This may not be the Planning Minister's first statement in response to Mr Justice Holgate's decision, last July, to quash the policy guidance exempting small developments from s.106 and affordable housing contributions, but it is perhaps the most public.

The Court of Appeal has recently granted the government leave to appeal the decision, on an expedited or 'fast-track' basis. If the government succeeds then the policy may well be revived. If not, then the government will have to look at other ways to re-instate the policy, taking the Court of Appeal judgment into account. Developers who specialise in 'pocket developments' on in-fill sites are awaiting the outcome of the appeal with interest; as are a large number of planning lawyers (myself included).

It is unclear whether the Planning Minister's comments relate solely to the on-going litigation or whether a new policy announcement is on the cards for the Autumn. In either case, this is certainly something to keep an eye on over the coming months.

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