UK & Europe
Global law firm Clyde & Co acted for developer Wavendon Properties in the recent High Court decision that quashed the Secretary of State's refusal of planning permission for over 200 homes at Woburn Sands, on the edge of Milton Keynes.
Wavendon Properties were refused planning permission by Milton Keynes Council in December 2016, despite Council planning officers recommending approval for the proposals.
Wavendon appealed to the Secretary of State who appointed a planning inspector to hold a public inquiry in July 2017. Before the inspector had issued his decision, local Conservative MP Iain Stewart persuaded the Secretary of State to recover the appeal for his own determination. The Secretary of State eventually refused planning permission contrary to the inquiry inspector's recommendation that it should be approved based on a number of grounds, notably the conclusion that Milton Keynes could demonstrate that it had a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.
Wavendon challenged the Secretary of State's decision. The High Court ruled that the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully as he had failed to explain how he had reached his conclusions on the supply of housing sites and failed to provide adequate reasons. This led the High Court judge, Hon. Justice Dove, to quash the decision.
The decision will now be remitted to the Secretary of State for redetermination. It is likely that the inquiry will be reopened.
Clyde & Co's planning team, led by Stephen Webb, acted for Wavendon Properties throughout.
Stephen Webb, Partner at Clyde & Co, said: "Politically motivated decisions such as these give planning a very poor name, especially when the Secretary of State cannot properly explain how he has reached his conclusions. His conclusions were fatally flawed and his decision deserved to be quashed."
Clyde & Co's planning team is part of its Real Estate practice that comprises over 60 lawyers operating across England and Scotland in addition to real estate capabilities globally. The practice has a market-leading reputation for advising on high profile commercial and residential developments for developers, investors, occupiers, landlords and financiers.