Land Securities Group Plc v Scottish Ministers and others: HL 25 Oct 2006

Objection had been made to a proposed shopping centre on the site of the former Ravenscraig steel mills, saying that it would provide excess capacity and went against the policy that priority should be given to permissions for town centres. The plan had been altered to designate it as in effect a new town centre. Objectors now appealed grant of the permission saying it did not apply the appropriate policy.
Held: The question was whether the alteration of the structure plan was invalid if the Minister had failed to have proper regard to the declared policy NPPG8 which required new policies and proposals to be consistent with the required sequential approch. The existing policy was designed to protect existing town centres and not to provide for the making of new town centres, and a new development could not obtain priority by being designated as a new town centre. ‘Nevertheless, once it is accepted that the vision behind the Structure Plan is that one day, within the lifetime of the Plan, there should be a town centre on that site as part of a larger development, then it makes sense for the Structure Plan to list it in schedule 1(a) and so try to promote investment in the site and ensure that the viability of this future town centre is not undermined in advance by, say, large retail or leisure developments on other sites in the vicinity. The effect of this addition to schedule 1(a) may not be to safeguard an existing town centre, but the Joint Committee were perfectly entitled to give effect in this way to a policy which is designed to promote investment and to protect the viability of what is intended to be the town centre at the heart of a development of national significance. ‘
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Mance
[2006] UKHL 48, 2006 SCLR 908
CitedWordie Property Co Limited v Secretary of State for Scotland 1984
To demonstrate an error of law in a decision, the petitioner is required to show that the decision maker had failed to take into account a consideration which was both relevant and material. . .

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Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.245609