BLUEPRINT SCRAPPING WAS ILLEGAL.
But Mr Pickles immediately vowed to defy what he branded a technicality and insisted the regional spatial strategy (RSS) would go.
The judgement followed the coalition''s controversial decision to scrap all regional strategies within weeks of taking office in May, without passing legislation.
But critics also warned that key infrastructure projects - new rail lines, roads, bridges, wind farms and waste disposal plants - would simply grind to a halt.
The RSS funded key studies for the pounds 431m Mersey Gateway bridge, the pounds 100m scheme to electrify the Liverpool to Manchester rail line and the expansion of John Lennon Airport, among other projects.