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Judge rejects Cala Homes legal bid

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Cala Homes is to appeal a High Court ruling that gives local councils the power to consider government proposals to revoke regional housing targets when deciding on planning decisions.

Cala began the legal action in November last year, and the High Court upheld their argument that the revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) by communities secretary Eric Pickles was ‘unlawful’ - a decision which effectively reinstated RSSs.

However, Department for Communities & Local Government chief planner Steve Quartermain then issued a letter to all local planning authorities which stated that the government was intending to abolish RSSs and that the impending change could be taken into account while new legislation passed through Parliament.

Macfarlanes LLP, acting on behalf of Cala Homes, followed this with a fresh challenge seeking the withdrawal of Mr Quartermain’s letter on the grounds that the Government’s intention to revoke housing targets was not a material consideration.

The High Court granted a temporary stay on the guidance, but a compromise was reached after a successful challenge by the secretary of state in December, and the DCLG had to formally publicise the existence of the second judicial review challenge.

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