Challenge to Loxwood N’hood Plan rejected

The High Court has rejected a challenge to a neighbourhood plan in Sussex.  Crownhall Estates challenged Chichester District Council and Loxwood Parish Council over approval of the Loxwood Neighbourhood Plan which failed to allocate its greenfield site to the south of Loxwood Farm Place for 25 homes:  

In 2014 Crownhall secured the quashing of an earlier version of the Neighbourhood Plan on the grounds Environmental Assessment of Plans and Progreammes Regulations 2004 had not been complied with.

A new Neighbourhood Plan was judged sound and Chichester decided to proceed to a referendum, triggering a fresh challenge. The referendum secured 98.5% acceptance and Chichester made the plan last July.

Crownhall raised four grounds of challenge – the appropriateness of allocating more than 60 homes in Loxwood, the reasons for the restriction, inclusion of small windfalls, and the site selection scoring system. All grounds failed.

Mr Justice Holgate took the first two together and judged the examiner and District Council had discharged their obligation to give reasons for the decisions. The judgement said the Plan did not contain sufficient text to create a policy restriction against larger windfalls and criticisms of a scoring exercise did not give rise to any material legal error.  Brownfield Briefing.      See the full judgement here.

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