Legal victory for resident as consent for six-home village development is quashed

Fields in Hartest Picture: ARCHANT

Fields in Hartest Picture: ARCHANT

Controversial plans for a six-home development in a west Suffolk village will have to be reconsidered after a High Court judge quashed the council’s grant of consent.

Babergh District Council granted planning permission for six single-storey two and three-bedroom houses on part of a paddock off Lawshall Road in Hartest, near Bury St Edmunds, in December last year.

The decision was against the advice of council officers, who cited landscape harm and accessibility as reasons to refuse the Lewis Morgan Ltd development.

Now following the High Court ruling, the scheme on the eastern side of the village will have to reconsidered before it can go ahead.

The ruling marked a victory for Hartest resident Clive Gare, whose home overlooks the site, after he launched a judicial review to challenge the council's decision.

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Mr Gare presented six points to fight the council's decision, which included "failure to give reasons for the decision to grant planning permission" and "failure to determine whether or not, and the extent to which, the development proposal complies with the development plan".

At the High Court in London on July 26, Judge Martin Rodger QC upheld those two complaints and quashed the consent.

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Babergh had previously granted consent for the development in February 2018, which was also against planning officers' recommendations.

The decision to grant permission was quashed by the High Court in June 2018 - also because the council had failed to supply adequate reasons.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said: "We are disappointed with this decision, having maintained throughout that our committee was correct in its decision making process.

"We will now study the full judgment in detail, and consider how best to proceed with this application."

Should the application come back for a second decision, it will be made by Babergh's planning committee held in a meeting open to the public.

As the original decision was taken by the committee, there would be no scope for a delegated/officer decision on the development - it would be a planning committee decision again.

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