Holy Cross row is not yet over

Coun­cil to con­sider next le­gal move

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A PARISH coun­cil has lost its ap­peal against a decision by Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil (CDC) to build hun­dreds of homes on a for­mer school site.

On Tues­day, a High Court judge up­held a judg­ment made in July last year, which found that CDC was cor­rect in its 2010 decision to grant per­mis­sion for nearly 200 homes and a 75-bed­room care home to be built on the site of the for­mer Holy Cross Con­vent School in Chal­font St Peter.

The parish coun­cil had wanted to move Chal­font St Peter CofE Academy to the site, to ease the school’s ca­pac­ity prob­lems, which would have left room for fewer homes to be built.

How­ever, Lord Jus­tice Moore-Brick found that was not a vi­able al­ter­na­tive, and dis­missed the ap­peal.

Coun­cil­lor Richard Allen said the parish coun­cil was con­sid­er­ing its next move.

“It’s very dis­ap­point­ing but it’s not over yet. We need to think care­fully about what we do.

“It doesn’t seem to make sense at a time when the county needs more schools to do this,” he said.

The parish coun­cil’s ar­gu­ment had in­cluded a con­tention about the amount of play­ing area which would be lost if the de­vel­op­ment were to go ahead.

But Lord Jus­tice MooreBrick said it was up to Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil to de­ter­mine the ex­tent of the site’s play­ing fields.

In a state­ment, the parish coun­cil said: “If a con­sul­ta­tion had been un­der­taken early on and the clear wishes of the com­mu­nity had been taken into ac­count, be­fore the dis­trict coun­cil’s Core Strat­egy was for­mu­lated, we would not have ended up in court at­tempt­ing to re­solve is­sues that could have eas­ily been dealt with ear­lier in the process.”

Coun­cil­lor Don Phillips, Chair­man of CDC plan­ning com­mit­tee said: “We have never been in any doubt that our plan­ning decision mak­ing process is ro­bust and the judge­ment of the High Court pub­licly con­firmed this on 28 Oc­to­ber. We were pleased with his decision, and trust that our two au­thor­i­ties can now put this mat­ter be­hind us and move for­wards.”

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