Court of Appeal dismisses challenge against 920-home Cheshire scheme

A Court of Appeal judge has dismissed a legal challenge against plans for the redevelopment of a former aerodrome near Stockport into a 920-home scheme.

Woodford Aerodrome (pic Ian Roberts via Flickr)
Woodford Aerodrome (pic Ian Roberts via Flickr)

The Court of Appeal decision means that developers now have the green light to knock down hangars and rip up the runways at Woodford Aerodrome and build up to 920 new homes.

Local landowner, Michael Kingsley, has led opposition to the plans, but Lord Justice Lindblom told him earlier this week that he has no chance of successfully challenging them.

Planning permission was granted to developers, Harrow Estates and Redrow Homes, by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in January.

Mark Willers QC, for Kingsley, said the plans were passed by a knife's edge with the planning committee's chairman casting the deciding vote.

Challenging the decision, the barrister said committee members had not been given the full picture by one of the council's planning officers.

The housing scheme, he claimed, would cover a larger area than the aerodrome structures they replaced and would seriously impact on the openness of the green belt

Grassed areas around runways and taxi strips had also wrongly been treated as having been already developed, he argued.

Dismissing the complaints, however, Lord Justice Lindblom said there was nothing "perverse" about the officer's "unassailable" advice.

Far from damaging the green belt, she had concluded that the housing scheme would be a "significant improvement" and "positively enhance" the area's appearance.

And the judge said she was entitled to take the view that removal of the aerodrome's runways and hardstandings would be beneficial.

Kingsley had no arguable grounds on which to challenge the grant of planning consent, the judge concluded.

R on the Application of Kingsley v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council & Ors. Case Number: C1/2015/2439

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