Plans for homes on farmland face High Court appeal
A planning inspector’s decision to allow a controversial housing development in Blean could be challenged in the High Court.
The scheme by Gladman Developments for 85 homes on seven acres of farmland behind Honey Hill and Blean Common was originally refused by the city council but granted on appeal.
But the city council believes the inspector misinterpreted several of its planning policies which aim to restrict development outside urban areas.
It claims it led him to wrongly conclude granting permission would not conflict with the council’s 2006 Local Plan or its new one, which has recently been adopted.
Now the council has lodged papers with the High Court and served them on the Secretary of State at the Department of Com- munities and Local Government.
It is seeking permission from the court to challenge the inspector’s decision, and an order quashing the decision and asking for the matter to be considered again. It is also asking for its legal costs to be paid.
Gladman Developments applied for planning permission in 2015. The application was refused by the council last year.
Following the applicant’s appeal, a planning inquiry was held in February and March this year and the inspector announced his decision in July.
The council’s challenge will be welcomed by opponents of the scheme living in Blean, as well as the parish council which objected to the development.
It set up a legal fighting fund to help residents try and resist the new housing scheme, which city ward councillor Ben FitterHarding described as “development of the worst kind”.
Based in Cheshire, Gladman was formed in 1987 and has a turnover of £200 million, developing sites across the UK. But it has been criticised for targeting farmland for housing.
Plans for Blean could be challenged in the High Court