Liberal Democrats celebrate High Court ruling on environmental standards for new development

21 Feb 2024
Cllrs Goodwin, Rylet and Levy

Liberal Democrat Councillors from West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) welcome the High Court ruling that Government’s planning inspectors acted unlawfully by saying that Salt Cross Garden Village did not need to be built to the net zero standards proposed by the council.
WODC had planned a fossil fuel-free development with 100% of consumed energy generated using on-site renewables.

In a judgement handed down on Tuesday 20th February, Mrs Justice Lieven said the government planning inspectors had been wrong to demand a softening of net zero policies and had failed to properly understand national policy. The case was brought by a third party called Rights: Community: Action who campaign on such issues.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Carl Rylett for Eynsham and Cassington (pictured above, centre with fellow Lib Dem councillors Goodwin and Levy) said "This is a victory for both the fight against climate change and for local democracy. The Liberal Democrat led council quite rightly pushed for high environmental standards on this flagship site. It's an important decision not only for West Oxfordshire but also helps set a precedent nationally for other councils seeking to achieve similar goals in their local plans. You might hope that the national government would support such an initiative but quite the opposite”.

Calum Miller, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Bicester and Woodstock said "This is a victory for local democracy and common sense. I’m proud that WODC, under Lib Dem leadership, has shown that local councils can put the climate and future generations before developer profits."


Readers are referred to the story as detailed by law firm Leigh Day here: