Developer's bid to block neighbourhood plan fails in High Court

A developer's legal bid to overturn a Buckinghamshire neighbourhood plan was today thrown out by the High Court.

Winslow 'Yes' vote campaigners. Pic: Winslow Town Council
Winslow 'Yes' vote campaigners. Pic: Winslow Town Council

A judge in London rejected the judicial review claim by Gladman Developments to the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan in Aylesbury Vale.

The firm wanted to overturn Aylesbury Vale District Council’s decision to allow the plan to proceed to referendum and then to ‘make’ or adopt the document.

Prepared by Winslow Town Council, the plan allocates five sites for 455 new homes up to 2031.

The court heard that Gladman was promoting three sites in the neighbourhood plan area for hundreds of new homes. But the document did not allocate these three sites for housing.

Gladman objected to policies in the plan that restrict development to land within the "Winslow Settlement Area" and also argued that its housing target was not based on an objective assessment of local need.

Dismissing the claim, Mr Justice Lewis ruled that the council had been fully entitled to refer the neighbourhood plan to a referendum, and to make it after residents voted in favour of it.

He also found that the plan’s examiner, Nigel McGurk, had complied with national planning policy and European Union law and gave good reasons in recommending that the plan proceed to referendum.

"Consequently, the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan is lawful," he said.

In July, the developer failed in its legal bid to block a referendum on the neighbourhood plan from taking place.

The court heard that the firm is planning a further legal challenge to the decision last month by communities secretary Eric Pickles to refuse its application for 211 homes on one of the three sites.

Llew Monger, town councillor and chairman of the neighbourhood plan steering group, said: "This is a great outcome for all the people who worked so hard on the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan, and for all the communities currently preparing neighbourhood plans."

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