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Borough council defeats High Court challenge over permission for 200 new homes less than 100 metres from waste tip

A borough council has defeated a judicial review challenge over its decision to allow up to 200 new homes on farmland less than 100 metres from a waste tip.

In R (Judson) v Amber Valley Borough Council [2020] EWHC 517 the claimant conten­­ded that the defendant local authority failed to resolve concerns about possible contamination of the site before granting outline planning permission.

He argued that this was contrary to what was said to be the proper interpretation of the relevant policy in the development plan, the National Planning Policy Framework and planning practice guidance (PPG) on land affected by contamination.

Amber Valley granted planning permission for the site in Somercotes in July 2018.

Mr Justice Lewis ruled the council did not misinterpret Policy EN18 of the Adopted Local Plan (which states planning permission will be granted for the reclamation and re-use of contaminated land providing a detailed and independent assessment is undertaken to identify the nature and extent of contamination and any remedial or mitigation measures which need to be undertaken).

Nor did Amber Valley misinterpret paragraph 121 of the NPPF (which states that planning decisions should ensure that sites are suitable for its new use by taking into account of ground conditions including pollution arising from previous uses).

Mr Justice Lewis said: “Its decision to deal with further investigations to address the possibility of contamination on the site by way of conditions attached to the grant of outline planning permission is consistent with Policy EN18 and paragraph 121 and, also, with the provisions of the PPG."

The claim for judicial review was therefore dismissed.

Mark Smulian