Court of Appeal considers the interpretation of Paragraph 11 of National Planning Policy Framework

  • Posted

In the case of Paul Newman New Homes Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities And Local Government [2021] EWCA Civ 15, the Court of Appeal considered the interpretation of Paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Paragraph 11 of the NPPF states that plans and decisions should apply a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Under Paragraph 11(d), that presumption means that where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out of date, planning permission will be granted, unless either of the following applies:

  • There is a clear reason for refusing based on the application of policies which protected areas of particular importance.
  • Any adverse impacts of doing so will significantly outweigh the benefits.

The Court of Appeal held that the High Court judge had not erred in upholding a planning inspector’s refusal to grant an application for planning permission for residential development, and that both the planning inspector and the High Court judge had interpreted paragraph 11 of the NPPF and the relevant local planning policy correctly. The Court of Appeal further stated that it was not helpful to consider the language of earlier versions of the NPPF because the language of the 2018 version was deliberately and materially different.