The Court of Appeal handed down the long anticipated judgment, on 20 December 2021, on the appeal bought by Rights: Community: Action (RCA), on whether the changes bought forward in 2020, to the Use Classes Order (UCO) and the Permitted Development Rights (PDR) regime were unlawful.
The Court of Appeal held that the ‘radical’ changes to UCO and the PDR regime were in fact lawful and thus remains in place.
The RCA challenged the Divisional Court’s decision on the basis that “the Divisional Court erred in its conclusion that the new Statutory Instruments were not required to be subject to Strategic Environmental Assessments as they did not set the framework for future development consents of projects or modify an existing framework for future development consent of projects”.
The Court of Appeal found that the new statutory instruments were not a plan or programme within article 3(4) of the Strategic Environmental Assessments Directive  and thus could not set the framework for future development consents of projects and therefore did not modify an existing framework either. The Court of Appeal also came to the conclusion that the Secretary of State did not err in law in making the Statutory Instruments without undertaking an environmental assessment or carrying out a screening procedure.
There has been no indication on whether RCA will be challenging the decision and taking the matter to the Supreme Court.
 Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001