Planning permission for 210 village homes quashed in the High Court

An indicative CGI image of what the Bloor Homes 210-home development in Beyton Road, Thurston, could

An indicative CGI image of what the Bloor Homes 210-home development in Beyton Road, Thurston, could look like - Credit: Bloor Homes

A judge has quashed planning consent for 210 homes in the village of Thurston following a two-day hearing at the High Court.

Thurston Parish Council had lodged a judicial review against Mid Suffolk District Council's planning permission for the Bloor Homes estate off Beyton Road.

The parish council alleged district council committee members were wrongly advised on the weight to be given to the Neighbourhood Plan, which did not allocate the site for development.

It also believed the committee was wrongly advised on planning balance and that the decision prejudices the Local Plan process, which has not yet been completed.

The Local Plan for Mid Suffolk and Babergh will determine where 17,500 new homes are built across these two districts over the next 15 years.

The judge has ordered that the planning permission for the Bloor Homes scheme be quashed and sent back to Mid Suffolk District Council to be re-determined.

bob mcgeady

Bob McGeady from Ashtons Legal - Credit: Dave Richardson/BigPhatPhotos

Bob McGeady led the team at Ashtons Legal acting for Thurston Parish Council and instructed Meyric Lewis of FTB Chambers.

Mr McGeady said following the judgment: "This is an important case as it reminds local authorities that where there is an up-to-date Neighbourhood Plan they cannot lightly ignore it and they must take decisions in accordance with its provisions.

“It was obvious to us from the outset that the council had misdirected itself and was undermining the Local Plan process.

Most Read

"By granting planning permission, the council was depriving interested parties and individuals of the ability to have their concerns properly considered by the Local Plan Inspector."

beyton road thurston

Showing the land south of Beyton Road, Thurston - Credit: Google Earth

The planning application was made by Bloor Homes in 2019 with formal permission approved in December 2020.

The final matters - layout, scale, appearance and landscaping - for Bloor Homes’ proposal were taken off Mid Suffolk's planning committee agenda at the last minute in 2021, as judicial review proceedings continued.

The village is facing huge growth, with developments in the pipeline set to bring about 1,000 new homes.

Victoria Waples, clerk to Thurston Parish Council, said: "I would like to thank our legal team for all the hard work they put into this case on our behalf.

"The Thurston Neighbourhood Development Plan that was recently adopted in October 2019 sought to restrict development to keep it within the revised village boundary to give the new developments time to be assimilated.

"The parish council has consistently objected to the district council’s proposed strategy for the village as the Local Plan has been developed."

She added that hopefully now the district council would "go back to the drawing board" and properly evaluate sites in accordance with the recommendations from the Local Plan Inspector.

We attempted to approach Mid Suffolk District Council and Bloor Homes for comment.