Gallagher Homes Case must be at Root of Wandsworth’s Criticism of Pins

Wandsworth have withdrawn their local plan following an inspectors critcisms over not consulting on NPPF related changes and not setting out what the objective need is.  They are highly critical of PINS, stating his approach is not that of inspectors (quoting Solihull) and that objective need in London is set at the HMA level (the whole of London via the London plan).  On the latter point this is established practice long backed by DCLG, however I suspect the root of the inspectors caution is the fact that Solihull’s plan was successfully challenged in court, a fact Wandsworth have drawn a veil over.  All that was needed was a short reference in the NPPF or guidance to state that housing need and targets in London is set via the London plan, now we have a legal fog that could slow down every plan in London.


One thought on “Gallagher Homes Case must be at Root of Wandsworth’s Criticism of Pins

  1. I think the Wandsworth case is made more complicated by the problem of the London Plan 2011 (the current London Plan) housing targets not being based upon an NPPF-compliant approach to assessing housing need. The targets are capacity based. I think Wandsworth saw this difficulty, and chose to run with the FALP figures, but added them to the plan after the consultation on the submission version ended. What they could have done back in early 2013 – noting the signals from the NPPF – was to assess their capacity, and base a new requirement on this. Of course, there are risks inherent in this approach, since objective needs cannot be confused with capacity, but they might have got by with this using the Dacorum argument of a ‘reasonable fit’.

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