Case law - Inadequate reasons given for building in AONB

2nd November 2016

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Built environment ,
  • Planning ,
  • Property


Stephanie Wright

The Court of Appeal considers a challenge to planning permission for development in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

In CPRE Kent v Dover District Council [2016], the Court of Appeal allowed a challenge to planning permission for development in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) because the planning committee had failed to give legally adequate reasons for its decision.

Paragraph 115 of the national planning policy framework (NPPF) states that great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty in AONBs. Paragraph 116 advises that planning permission should be refused for major developments in such areas apart from in exceptional circumstances and when it can be demonstrated that they are in the public interest.

In this case, Dover District Council granted planning permission for 521 new homes, a resident retirement village, a hotel and conference centre at a site in the Kent Downs AONB. The High Court dismissed a challenge to the decision by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and it appealed to the High Court.

The High Court said a local planning authority authorising a development that would inflict substantial harm on an AONB must give substantial reasons for doing so. In this case, it found that the council’s conclusions on viability were not adequately reasoned.

It concluded that the planning committee had not properly explained why it had rejected the planning officer’s assessment that the development would inflict harm, noting that it had failed to engage with the officer’s reasoning. The court also ruled that the council had failed in its statutory duty to give reasons for its decision under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Interview: Andrew Winston on the many reasons for hope

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Around 20% of the plastic recycled is polypropylene, but the diversity of products it protects has prevented safe reprocessing back into food packaging. Until now. David Burrows reports

3rd April 2024

Read more

IEMA presents a digital campaign to share knowledge and inspire action in sustainability

2nd April 2024

Read more

Tom Harris examines the supply chain constraints facing the growing number of interconnector projects

2nd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close