Local Plan: Sevenoaks District Council loses judicial review

Here is SDC’s own account of the outcome of the review.

Below is a summary of the key points in Justice Dove’s judgement, SDC being the claimant (our thanks to Mike Whitaker).

“From this distillation of the Inspector’s conclusions and reasoning it is clear to see that there is no substance in the claimant’s grounds.”
“In my view it perhaps makes most sense to start with the claimant’s Ground 2, the contention that the Inspector failed to properly interpret and apply the duty to cooperate and conflated it with the requirement for soundness. In my view there is no basis for this contention when the Inspector’s conclusions and reasons are properly understood.”
“Turning to Ground 1 there is force in the submission made by [the Inspector’s barrister] that, in truth, this is a clear-cut case based on the findings that the Inspector reached … I am unable to accept that there is any substance in the claimant’s Ground 1.”
“Turning to the submissions in relation to Ground 3, I am unable to accept that the Inspector failed to have regard to the material which was available to her in reaching her conclusions … In my view it is clear that the Inspector had careful regard to all of the material which was placed before her and reached conclusions which, I have already set out in respect of my views on Grounds 1 and 2, were lawful and appropriate.”
“I have already expressed my view as to the quality and nature of the reasons provided by the Inspector in respect of the examination. In my view her reasons were clear, full, detailed and justified. In addition, under Ground 4 it is contended that the conclusion which she reached was irrational. In my judgment there is no substance whatever in that contention. For the reasons which I have already given the Inspector’s conclusions were clearly open to her and based upon a proper appreciation and application of the relevant statutory tests.”
“It follows that for all of the reasons set out above I am satisfied that there is no substance in any of the grounds upon which this claim is advanced and the claimant’s case must be dismissed.”

Here is an online link to the judgement.

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