31 July 1998
Court approves Sussex
greenfield building

COUNCILS hoping to protect their local countryside from the urban sprawl have been told that they cannot defy Government housing targets.

A High Court judge ruled that John Prescott acted lawfully when he demanded that West Sussex should allow an extra 12,800 homes.

The county council had sought a judicial review. It argued that it had the right to cut its housing target to reduce the pressure on rural and greenbelt sites.

The Government has plans to allow 4.4 million homes in England by 2016. Some 40% will be in the countryside.

But it has recently modified its policy to explore the possibility that more of the homes could be built on “brownfield” sites in urban areas.

A House of Commons select committee has urged the Government to back a go-slow on planning permission on undeveloped land until a study has reported on the scope for recycled land.

  • The Times 31/07/98 page 12
  • The Independent 31/07/98 page 9
  • Financial Times 31/07/98 page 9
  • The Daily Telegraph 31/07/98 page 1, page 2