High Court rejects Judicial Review on Wealden housing numbers

The High Court has rejected a challenge to Wealden District Council's proposal to limit housing growth to 400 homes a year.

Justice Sir Michael Harrison threw out a request by Pelham Homes for a Judicial Review to try to force the council to adopt a higher housing target.

An earlier centrally-imposed regional strategy had called for 11,000 homes to be built by 2026.

The developer had claimed Wealden District Council had wrongly set its own targets after the Secretary of State announced the scrapping of regional housing targets in July 2010.

Mr Justice Harrison ruled that this attempt to challenge Wealden District Council's Core Strategy in the High Court was premature, as the developer was able to make representation to the Independent Examination of the Core Strategy which will take place later this year.

The Core Strategy sets out guidelines for future development in the district.

“We are pleased that the High Court has ruled out a Judicial Review, after carefully considering the arguments put by this council,” said Trevor Scott, Chief Legal Officer at Wealden District Council.

“Fighting the developer's challenge to Wealden's ability to set locally-based housing targets would have put an unnecessary expense on to local taxpayers.”

The decision was made in the Queens' Bench division of the High Court on 28 April, and the developer was ordered to pay the Council £1,920 towards its costs.

Defending the council's decision in a High Court Judicial Review would be expected to have cost Wealden at least £50,000.

* The Regional Housing target to build 11,000 homes by 2026 would have resulted in an annual rate of 550 homes a year.

See also:

1,000 new homes shown for Uckfield in draft 'blueprint'

One site for 1,000 Uckfield homes

Reasoning behind future development plans for Uckfield

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce praises railway line campaign

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