Three Wannabe developers are seeking a Judicial Review challenge to Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan, which is/was, possibly may be – all set to be the subject of a referendum on 4 May.
The three claimants…
Catesby; Bewley and Wates; are developers of sites that were not selected for allocation in the neighbourhood plan, so they have issued judicial review proceedings and applied for an injunction to cancel or postpone the referendum.
However, “Your Waverley’ has taken legal advice and says it won’t be postponing the referendum and will robustly defend the application.
It has told borough, town and parish councils it will continue to work closely with Farnham Town Council, which is also taking its own independent legal advice.
Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to Waverley last July and was subject to a public consultation and an independent examination; with a hearing session that was open to the public.
Earlier this year, the Examiner’s report found, subject to a few modifications, that the Plan met the ‘Basic Conditions.’ A Decision Statement on 10 March 2017 confirmed all the modifications had been accepted and a referendum could go ahead.. It is the Decision Statement that is now being challenged.
The judicial review challenge is based on three grounds:
1. The Examiner focused too heavily on the emerging Local Plan rather than the adopted one.
2. The Examiner sought views on a revised Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) policy but did not then deal with comments submitted to him by the claimants on the revised policy.
3. The Examiner did not adequately deal with their criticisms on one of the evidence studies produced for the Local Plan in his report.
The claimants want their application dealt with on an “extremely expedited basis”; and the postponement application is likely to proceed quickly through the courts.
Catesby; Bewley and Wates; are all members of the Waverley Housing Forum that last met on 20th March. Other members include:- Thakeham Homes who want to build in Alfold and Ewhurst, Crownhall Estates; Cove Homes; Castle Land, and A2 Dominion that will soon be building in Cranleigh.
Ring Binders three inches thick containing the Challenge have now ben received by Farnham Town Council. Soon ‘Your Waverley officers will be trawling through thousands of documents. However, most of the senior members of ‘Your Waverley’ including the two head honcho’s ‘The Chief Executive and his deputy are on their Easter holidays.
The postal voting forms for the referendum are already out .
Neame Sutton – Chartered Town Planners, Cratus; RPS; Judith Ashton Associates and Lichfields. are assistng the claimants in the Judicial Challenge.