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Council eyes judicial review after findings of inspector on housing supply

West Norfolk Council has announced its intention to bring judicial review proceedings after a planning inspector granted permission for a 40-home site.

The local authority said it strongly disagreed with the inspector’s conclusion that it only had a 1.91-year housing supply (and therefore fell below the required 5-year supply). The council argued that it had a 7.51-year land supply.

In a statement West Norfolk said: “The implications of this decision are potentially significant and could leave the council open to further challenges from developers seeking to push forward inappropriate and unwanted sites for which the council has not granted consent.

“In effect, the policies the council has in place which restrict or specify locations are deemed to be out of date and locations previously considered to be unacceptable become real possibilities for development. The presumption for applications will be in favour of sustainable development and whilst the council may refuse such applications as not sustainable, appeals (along with the associated costs) become more likely.”

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West Norfolk claimed that the inspector’s findings were very different to the findings of the inspector on a previous appeal relating to the site in Clenchwarton in 2012.

The council added that it “also believes that the process of this planning appeal was seriously flawed and, given the ramifications of the decision, feels that it should challenge the inspector’s decision through a judicial review”.

West Norfolk said it had received advice from counsel and believed it had a strong case.

The inspector’s decision will remain in abeyance until the outcome of the judicial review process is known.

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