Martlesham Heath: Planning boss takes dim view of campaigners’ legal plea
18:22 25 June 2014
A district planning chief has disparaged a campaign group’s attempt to persevere with a legal fight to prevent 2,000 homes being built in Suffolk.
No Adastral New Town (NANT) wants judges to reconsider granting an appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of its challenge of Suffolk Coastal’s core housing strategy.
The strategy was approved by the government last year and includes residential development at BT’s Adastral Park in Martlesham.
Geoff Holdcroft, the council’s head of planning shared his frustration at NANT’s request that the decision against an appeal be reconsidered at an oral hearing, despite the Court of Appeal recently turning down a written application.
But NANT hit back, saying that if the council had “properly carried out its obligations in the first place, there would have been no need for us to take the matter to court”.
Mr Holdcroft yesterday told a development committee: “This will inevitably lead to a delay in our ability to move forward with the Core Strategy to create the much-needed jobs and homes in this area, including the affordable house required by young families and low wage earners in the district.
“It is frustrating that a small number of people are continuing to seek to undermine this essential development process, but we remain confident in the rigorous process we followed in drawing up the Core Strategy.”
NANT argues the development - for which a detailed planning application has yet to be submitted - would have an adverse impact on the Deben Estuary - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Special Protection Area (SPA).
The group’s Janet Elliot said: “Councillor Holdcroft is clearly confused when he refers to a ‘small number of people’ continuing to challenge Suffolk Coastal’s reckless disregard for the internationally recognised Deben Estuary SPA. NANT is a large group of people - approximately 4,000 - from across the whole district.
“It is quite wrong to blame NANT for the present delay. If Suffolk Coastal had properly carried out its obligations in the first place there would have been no need for us to take the matter to court.”