Submission of Epping Forest District Council’s Local Plan has been delayed following a Planning Court ruling on 20 March 2018.
The Court granted CK Properties Theydon Bois Limited (“CK Properties”) permission to apply for judicial review of the Council’s decision on 14 December 2017 to approve the Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017 (“LPSV”) for publication and submission to the Secretary of State for independent examination.
CK Properties complains that its land to the east of Theydon Bois was not allocated for residential development in the LPSV and contends that it has been prejudiced by the unavailability of Appendix B to the Site Selection Report (Arup December 2017), during the Regulation 19 publication period.
The Court ordered that the Council be restrained from submitting the LPSV for independent examination until the final determination of the judicial review claim, or further order. The Court also ordered that the judicial review hearing can be expedited and it is listed for hearing on 23 and 24 May 2018 with a time estimate of 1½ days.
The Council will be contesting all the claims made and to be heard at the full hearing but the ruling means the Council cannot meet the agreed submission date of 31 March 2018.
Councillor John Philip, Planning Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council was disappointed by the Court decision but confident of the final outcome. He said; “It is frustrating but it is not the end of the road. We are ready to submit the Plan but circumstances outside our control have created this delay.”
Councillor Philip continued: “Fortunately, the Government’s deadline extension means the case can be heard without compromising our position. When all the evidence is placed before the judge, we fully expect to win the review. We are still on target to agree 11,400 homes during the Local Plan period up to 2033.”