Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Five Year Deliverable Supply of Housing

We reported on our website the case of Wenman v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 925 (Admin), 21 April 2015:-

Following on from that Judgment Baroness Williams of Trafford in a Ministerial Statement issued on 22 July 2015 stated:-

Following a recent High Court Judgment (Wenman v The Secretary of Statement…), we are today making a technical adjustment to…the National Planning Policy Framework.

Para 49

From today, those persons who fall within the definition of ‘traveller’ under the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites, cannot rely on the lack of a five year supply of deliverable housing sites under the National Planning Policy Framework to show that relevant policies for the supply of housing are not up-to-date. Such persons should have the lack of a five year supply of deliverable traveller sites considered in accordance with Planning Policy for Traveller Sites.

In a decision of 26 June 2017 Mr Wenman was finally granted planning permission. It is notable that the Inspector, Philip Major, stated (at para 30 of his decision letter):-

As the Wenman Judgment found that traveller site provision is housing provision it follows that an application for a traveller site not made by a traveller may continue to benefit from the enhanced weight of paragraph 14 if there is no five year supply of housing. The Council sought to argue that the [Written Ministerial Statement] had been subjected to an equalities statement, but the statement (submitted at the inquiry) related to a consultation on proposed changes to traveller guidance which pre-dated Wenman and the WMS. I cannot see how this would adequately address the point made by the Appellant and it does not seem to be dealt with in terms in the equalities statement or the response to consultation. It is perhaps regrettable that this matter has not had an opportunity to be argued in the courts, and in my view this is not a matter best suited to seeking a definitive answer through the auspices of [a planning appeal]. However, I cannot but agree with the Appellant that there appears to be an arguable case for consideration in the context of the Equality Act 2010 which requires, amongst other things, that due regard must be had to the need to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.