogan Lovells, agreed. “We could see a number of developers jumping on the bandwagon,” he said.

Hogan Lovells last week issued a submission on behalf of 10 developers to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee inquiry into the decision to scrap Regional Spatial Strategies, warning that the move
has caused “grave concern”.

The government will find out on 22 October whether it has to face a judicial review into the decision to scrap regional targets, when a claim being brought by Cala Homes is heard in the High Court.