NPPF 2012 para 116 (now 172 in 2018 NPPF): Major development in National Parks, Broads, AONBs

R. (on the application of JH and FW Green Ltd) v South Down National Park Authority [2018] EWHC 604 (Admin)

  • “27. As set out at [15] above, Mr Maurici advised that a “major development” in the context of paragraph 116 is

“any development which, by reason of its scale character or nature, has the potential to have a serious adverse impact on the natural beauty, recreational opportunities, wildlife or cultural heritage provided by a National Park. Obviously, the assessment of whether the proposal is major is therefore a matter of judgment based on all the circumstances, including the local context.”

Subject to a limited dispute about the word “potential”, the parties are agreed that this is reasonable working guidance for a reporting officer or committee that has to decide whether or not paragraph 116 applies, it being also agreed that the major significance of paragraph 116 is that it gives rise to a presumption of refusal in the absence of exceptional circumstances.”

The Court also clarified that the definition of major development is not the same as in the 2015 Development Management Order nor is the fact that the proposal was a ‘major development’ under the Order relevant to the para 116 consideration.

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