Case law not supporting Inspector writing Bradford plan policy to achieve “soundness”

Bradford’s Core Strategy (CS), often referred to as “the local plan”, was determined to be “sound”  on 22/08/2016 by the Inspector, on the basis of adding policy text written by that Inspector. The legality of that is questioned. In the meantime the Planning Minister has placed a hold notice on Bradford council to stop them from adopting the plan after interjection from Philip Davies MP. One of the MP’s points concerns the use of greenbelt to fulfill Bradford’s housing target. WARD has also written to Secretary of State Javid at the Department of Communities and Local Government to draw the Inspector’s action to the Secretary of State’s notice.

I am sure  WARD supports the hold notice and WARD should reinforce with the Secretary of State its point about the legality of Inspector Pratt making the Bradford CS sound on the basis of writing parts of it himself.

The Hunston appeal case summary (source below) below indicates that an inspector “should not seek to carry out some of the local plan process as part of determining the appeal”.

Should WARD contest that in respect of determining the soundness of a CS (a much more significant planning issue than an appeal) the inspector should not seek to carry out some of the local plan process as part of determining the soundness of the local plan?

Martin Hughes


Hunston Properties Limited • KEY POINT OF DECISION: INSPECTOR NOT ENTITLED TO USE HOUSING SUPPLY FIGURE FROM A REVOKED PLAN • Inspector dismissed appeal against refusal of development in the Green Belt • Inspector took into account housing figures in the East of England Plan; Court of Appeal held that she was not entitled to do so • The needs assessment should be gleaned from the Local Plan • An inspector on a s.78 appeal should not seek to carry out some sort of local plan process as part of determining the appeal • It is legitimate for a Local Plan to have less than the assessed housing need, if it would not be possible to supply that need because of conflict with other policies, such as those for Green Belt or AONB – Page 12