To misquote Oliver Hardy:
The Honourable Mr. Justice Holgate has ordered that in the matter of applications for Planning Statutory Review:
1. POW Campaign Ltd – v- Waverley Borough Council and Dunsfold Airport Ltd
2. CPRE Surrey -v- Waverley Borough Council
3. POW Campaign Ltd -v- Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government
The three applications be consolidated and heard together, at an oral hearing, as soon as possible after 25 June 2018 because he considers this to be the most efficient way of dealing with the applications.
The Judge has noted that there is considerable overlap in the legal arguments raised in the claims by POW and CPRE and a good deal of the factual and policy context is common to all three claims. He has also decreed that one Judge should hear all of the matters at the permission stage and one Judge should also hold any substantive hearing in relation to any claims granted permission to proceed. And, whether the claims are consolidated or not, the hearings must take place in the same hearing window to avoid inefficient use of judicial resources.
Mr. Justice Holgate concludes by saying priority must be given in the list of the applications to the availability of a Judge and not to the availability of any counsel presently instructed. Which, in short, means The Stinch, Rumpole and Wayne Beglan, who acted on behalf of POW, the Dunsfold Developer, and Waverley Borough Council respectively, may not star in the blockbusting sequel. It’s rather like a film studio killing off the leading man when he tries to up his fee for the sequel!
It remains to be seen if those bit-part-players, Charles William Orange Esq (AKA OJ) and Nik Pidgeon (AKA Not-in-my-Columbier), will rock up for the latest round.
However, we have heard from one of the herd at Protect Our Waverley that they are JUBILANT and cannot wait to get their days/weeks/ in court.
As the two above are among the key architects of PoW & the Parishes’ case against the Dunsfold Developer one would expect them to be preening in front row seats but neither have been seen in public since they were outed, around the time of the Dunsfold Inquiry, as Nimby Developers who, having spent years parking their concrete mixers in other peoples’ backyards, now want to move in on their own patch and dig up the village greens of Awfold and Hascombe in preference to seeing the brownfields of Dunsfold Airfield developed. KERCHING!
Reading Mr Justice Holgate’s direction, whilst sipping a glass or two of Silent Pool’s excellent G&T, we at Waverley Web, found ourselves re-visiting the words of that elder statesman of the three barristers at the recent Inquiry into Dunsfold Park, Christopher Katkowski QC, AKA Rumpole: “The very fact that the Rule 6 Parties [otherwise known as POW & the Parishes] speak in such terms shows what the planning system has to grapple with and face down here!”
We can only hope that the High Court Judge on whose bench these cases land will be up to grappling with and tackling the Nimbyism which has polluted the waters of Waverley.
But – and purely in the interests of fairness, you understand – we must give equal airtime to The Stinch, on behalf of POW and the Parishes, whom we awarded Quote of the Day on the first day of the Dunsfold Inquiry, when he announced, in suitably sombre tones…
If only! How most of us wish that were true. All we do know is that, despite those famous first words from The Stinch, Waverley taxpayers are looking down the barrel of yet another review of the Dunsfold decision and the Local Plan!
In company with the Brexit Remoaners, POW and the Parishes won’t take NO for an answer – they’re just going to keep on pushing this ball uphill and down dale until someone somewhere, anyone anywhere, agrees with them and overturns the decision to build on the biggest brownfield site in the borough and allows ‘Your Waverley’ to continue concreting over the countryside.
And the Government has the cheek to wonder why developers aren’t building enough houses quickly enough … and why they are so expensive!
Yet another case of you couldn’t make it up!!!