Council loses legal challenge over 'duty to cooperate' in local plan
A judge has rejected a council’s bid to overturn an inspector’s decision that it should withdraw its Strategic Local Plan (SLP).
A planning inspector had concluded St Albans City and District Council failed in its duty to cooperate with neighbouring planning authorities when drawing up its SLP, which sets out development plans up to 2031.
Cllr David Yates, planning policy committee LibDem group spokesperson, said: ‘The outcome is certainly disappointing. The inspector may have been legally entitled to conclude that St Albans had not shown him that it had cooperated sufficiently with neighbouring local authorities, but that doesn’t get us any closer to having a Local Plan in place.
‘It’s frustrating that whilst everyone acknowledges that a ‘Duty to Cooperate’ is not a duty to agree, reaching a disagreement is taken as indicating a failure to cooperate.’
The council said it would re-assess its approach and work with neighbouring councils to deliver its SLP.