Plans for homes on farm­land face High Court ap­peal

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Dreadful Secret Of Reed Pond - By Gerry War­ren gwar­ren@thek­m­ @Ger­ry_war­ren

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

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