The Court of Appeal has just ruled that the Small Sites Exemption, introduced by Ministers in November 2014, is lawful. In so doing, they have overturned a decision by the High Court in July 2015 (see West Berkshire District Council ([2015] EWHC Admin 2222), which caused much dismay amongst small developers at the time. 

This is truly excellent news for small 'pocket' developers who have historically tended to struggle with making fully policy compliant contributions on smaller schemes. These schemes  nearly always involve brownfield land in urban areas and tend to carry disproportionately high remediation costs. 

It will be interesting to see how quickly the guidance is re-introduced following the Judgment. With a bit of luck, it will be back in the National Planning Guidance before the end of the week.


A quick thank you to David Elvin QC at Landmark Chambers for  summarising the Judgment so quickly and agreeing to let me link to it.

For those of you who don't know David, you can find his chambers profile here: