Wokingham Borough Council (Appellant/2nd Defendant) v Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance (Respondent/Claimant)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
JudgeLord Justice Sullivan,Mr Justice Arnold,Lady Justice Hallett
Judgment Date03 Dec 2013
Neutral Citation[2013] EWCA Civ 1718
Docket NumberCase No: C1/2013/1152

[2013] EWCA Civ 1718

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

(MRS JUSTICE LANG DBE)

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London, WC2A 2LL

Before:

Lady Justice Hallett DBE

Lord Justice Sullivan

Mr Justice Arnold

Case No: C1/2013/1152

Wokingham Borough Council
Appellant/2nd Defendant
and
Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance
Respondent/Claimant

Mrs Saira Sheikh (instructed by Wokingham Borough Council) appeared on behalf of the Appellant

Lord Justice Sullivan
1

This is an appeal against the order dated 11 April 2013 of Lang J quashing a decision dated 26 May 2011 by the Secretary of State to dismiss the respondent's appeal against the appellant's decision to refuse outline planning permission for residential development of up to 175 dwelling,s, together with associated facilities, on land at Shinfield Glebe, Church Lane, Shinfield in Berkshire. The judge's judgment has the neutral citation [2013] EWHC 802 (Admin).

2

Before the judge, the Secretary of State's decision was challenged on six grounds. The judge rejected five of those grounds, which had challenged various aspects of the inspector's report with which the Secretary of State had agreed. The judge allowed the respondent's challenge on one ground only: the Secretary of State had failed to consider a ministerial statement, "Planning for Growth", which was issued on 23 March 2011, after the inquiry before the inspector, which finished in February 2011, but before the Secretary of State's decision letter dated 26 May 2011. The judge concluded that the Secretary of State, but not the inspector, was at fault in not considering the policy statement.

3

While it is true, as the judge pointed out in paragraph 24 of her judgment, that the ministerial statement said that "The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will take the principles in this statement into account when determining applications that come before him for decision…", that should have been only the first stage in the judge's analysis. It was necessary, before deciding whether the failure to have regard to the policy statement should result in the quashing of the Secretary of State's decision, to identify which, if...

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