Today Waverley Borough Council issued a press release. It is misleading in that implies the case is halted. The fact is the two cases are still proceeding to court next month to be fought on the grounds accepted by the High Court judge back in July. We republish WBCs statement below followed by a response from POW to add a little balance.
Issued by Waverley Borough Council Wednesday 19 September 2018
Court of Appeal throws out Waverley planning challenges
Two appeals challenging Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan have been refused by a Court of Appeal judge.
The appeals, lodged by POWCampaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey, followed the High Court’s decision on 12 July 2018 to dismiss significant elements of challenges to the council’s Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s Dunsfold Park decision.
The rejected appeals sought to challenge the High Court’s decision to refuse permission to go to a full hearing in respect of the following grounds:
· that the council and the Local Plan Inspector failed to consider environmental constraints (in the context of calculating Waverley’s objectively assessed need)
· that both the council and the Inspector did not correctly apply the two-stage test as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “I am pleased the appeals against the High Court judge’s decision have been refused.
“This is a small victory for us but we will still need to defend the council’s position in the challenge to Woking’s unmet housing need allocation in Waverley’s Local Plan.
“We didn’t bring these legal challenges and don’t want to be in this situation. I believe our Local Plan is the best plan for the borough and we have a duty to defend it; having a sound Local Plan means we can defend and protect the borough from inappropriate development. That’s why, after careful consideration, we think it’s absolutely the right thing to set aside funds to be able to defend the legal challenges.
“We will continue to defend our Local Plan and to use it to guide planning decisions.”
The council and other parties will be attending a full hearing on 9 and 10 October 2018, which will consider challenges from POWCampaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey to Waverley’s Local Plan, relating to Woking’s unmet need allocation, and a challenge from POWCampaign Ltd to the grant of planning permission in respect of Dunsfold Park.
For further information contact:
Tel: 01483 523296
Web : www.waverley.gov.uk
Response from POW, 19th September 2018
POW and CPRE go to the High Court on October the 9th and 10th, with their challenge to the legality of Waverley Borough Council’s approval of their Local Plan.
In July a Judge decided in an oral hearing that parts of the POW and CPRE’s case had merit, but other grounds did not. POW and CPRE appealed on the rejected grounds and this week the appeal was dismissed. The principal grounds for the forthcoming cases remain – primarily the question of the burden of a housing quota for Woking’s unmet being placed on Waverley Borough. This will be heard in the High Court where Waverley will have to account for their actions. At the same court hearing POW are also challenging the legal basis for the SoS’s decision to approve Dunsfold Airfield development.
Quote from Bob Lees, Chairman of POW: “The situation is the same as when the High Court judge approved our case in July to go to full court in October. Waverley don’t need to defend the case – if POW and CPRE win this case they would seek a remedy of a reduction in the quota for housing – that will relieve some of the burden on the Borough of Waverley and Waverley Borough Council. This is not about the Local Plan failing. As for Waverley sending their legal team to attend the Secretary of State’s court case – that is their choice but is that really the best use of council tax payer’s money where the primary beneficiary of the SoS winning is a wealthy developer?”
“We have repeatedly asked WBC’s CEO to justify the council’s reasons for not considering a “do nothing” approach to the Court cases – I have yet to be re-assured they considered every option. Separately we have not received any justification from WBC for them spending £100,000 where they are not the defendant – they are merely an interested party in the SoS’s defence of the legal basis for approving a £1.1bn development of Dunsfold Airfield.”
Chairman POWCampaign Ltd on behalf of the Protect Our Waverley Campaign
For the correspondence with WBC click here: