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Campaigners launch Supreme Court appeal against Suffolk Coastal’s 2,000 home proposals for Martlesham Heath

PUBLISHED: 06:01 18 March 2015 | UPDATED: 07:32 18 March 2015

Aerial view of Adastral Park and surrounding area. Photo by Cliff Hoppitt - airshots.co.uk.

Aerial view of Adastral Park and surrounding area. Photo by Cliff Hoppitt - airshots.co.uk.

Cliff Hoppitt - airshots.co.uk

Planners in east Suffolk face more months of uncertainty after a long-running housing row escalated to the highest court in the land.

No Adastral New Town (NANT) submitted a last minute appeal to the Supreme Court today in a final attempt to block the proposals for 2,000 homes to be built at Martlesham Heath, as outlined in Suffolk Coastal’s Core Strategy.

The deadline day appeal comes after three of the country’s leading judges threw out NANT’s latest High Court challenge in February and ordered the group to pay £10,000 in costs. NANT’s previous High Court hearing, in February 2014, had also been rejected.

Despite the knock backs, NANT maintains it has established, through the previous appeals, that there were “two instances of unlawful conduct at critical stages in Suffolk Coastal’s decision-making process”.

A spokesman for the group said the council’s process of selecting the Adastral site was “unlawful” and the council itself accepted its consultation to double the number of houses on the site to 2,000 was also unlawful,

“Nonetheless, the courts held that despite these failures of process, later ‘consultation’ was sufficient to retrospectively legitimise the council’s choice,” the spokesman added.

“We do not think that this can be correct. Suffolk Coastal seems incapable of accepting that its decisions were based on an unlawful process and without the necessary evidence base, and as a consequence has made no attempt to genuinely seek to address its failings.”

“We are advised by our lawyer that our case raises serious issues about due process in both domestic and EU environmental law.”

Suffolk Coastal District Council has reacted with disappointment to the news, which it says will create further delays in the creation of “much-needed homes and jobs across the district”.

Geoff Holdcroft, who is responsible for planning at the council, said the appeal was “extremely disappointing and frustrating”.

“This protracted legal process has already created a completely unnecessary delay to implementation of the plan to provide new homes and jobs in Suffolk Coastal,” he added.

“The Local Plan has already been examined in detail and validated through two court cases. These came after we spent nearly a decade developing the Plan, during which time it was open to public scrutiny and comment, before it being given the final seal of approval by the independent Planning Inspectorate.”

“It is frustrating that a small number of people can continue to drag out this process and undermine this essential development process, creating years uncertainty and putting unnecessary pressure on the Council’s ability to protect our unique environment when considering other planning application.”

Mr Holdcroft said the Appeal Court judges “could not have been clearer in their dismissal of the previous action”.

“Yet we are now faced the possibility of a third round of legal action,” he added.

“Although this is extremely frustrating, Suffolk Coastal remains confident that it can successfully defend the Local Plan against any further action and believe the rigorous process we followed when drawing it up will once again be found to be sound.”

10 comments

  • Fultime as I understand it most of the NANT people live in Walderingfield, miles away from Martlesham, and their campaign money comes from developers who want to build elsewhere.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

  • and where do you live?

    Report this comment

    fultime

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

  • I doubt anyone who is on the side of the new town live anywhere near it like we do. The amount of traffic just being brought into our area because of a few new shops by Tesco's tells us how horrendous the surrounding roads will become if they are allowed to build this new town, we escaped to Suffolk from a busy town for a nice peaceful country life surrounded by fields and we will end up with a huge new town right on top of us. I truly hope NANT win but I very much doubt it because there is obviously a lot of people who will gain big time financially from this and of course they really don't care about ordinary people just trying to live there lives.

    Report this comment

    fultime

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

  • NANT have campaigned against what is a perfectly sound housing proposal to meet the much needed housing (and schooling) in this area. I, like a previous person commenting, do not agree with NANT and think the plans should go ahead. If NANT are going to successfully appeal they need to provide sound alternative proposals as to where the much needed housing is going to be provided, and from what I can see, most of the alternative sites are smaller pockets of land, providing a few houses and therefore none of them are required to provide schooling, so tell me please, where will all of the kids that will live in these houses go to school because all the local schools are full !!

    Report this comment

    DebenBlue

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • Sometimes you have to know when to let it go.... like an addicted gambler, sometimes it seems like "one more attempt might be the one" but throwing good money after bad is not necessarily going to change the world.

    Report this comment

    be36

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • Not everyone living in our area agrees with NANT, especially when they coming knocking at your door asking for yet more donations to pay for another round of court case costs.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • Good luck NANT. I don't think you stand much chance against the kind of big money that's involved, but I sincerely hope you prove me wrong.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • Not a clearly written article..have they won the right to appeal ?...as they can appeal but it's not necessarily the case that the court will grant the appeal...If that was the intention of the group to go to the supreme court then why didn't they just use the leap frog system and cut out all the other high court appeal nonsense..time wasting or what...and it matters as not all costs are covered by the courts so ultimately the local tax payer pays for it.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • Geoff Holdcroft is a piece of work, isn't he? He says " the Council’s ability to protect our unique environment" when SCDC's proposals work by screwing our unique [internationally important] environment. And then he talks about "plan to provide new homes and jobs in Suffolk Coastal". What jobs would that be, Geoff? There are no new jobs created anywhere by your illegal plans.

    Report this comment

    AngloSaxonViking

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • Somebody must stand to make a lot of money from delaying this development. Could it be the developers with options on land around Kesgrave?

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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