Decision to be challenged to establish clarity on the wider issue of development on green wedge
Liverpool City Council is to appeal the recent High Court judgement on the Harthill scheme because of the wider ramifications it has for planning policy nationally.
Following a ruling on 18 January, the council pledged not to proceed with the proposals – but will appeal the decision made by Mr Justice Kerr because it has far-reaching consequences for local authorities in how they deal with land classed as green wedge.
He accepted that green belt land and green wedge land differ in some respects, but quashed the planning permission for 51 properties on the site.
The judge recognised his decision needed to be scrutinised and – unusually – granted leave for the Court of Appeal to examine his ruling.
Liverpool City Council Chief Executive Tony Reeves said: “The Mayor has been absolutely clear that the Harthill scheme will not go ahead or be resurrected in any form, and I want to reassure people that, whatever the result of the appeal, that position will not change.
“It is for that reason we are not appealing the costs we were ordered to pay the group that brought the challenge, and have made a payment to them of £30,000 towards them.
“The reason we are appealing is because the judgement raises much wider issues about established planning policy and the difference between green belt and green wedge.
“As a growing city, we need a solid planning framework which outlines clear definitions for types of land to help us arrive at consistent decisions around development.
“As it stands, Mr Justice Kerr’s judgement casts doubt on established principles, and leaves councils up and down the country open to challenge on their assessment of policies which have been in place for many years.
“We are appealing to get clarity on the wider issue, so everyone involved in the planning process, whether it is developers, councils, landowners or local residents, has clarity around how planning applications for development on green wedge should be assessed.”