Call for Funds – POW and the Court of Appeal Challenge
On June 24th the Court of Appeal (CoA) will hear the challenge to Waverley Borough Council’s (WBC’s) housing quota. Specifically the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW) aim to reduce the quota by 1,577 houses or around 14%. The crux of the challenge concerns a calculation of how much of Woking’s “unmet housing need” should be accepted into Waverley’s housing quota.
We have a good case. Appeals are not permitted to proceed unless they are considered to have an arguable case. The Right Honourable Lord Justice Singh said: “I am persuaded by the Appellants’ skeleton arguments that there is a compelling reason why these two appeals should proceed, namely the general importance of the issues of principle raised. It appears from those skeleton arguments that they have not been considered at the level of the Court of Appeal and it seems to me that they should be.”
This case represents a significant chance to stop at least some of the proposed development in our towns and villages. If the quotas are reduced the pressure from WBC to build, build, build will be reduced, relieving the pressure on infrastructure and preserving our countryside.
This table illustrates the potential impact across the Borough, although it would be for WBC to decide how the reduction will be distributed. For example, over 100 fewer houses would be needed in the small villages, and hundreds fewer in the larger settlements. (However, success in this appeal will not stop development of Dunsfold Park as planning permission has already been granted for 1,800 houses.)
What can you do to help?
POW needs to raise approximately £25k for our CoA challenge in case we fail: if we succeed, WBC will pay although we will still need funds to cover court costs and some of the fees for solicitors and Counsel. POW believes that funding should come from as wide an area as possible within Waverley as the whole Borough stands to benefit if we and CPRE win our case.
POW needs your help now. Please contribute funds to support this Appeal Case.
You can donate via the POW website:
You may wish to contribute directly or pledge – contact: website@POWCampaign.org
If you would like further information please do email POW stating a telephone number and one of the POW team will be happy to call.
The detail of the case:
This appeal follows a long history of opposition to Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1.
On 21st February, the Council for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW) were granted leave to appeal against the housing requirement set in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan Part 1: 590 a year including 83 to cover Woking Borough Council’s shortfall, called the “unmet need”. This appeal centres on how the “unmet need” in one borough is allocated to neighbouring boroughs. If the appeal succeeds, the housing requirement for 2013 – 2032 could be significantly reduced – by up to 83 a year or 1,577 over the life of the Plan.
In August 2016, Waverley Borough Council (WBC) published its draft Local Plan Part 1. An Examination in Public was held between 27th June and 6th July 2017 by Government Planning Inspector Jonathan Bore. During this hearing, Mr Bore increased the number of homes to be built from 519 to 590 a year, including 83 to meet Woking’s “unmet need”. WBC failed to challenge this increase. Mr Bore published his report, including the higher housing target, on 1st February 2018. WBC accepted it and adopted the Local Plan Part 1 on 20th February 2018.
On 29th March 2018 POW and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) both lodged ‘Section 113’ challenges against Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 on the basis of the need for housing. POW has campaigned throughout for a properly sustainable Local Plan for Waverley and this challenge was specifically against the housing target, and not the whole Plan. POW was granted leave to appeal against Waverley taking half of Woking’s “unmet need” and on 9th and 10th October 2018 a hearing was held in the High Court in London. However, Deputy Judge, Nathalie Lieven QC, rejected the challenge on 5th November.
On 27th November CPRE and POW sought leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal against the judgement delivered on 5th November. Leave to appeal was granted on 21st February and the case is currently scheduled to be heard on 24th June.
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