A recent, and less high-profile, judgement shines light on the issue of deliverability of schemes, says hgh Associate Director, Matthew Robinson.
In all the excitement of Hillside, the High Court’s judgement* the day before on the deliverability of planning permissions may have been overlooked.
Whilst the judgement focuses on heritage matters, Mr Justice Holgate made two important conclusions regarding the “deliverability” of schemes:
1) That deliverability can be a material consideration in the determination of a planning application or appeal if relevant to the planning merits of the proposal (§89) — for example, “where development would realise a longstanding [regeneration] objective for a site in a prime … location” (§90); and
2) In such circumstances, the deliverability of a scheme can properly be treated as an additional planning benefit (§91).
These are important points. It means that decision-makers can give “substantial weight” to the deliverability of proposed schemes. Whilst that will work in some applicants’ favour (where deliverability can be demonstrated), it could – in theory – work against others where the deliverability of their proposals is in doubt (e.g. if the scheme’s viability is in question or an emerging allocation has outstanding objections).
The definition of “deliverable” is set out in Annex 2 of the NPPF. Consider it carefully. It could be the killer punch (one way or the other).
* Council of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne v Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities  EWHC 2752 (Admin)