Here we go again!
The Court of Appeal has thrown out The Protect Our Waverley and the CPRE’s latest challenge to overturn High Court decisions made in July. These challenges affect the Dunsfold Aerodrome development and Waverley’s Local Plan.
Obviously, the anti-Dunsfold brigade have very deep pockets? Because although their costs MAY BE limited to £10,000 under Access to Justice Legislation called (Aarhus) they will be paying shedloads of dosh for the Rumpoles who represent them!
The appeals, lodged by POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey, followed a High Court’s decision on 12 July 2018 to dismiss significant elements of challenges to the Council’s Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s Dunsfold Park decision.
The rejected appeals sought to challenge the High Court’s decision to refuse permission to go to a full hearing in respect of the following grounds: In other words, the locals aren’t giving up until the fat lady sings?
- · that the council and the Local Plan Inspector failed to consider environmental constraints (in the context of calculating Waverley’s objectively assessed need)
- · that both the council and the Inspector did not correctly apply the two-stage test as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “I am pleased the appeals against the High Court judge’s decision have been refused.
“This is a small victory for us but we will still need to defend the council’s position in the challenge to Woking’s unmet housing need allocation in Waverley’s Local Plan.
“We didn’t bring these legal challenges and don’t want to be in this situation. I believe our Local Plan is the best plan for the borough and we have a duty to defend it; having a sound Local Plan means we can defend and protect the borough from inappropriate development. That’s why, after careful consideration, we think it’s absolutely the right thing to set aside funds to be able to defend the legal challenges.
“We will continue to defend our Local Plan and to use it to guide planning decisions.”
The Council and other parties will be attending a full Judicial Review hearing on 9 and 10 October 2018, which will consider challenges from POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey to Waverley’s Local Plan, relating to Woking’s unmet need allocation, and a challenge from POWCampaign Ltd to the grant of planning permission in respect of Dunsfold Park. Just a little thought on Woking’s unmet need straight from our sun lounger?
When POW and CPRE square up for Round Three at the High Court in October they will challenge both the legality of Waverley Borough Council’s approval of their Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s decision to approve development at Dunsfold Park (1,800 homes consented).
If this is thrown out then presumably His Holiness The Pope will be called in to rule and then if that fails The Almighty himself – the omnipotent one will be asked to make the final judgment no doubt?
A Judge decided at an oral hearing in July that parts of the POW and CPRE’s case had merit, but other grounds did not. (not entirely accurate)
POW and CPRE say they appealed on the rejected grounds and this week that appeal was dismissed. The principal grounds for the forthcoming cases remain – primarily the question of the burden of a housing quota for Woking’s unmet being placed on Waverley Borough. This will be heard in the High Court where Waverley will have to account for their actions. At the same court, hearing POW is also challenging the legal basis for the SoS’s decision to approve Dunsfold Airfield development.
Bob Lees, Chairman of POW said:
“The situation is the same as when the High Court judge approved our case in July to go to full court in October. Waverley don’t need to defend the case – if POW and CPRE win this case they would seek a remedy of a reduction in the quota for housing – that will relieve some of the burden on the Borough of Waverley and Waverley Borough Council. This is not about the Local Plan failing. As for Waverley sending their legal team to attend the Secretary of State’s court case – that is their choice but is that really the best use of council tax payer’s money where the primary beneficiary of the SoS winning is a wealthy developer?”
WW. Which of course, what this whole very expensive exercise is all about?
The statement continues: “We have repeatedly asked WBC’s CEO to justify the council’s reasons for not considering a “do nothing” approach to the Court cases – I have yet to be re-assured they considered every option. Separately we have not received any justification from WBC for them spending £100,000 where they are not the defendant – they are merely an interested party in the SoS’s defence of the legal basis for approving a £1.1bn development of Dunsfold Airfield.”
What a hypocrite! Capt’n Bob and his motley crew don’t give a damn about the rest of the Borough. All they care about is stopping Dunsfold Park building on a brownfield site, adjacent to a major A-road. Where were Protect our Waverley when applications were submitted and approved for development on greenfields in Alfold, Cranleigh and Farnham what are they saying about plans to build on the green belt in Godalming?? Sitting around the kitchen table plotting their next move in the downfall of the Dunsfold Developer. They’re oblivious to what’s going on in the rest of the borough because they’re single-mindedly committed to stopping development on the one site that is crying out to be developed. What’s that old saying: there’s none so blind as them that can’t see …