Redhill Aerodrome: Special Circumstances in Green Belt Cases - Court of Appeal holds that there is no change in the Framework

Fri, 24 Oct 2014

The issue in Redhill was, whether: (i) the words “any other harm” in ‘very special circumstances’ test in the second sentence of paragraph 88 of the Framework mean “any other harm to the Green Belt”, or; (ii) do they include any other harm that is relevant for planning purposes, such as harm to landscape character, adverse visual impact, noise disturbance or adverse traffic impact?  The Court of Appeal held that the words continue to have the wider meaning in (ii), as was the position in PPG 2.

The Court pointed out that if the first interpretation was correct, then all of the considerations in favour of granting permission would now be weighed against only some, rather than all of the planning harm that would be caused by an inappropriate development.   There was no indication that such a change had been made to either the words of the policy nor in the Framework generally.  Such an imbalance would be illogical.  The argument advanced on behalf of the Aerodrome, to the effect that the Framework changed the context of Green Belt policy and so changed the approach to a very special circumstances decision, was rejected.

The appeals were allowed and the Inspector’s decision was reinstated.

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