A landmark judgement has been made in the High Court in the case of Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (CO/4129/2015), which has clarified the definition of previously developed land as set out in the NPPF.
The ruling states that only residential gardens within the “built-up area” are to be exempt from the definition, whereas residential gardens outside of “built up areas” may be regarded as “brownfield”. The judgement is significant in altering the widely held belief that all residential gardens were greenfield.
Dartford Borough Council had been seeking to quash a decision by a planning inspector who found that only residential gardens “in built up areas” are greenfield land, whereas others, in the countryside, are previously developed land.
In light of the overwhelming need for new housing, particularly within some rural areas, and the support contained within Paragraph 111 of the NPPF supporting the re-use of land that has been previously developed, this judgement will undoubtedly herald opportunities for back-land development (commonly referred to in the media as “garden grabbing”) outside of the defined urban areas.
If you would like further advice or support in understanding the implications of this judgement on your project then please do not hesitate to contact us.