Inspectorate v Arsenal – match result – one-nil to the Inspector!

Arsenal Football Club has lost a High Court challenge over a planning inspector’s decision to refuse to increase the number of music concerts the club can hold at the Emirates Stadium from three to six.  The club had also been seeking to increase the number of major events that it could hold on a Sunday from one to three.

David Smith (who trained me at PINS) refused the club’s application to vary the conditions attached to planning permissions for the stadium.

The claim was confined to a single ground – that Smith was in error in addressing whether the club’s application complied with the development plan for the area.

Mr Justice Cranston dismissed Arsenal’s claim. He said

Planning decisions “should not be approached in an overly legalistic way but should be read as a whole, and in good faith…If that is done it is clear to me that the inspector did properly address the question of whether the proposal was in accordance with the development plan.”  There could be “no question that the inspector took into account all relevant planning policies constituting the development plan.  In particular the inspector summarised his conclusions on the application of each in paragraph”

Football is a funny old game!