Decision to Scrap Regional Housing Targets Termed as 'Unlawful'
The high court is said to have ruled the decision by the Community’s Secretary, Eric Pickles, to scrap regional housing targets, as unlawful. This decision had been made by the Secretary in pursuit of the Government's ‘big society’, initiative.
Housing developer Cala Homes is said to have claimed that the way Pickles was trying to seek to revoke regional planning strategies through discretionary powers.
The argument put forth by Cala Homes was termed as ‘well founded’, by Mr. Justice Sales, sitting in London. The planning lawyers have although claimed that the ruling is likely to have a very important impact on housing and development projects across England.
Communities and local government minister Bob Neill said "Later this month we will be introducing the Localism Bill to parliament, which will sweep away the controversial regional strategies. Top-down targets don't build homes – they've led to the lowest peacetime house-building rates since 1924”.
He further said that they would put in further efforts to build some more homes for the local communities. This commitment, he said had been made in the coalition agreement and in the general election manifestos of both coalition parties.
James Eadie QC, who represented the community’s secretary, is said to have said that Pickles had all the power to withdraw the entire regional strategy tier of planning policy guidance and he too was entitled to do so since it was not operating in the public interest.