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Letter: We Await the Next Instalment Because the Developers Have Not Given Up

Published on: 12 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 12 Dec, 2020

From: John Ferns

In response to: Ash Green Verdict Means GBC Planning Process Must Change to Ensure Fair Play

This has to be a major embarrassment for GBC. For a High Court challenge to succeed against a local authority by a resident on planning issues is a rare event.

A court precis is given in this Local Government Lawyer article.

I guess Cllr Bigmore could speak only as the leader of GBC and will not have the freedom of speech that a local ward councillor might have. He has to speak as the “corporate” spokesman, whatever his party affiliation and manifesto might be.

Though I very much suspect that if the statement had been left to the managing director or the director of planning, it would have been very different, even to the extent of threatening an appeal, at even greater cost to residents, and with no certain outcome.

GBC have 21 days from the date of the JR in which to decide to lodge any appeal. The developers, Bewley Homes, came up with a particularly robust statement.

Just a resubmission of their earlier flawed application (submitted before the JR hearing) with the twin expectations that the GBC planning department will now “tweak” their recommendation wording in line with the JR judgement, and secondly, that the planning committee will agree with the officers’ recommendation, when it inevitably returns to their “court”.

We await the next instalment.

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