Supreme Court Judgment – Important case if your development proposals include buying and developing recreational space

The Supreme Court have today (1 March 2023) ruled in favour of residents who claimed a statutory trust which gave them rights over a recreational ground.

The Court agreed that rights of access over the recreational ground were not lost by the sale of the ground for housing development and should have been taken into account as a material planning consideration by Shropshire Council when it granted planning permission for the construction of 15 houses granted over the recreational ground in 2018.

The Court ruled that the rule in section 128(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 (which provides that where a local authority appropriate or dispose of land, a person claiming title under the authority does not need to see or enquire whether any such consent of the relevant Minister has been given or whether any such requirement was complied with) is not designed to free land from public trusts.

The planning permission was quashed.

A copy of the full decision can be found here.

If you have any concerns for your development schemes arising out of this decision please contact Hannah Langford or Camilla Weston in our planning team.

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