Alternative sites and planning applications

Britain's planning legislation provides little precise guidance as to what are or are not legitimate planning considerations to be taken into account when dealing with planning applications. Whether alternative possible locations for a proposed development are such planning matters is a question that has come up before the courts in a spate of cases in the past few years.

In the most recent decision, Trusthouse Forte Hotels Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment and Northavon District Council (J Plan & Env Law, November 1986), the High Court has provided an authoritative statement of the principles involved, and has extended considerably the circumstances in which planning authorities may legitimately reject a planning application on the grounds that development should take place elsewhere.

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