The latest attempt by Sevenoaks District Council to defend its Local Plan has fallen in the High Court.
The local authority in November failed in its judicial review of a planning inspector’s refusal to approve its Local Plan.
The local authority had brought the review of inspector Karen Baker’s conclusion that it had failed to comply with the required duty to cooperate when preparing its Plan.
But in the Planning Court, Mr Justice Dove rejected the council’s challenge, saying Sevenoaks had engaged fully with neighbouring local authorities only when it became clear at the Reg 18 stage that housing need could not be met, rather than as part of the whole process.
Sevenoaks went on to contest that verdict, but on Friday, April 9, a High Court judge dismissed the challenge.
Peter Fleming, council leader, said Sevenoaks would now seek a meeting with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in a bid to agree a strategy on developing a new Local Plan.
Until that happens, it is feared the district could be vulnerable to speculative development proposals. Nigel Britten, CPRE Kent’s Sevenoaks chairman, said: “We are in a slightly difficult position as we do not have a set five-year land housing supply.”
Sunday, April 18, 2021