The government has announced a fresh six-month delay to an already-held-up decision on plans for an upgrade to a junction on the M25 in Surrey, as well as a new deadline for a postponed decision on a 1.8 gigawatt wind farm off the Norfolk coast.
A junior minister has approved plans to redevelop a Grade II-listed historic former foundry in Whitechapel into a mixed-use scheme containing new work spaces and a cafe, after prior warnings from legal experts that the secretary of state’s involvement in the decision could raise judicial review risks following a ministerial error.
The housing secretary has allowed a appeal for the development of a new free school in south London, despite concluding that the scheme would not “reach the bar of exemplar design” and would have a “harmful impact on the character and appearance of the area”, and on the visual setting of adjacent metropolitan open land (MOL).
A secretary of state approval on appeal for 500 homes in the Bradford green reverses a previous decision on the same development less than 18 months ago. Experts say the consent, while revealing some insights into the “very special circumstances” in which green belt housing will be allowed, underlines the highly political nature of decision-making on such schemes.
Two approvals by secretaries of state for an offshore wind farm and an airport redevelopment, against the advice of the examining panels, were overturned in the courts in the space of a week. In both cases, ministers were found to have failed to give adequate reasoning for their decisions. Experts say the growing number of recommended refusals by inspectors and outdated national policy documents increase the risk of consents being challenged.
A campaign group has begun legal proceedings against communities secretary Robert Jenrick for his “ongoing refusal” to call in the decision to approve Britain’s first new deep coal mine in decades, which is currently being reconsidered by the local authority.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has granted development consent for improvements to three junctions on the A38 in Derby after finding that the scheme’s benefits, including support for new housing and jobs, outweighed its climate change impacts.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has decided not to call in a planning application for a deep coal mine in Cumbria, paving the way for the local council to grant it final approval.
The developer of the 1,250-home Anglia Square scheme in Norwich city centre said it is seeking legal action after housing secretary Robert Jenrick refused the proposal against the recommendation of a planning inspector, citing design concerns.
Planning decisions by the housing secretary under Boris Johnson’s premiership have been taking over twice as long as government deadlines, Planning research shows, with a significant rise in timescales since the Covid-19 lockdown in mid-March.