Thursday, 28 May 2015

Planning permission needed to knock down buildings

Developers will have to gain planning permission before demolishing buildings after a judgement in the Court of Appeal last week.

The case between campaign group Save Britain’s Heritage and communities secretary Eric Pickles arose after Lancaster Council authorised the demolition of the historic Mitchell’s Brewery building without prior permission.

Although the brewery has since been listed, the campaign group’s legal team continued with the case, seeking a landmark ruling following an initial defeat in the High Court last year.

The result of the judgment is to bring all demolitions into the scope of a European directive for the first time. This governs the environmental effects of building projects and other schemes and interventions in the environment.

Previously, the secretary of state had maintained that demolition in itself fell outside this directive, but now any proposed demolition which is considered to have significant effects on the environment will be subject to the environmental impact assessment process.

The Court of Appeal ruled that most of the secretary of state’s ‘demolition direction’, which exempts demolition from planning control, was unlawful.

The ruling will have widespread implications for planning authorities, particularly for proposed demolitions in Pathfinder areas.

Marcus Binney, president of Save Britain’s Heritage, said: ‘For 35 years Save has challenged the waste involved in the demolition, year on year, of tens of thousands of soundly built houses which could often be renovated for a fraction of the cost of compulsory purchase, demolition and rebuilding.

‘The appeal court judgment is of vast significance as it will help to put a brake on the cruel practice of evicting residents and flattening houses before any decision has been made about the future of the site.’

Readers' comments (3)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • Council given permission to suspend Right to Buy

    9 April 2015

    Swansea Council has been granted permission by the Welsh government to suspend the Right to Buy in its area for five years.

  • Regulator drops on-lending permission proposal

    30 January 2015

    The English social housing regulator has dropped a proposal to require associations to seek specific permission when on-lending to non-social housing subsidiaries.

  • Knock-on effect

    19/09/2014

    Scotland’s independence is a pressing issue, but there are many problems looming large over social housing tenants, argues Julie Fawcett

  • Social housing planning approvals down by 44%

    11 September 2014

    Social housing approvals were down by 44% across Great Britain year-on-year, according to research by the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

  • Energy-efficient buildings could save £12bn a year

    7 July 2014

    An ambitious programme of insulating buildings and using properties to produce more direct energy could save the UK economy billions of pounds, the manifesto of the Sustainable Energy Association has said.

IH Subscription