High Court Dismisses New PD Rights Challenge
Campaign group "Rights: Community: Action" (RCA) asked the court to overturn three statutory instruments relating to PD rights to add additional storeys, demolition of vacant offices and commercial buildings and the merging of several previous use classes.
They accused the Housing Secretary of ignoring negative consultation responses and the requirements of environmental protection and equality rules.
But Government Counsel said it was the Housing Secretary’s task, not the Court's, to weigh up countervailing factors before reaching "enormously important macro-economic and macro-political judgments in deciding upon the urgent response needed to the economic emergency caused by the pandemic".
The judge, in dismissing the claim for Judicial Review, ruled that none of the changes "constitute a plan or programme setting the framework for future development consents" and there was thus "no requirement" to subject them to environmental assessment.
Campaign group Rights: Community: Action (RCA), which brought the case, said after the court's ruling: "We respect the decision. But we believe it is on the wrong side of the public interest. We intend to appeal."