The Coalition Government's intended abolition of Regional Strategies can be taken into account when making planning decisions, the High Court agreed today.
The judgment – in a High Court case brought by CALA Homes – confirms that the intended scrapping of Regional Strategies is a 'material consideration' which can be considered by local planning authorities and planning inspectors when making decisions.
The Government has long announced its intention to abolish the strategies through the Localism Bill, which received its Second Reading on 17 January 2011 in the House of Commons and is currently in Committee stage.
Planning Minister Bob Neill said:
"We are determined to return decision-making powers to communities and provide powerful incentives so people can see the benefits of building more homes, and the Bill will help achieve this.
"This judgment makes it clear that planners can take into account the Government's intention to do away with Regional Strategies.
"The Coalition Government made a firm pledge to sweep away these controversial strategies that have proved that top-down targets do not build homes. All they have produced is the lowest peacetime house building rates since 1924 and fuelled resentment in the planning process that has slowed everything down."
The New Homes Bonus Scheme will provide cash for communities that allow new homes to be built in their area. The Community Infrastructure Levy will also provide cash to be spent on local infrastructure.