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Protesters landed with £10,000 legal bill after losing High Court Adastral Park, Martlesham, homes appeal

PUBLISHED: 11:26 18 February 2015

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park

Archant

Campaigners are considering taking their case to the highest court in the land after three of the country’s leading judges threw out their appeal over proposals for 2,000 new homes at Martlesham Heath.

Last night the war of words continued, with the council accusing the protesters of creating planning uncertainty while the objectors said the council chose to bury its head in the sand rather than accept it had made mistakes.

It was the second defeat in the High Court for protest group No Adastral New Town (NANT).

Last year the court rejected its claims that housing chiefs at Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) had unlawfully cemented proposals for the homes at Adastral Park into its blueprint for development up to 2027, but it was then granted leave to appeal.

Yesterday the court announced that the appeal had also been dismissed and ordered NANT to pay £10,000 legal costs.

NANT had alleged the council had failed to recognise the environmental importance of the Deben Estuary in its Core Strategy.

SCDC welcomed the Court of Appeal decision and said the adjudication cleared the way to create much-needed new homes and jobs across the district.

Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for planning, said: “Whilst it is excellent news for local people that our Local Plan has once more been validated after detailed examination by the courts, it is incredibly frustrating that this protracted legal process has created such an unnecessary delay to our ability to implement the plan to provide new homes and jobs in Suffolk Coastal.

“We were always confident about the rigorous process we followed in drawing up the Local Plan would be found to be sound. Its development took nearly a decade, during which time it was open to public scrutiny and comment, before being given the final seal of approval by the independent Planning Inspectorate.

“We worked assiduously to carefully balance the needs of the community for affordable housing and new jobs in the area, while maintaining the environment and quality of life we all value.

“It is frustrating that a small number of people could undermine this essential development process, creating months of uncertainty and putting unnecessary pressure on the council when considering planning applications.”

NANT was “very disappointed” with the court ruling and is considering going to the Supreme Court. It had felt it had had a strong case after succeeding in the High Court in establishing that SCDC’s process of selecting the Adastral site was unlawful.

A spokeswoman said: “The Court of Appeal accepted that there had been no recognition of the Deben Estuary as an internationally important wildlife site until after the BT site had been selected as the preferred option.

“Nonetheless the court held that despite these failures of process, later consultation was sufficient to legitimise the council’s choice.

We find that hard to accept.

“The council chose to bury its head in the sand rather than accept it had made mistakes and genuinely seek to address them. It is hard to understand how the courts can allow this council to get away with such a sloppy process.”

17 comments

  • I work at Adastral Park and don't work for BT. The building I work in on site has 10 non BT companies in and that's just this building. Others on site have more.

    Report this comment

    Vincent Willcox

    Friday, February 20, 2015

  • NANT's legal costs have been funded by lots of individuals living locally. If we can't try to protect our countryside, who will? Not SCDC! As for Cllr Holdcroft's comment: “It is frustrating that a small number of people could undermine this essential development process", It is certainly not a minority - look at SCDC consultations. Many more objecting to the plan than supporting it.

    Report this comment

    meltonian

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • Not sure where some of these people live and what they read if they don't know that BT are not the only employers at Adastral Park. This development on brownfield land will be much better than building on green fields in Foxhall and Kesgrave and impose a much smaller burden on the public purse. It would be interesting if any private individuals contributed to NANTs funding. I doubt it.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • All that farmland going under concrete,and there won't be other companies going to the BT site they've had years to that and they haven't.But I have to ask where do all the people come from that are going to buy these homes? Still someone on the council is making a packet!

    Report this comment

    blowesyboy

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Tamara I generally like your comments but as I asked the last time this was raised and nant failed to answer the question , where is it OK to place the 6,000 homes odd that is needed in that district..New kesgrave used to be farm land until homes were needed..to me as its close to a main road (and the site was destined to be a brownfield site originally )it seems an ideal place for a new housing site... As is the area opposite near the dump.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • There won't be any more jobs. Adastral Park has never attracted other firms. This is purely about BT getting the right to make £100 million by selling taxcpayer's land.

    Report this comment

    AngloSaxonViking

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Ipswich Company Director, please mark your posting as SARCASM, or the commenters here won't get it..

    Report this comment

    AngloSaxonViking

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • The companies providing the jobs are unable to specify that the jobs must be filled by local applicants, and it won't be in there interest to do so anyway. The jobs will be open to all. The only guarantee to local people is further disruption to an already overcrowded road system.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • "Whilst it is excellent news for local people that our Local Plan has once more been validated " is an opinion, not a fact. Geoff Holdcroft has no right to state it as a fact. There are many people who find it appalling news.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Yesterday the rejection by SCDC of two planning applications for about 260 houses in Framlingham was reported as a victory for local democracy. Today SCDC welcomed the Court of Appeal decision and said the adjudication cleared the way to create much-needed new homes and jobs across the district. How on earth are 2000 homes in one location going to meet the need for new home across the district?

    Report this comment

    Mousemat

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • So much for the Tories 'Local Decisions' and 'Local Democracy' ?, all tory hogwash because their only real policy is PRIVATISATION of British Asset they can buy shares in !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Finally we get the go ahead.. Been 7 years waiting for this and as IT Consultants we need the work local.. Fantastic!!! We should now have Alcatel, Vodafone, Oracle moving into Adastral Park.. House prices will rocket :-)

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Company Director

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • NANT fund raise from the wealthy people living out in that part of the world. That's ok by me but everytiime they go to court, the taxpayer must incurr costs for case preparation and legal costs. Does the £10,000 costs awarded against NNTS cover all the costs incurred by all parties ?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • SCDC ... cleared the way to create ... jobs across the district." by screwing the tourist trade, which is the district's biggest earner...

    Report this comment

    AngloSaxonViking

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • "SCDC ... said the adjudication cleared the way to create much-needed new homes and jobs across the district" - creating across the district by putting them all in one place where there is no work (BT's promises are worth nothing).

    Report this comment

    AngloSaxonViking

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Schaden, and indeed, freude.

    Report this comment

    Origami Penguin

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • The questions now need to be asked about who has funded this campaign which has costvso much public money. It seems likely that the money must have come from other developers who's own schemes have been frustrated by this decision. Nobody else has anything to gain.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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

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