Case law: planning conditions justify the public good

23rd November 2015

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  • Built environment ,
  • Planning


Barry White

Jen Hawkins considers a recent High Court case over the redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market.

The High Court's decision in Horada v Secretary of state for communities and local government shows that conditions and obligations can provide effective safeguard mechanisms to demonstrate a sufficiently compelling case in the public interest to justify a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

Planning permission was granted for the phased redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush, London, and an agreement made under s.160 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This contained covenants guaranteeing the market's future. The planning authority made a CPO under s.226(1)(a) of the Act to secure the long-term future of the market. At appeal, an inspector found the redevelopment proposal had the potential to bring about significant improvements to the area, boost its economy and generate social benefits.

However, the inspector considered the case insufficiently compelling in the public interest to justify a CPO because the environmental, economic and social benefits would materialise only if the essential ingredients and uniqueness of the market were retained.

The secretary of state disagreed with the inspector's recommendation. That decision was challenged on the grounds that the secretary of state had failed to properly understand the schedule to the s.106 agreement and the effectiveness of the mechanisms available to secure the future of the market and its traders.

The court found that there had been no error of law in the secretary of state's decision. He had been entitled to consider the overall suite of measures sufficient to protect the vital characteristics of the market, including planning conditions.


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