The Cheek of Central Beds when then Deliberately Scuppered Cooperation

They must have seen this coming -unlawful not complied with Duty to Cooperate

Cllr Nigel Young

“We are not an authority that wishes to block growth or freeze our communities in aspic. But neither are we an authority that will accept the imposition of unsustainable development which could undermine the quality and character of our communities.

“We genuinely feel [the inspector’s] findings are at best misguided, if not perverse, and next week I will be seeking the support of the full council to call for a judicial review of the process.”

This from the authority that quite deliberately torpedoed a joint plan with Luton,. despite another inspectors findings,  and refused to meet its overspill need.

That by itself would not be sufficient to fail, its not a duty to agree, but it didn’t even do the technical work, SA or consultation to see if overspill was a realistic optionm it rejected it out of hand.

The inspector spells this out over 20 pages in an exemplary report.  This is why we have the duty, exactly why.

By the way it shows that authorities that don’t undertake strategic Green Belt reviews can fail the duty, even though the inspector cannot require them to carry one out.  This has clear implications for London and Brum overspill.

I guess they are relying on the following

Authorities are not obliged to accept the unmet needs of other planning authorities if they have robust evidence that this would be inconsistent with the policies set out in the Framework, for example those on Green Belt.

The findings show the weknesses of many MoUs, especially as here when they are not even signed by your partners

The MoU therefore fails to meet the guidelines for such a document [10.h]. In particular, it does not establish clearly the scale of the unmet need nor does it set out how and where this will be met. Moreover, it has not been signed by all of the authorities, most notably LBC. To that extent it cannot be relied upon by the Council as a mechanism for demonstrating that through the Duty process the need of the Luton HMA will be delivered, even in the future.,,the Council has deferred to later plans that either it or others will prepare an issue that it could and should have addressed now under the Duty.

But if you dont do a Strategic Review and assess alternatives onside and outside the Green Belt according to the NPPF you have no evidence.  You cannot treat something as a constraint without evidence of Green Belt purposes or alternatives.

It also appears that the DMS used by Central Beds cannot even handle tables, and they diudnt even bother to send the inspector copies of all reps, contray to reg 22(1).


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