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Green Belt Action Groups Ponder Legal Action Against Council Plan Decision

Published on: 26 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2019

An application for a judicial review would have to be made to the High Court which sits at the Royal Courts of Justice

By Rebecca Curley

local democracy reporter

with additional content by The Guildford Dragon

Campaigners against development on green belt land around Guildford have not ruled out legal action to overturn the council’s decision to approve its Local Plan.

Guildford Borough Council formally adopted the Local Plan after a four-hour debate on the 600-page document that cost £3.4 million to develop.

But several action groups are reported as considering seeking a judicial review of the adoption. Such a review examines the legality of a local government decision and must be made within six weeks.

Councillors adopted the Local Plan at a special council meeting on Thursday, April 25. But earlier that day, when the Executive members met, one campaigner said many action groups would consider legal action.

Helen Jefferies

Helen Jefferies, from Wisley Action Group, said it would be “exceptionally” difficult to justify building on the green belt. “It won’t be a surprise to anybody about a judicial review, but I can tell you that’s coming from more than one direction,” she said. “And that is, therefore, a huge waste of taxpayers’ money and residents’ money fighting it.”

This morning she told The Guildford Dragon: “We at WAG are hoping to hear from any other groups interested in applying for a judicial review. They might wish to go it alone but it will probably be best to coordinate efforts and I hope they will contact me urgently to do so. There isn’t long to get organised.”

Cllr Susan Parker, of Guildford Greenbelt Group, told the Executive meeting she felt it was “highly likely or at least more than reasonably likely” that the council would lose in a judicial review.

Council leader Paul Spooner said: “We are adopting a Plan that has gone through due process. We have a Plan that has been justified as sound by the Secretary of State.”

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test One Response to Green Belt Action Groups Ponder Legal Action Against Council Plan Decision

  1. Roy Darkin Reply

    April 26, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    A fund raising campaign to help pay legal costs would be a good idea.

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