An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of outline permission for three dwellings in Surrey (DCS Number 200-006-849) has reminded us that despite there being a tendency for mud to stick, it shouldn’t.
In this case, a neighbourhood plan had been through examination and had passed a referendum, but was yet to be made. As it was at a late stage in preparation, the inspector determined that it should carry considerable weight. He recorded that it was subject to a legal challenge and judgment had not yet been issued. Nevertheless, he ruled that “It is normal to assume that administrative acts are lawful unless and until they are quashed.” Consequently, the challenge did not reduce the weight he attached to the neighbourhood plan. He went on to allow the appeal.
So, if you are given any chat about needing to wait for the outcome of a legal challenge, this case provides it with a firm answer.
The following DCP section is relevant: 3.2