Application to quash Development Plan Document not time barred

By virtue of section 113(4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”), an application to quash a development plan document must be made no later than the end of the period of six weeks starting with the relevant date, which we would expect to be the date of adoption by the council of the development plan document.

The High Court case of Nottingham City Council v Calverton Parish Council [2015] involved a claim made by Calverton Parish Council (“the Parish Council”) pursuant to section 113 of the 2004 Act for an order quashing a development plan document which contained the Core Strategy adopted by Nottingham City Council (“the City Council”) for its area.

In this case, the development plan document was adopted by the City Council on 8 September 2014 but the Parish Council’s application to quash it was only made on Monday, 20 October 2014. The court office had been closed on Sunday, 19 October 2014 and an application could not be made on that date.

On a literal interpretation of section 113(4) of the 2004 Act, the six week period would have expired on Sunday, the 19 October 2014.

The issue was whether section 113(4) of the 2004 Act was to be interpreted so that the period of six weeks for making an application ends on the next working day when an application can be made where what is otherwise the last day for making an application falls on a date when the court office is closed?

If the answer was “yes”, the period for making the application in that case would have ended on Monday 20 October 2014 and the claim would not be time barred by section 113(4) of the 2004 Act.

The court said:

– an application for an order to quash a development plan document under section 113 of the 2004 Act must be made to the High Court.

– That required the court office to be open and functioning.

– If the last day of the six week period falls on a day when the court office is closed, then, on a proper interpretation of section 113(4) of the 2004 Act, the claim may be presented on the next day when the court office is open.

In this case, therefore, the six week period was to be treated as expiring on the next day when the court office was open i.e. Monday, 20 October 2014. So, the claim was brought within the period specified by section 113(4) of the 2004 Act.

This blog has been posted out of general interest. It does not replace the need to get bespoke legal advice in individual cases.