Council defeated in High Court action

A HARWICH man has triumphed in a High Court fight against plans for a 77-house development.DenisSaunders has persuaded top planning judge in London, Mr Justice Sullivan, to quash Tendring District Council's grant of planning permission for the development of the Brickfield Site, Una Road, Harwich, by Barratt Eastern Counties Ltd.

A HARWICH man has triumphed in a High Court fight against plans for a 77-house development.

DenisSaunders has persuaded top planning judge in London, Mr Justice Sullivan, to quash Tendring District Council's grant of planning permission for the development of the Brickfield Site, Una Road, Harwich, by Barratt Eastern Counties Ltd. The Council will now have to reconsider the planning application, in the light of the judge's ruling.

Mr Saunders said the development would be too close to a hazardous refinery, and would pose a problem if evacuation becomes necessary during an emergency.

He argued that the Council had failed to take into account the proximity of the development to Carless Refinery, which he said was a notifiable hazardous installation that has a large chemical storage tank, and the impact of the extra housing would have on the evacuation procedures in an emergency.


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He claimed that the Council also failed to consider the environmental capacity of the local roads, and whether they could support the extra traffic the development will generate in environmental terms.

The Council decision under challenge, taken in June, followed four months after it refused a near identical planning application for the same land.

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In February, it rejected an application for full permission, while the application it ultimately allowed was one for detailed approval for a development, which had already been granted outline planning permission in 1993, renewed in 1998.

Mr Saunders crticised the latest decision, claiming the Council failed to give reasons for deciding to grant permission for a development that was substantially the same as one for which it had only recently refused permission.

In doing so, he also relied on the findings of a Government planning inspector who in August backed the council's February stance when the developer appealed against the refusal of full planning permission.

The council claimed that, at all times, its planing officer had supported the proposal, and that the clear inference was that the council committee making the decision had been persuaded by his views. It also argued that, following council elections in June, the committee was made up of different members when the permission was granted.

Backing Mr Saunders' challenge, Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that the second incarnation of the council's planning committee had failed to take into consideration the objections to the proposal raised by the earlier one.

He said it had therefore followed an "unfair" procedure.

Dave Kirkman, chairman of the Parkeston Environmental Group, said after the ruling: "We are delighted, we have been fighting this for three years."

Mr Saunders of Edward Street said: "We are all delighted with this decision, there was community wide support and most people did not want to see the development."

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