CASEBOOK: Court cases - Deer course lawfully designated as conservation area

Oxford's Wadham College has failed to overturn a decision by a local planning authority to designate Ravensdale Park near Derby as a conservation area, with the High Court concluding that the land was capable of being classified as an area of special architectural or historic interest.

The college claimed that the designation could obstruct its ability to secure planning permission for mineral extraction in the area. Amber Valley Borough Council argued, on the basis of specialist advice from English Heritage, that the site contained one of the finest and earliest examples of a deer course in England.

Mr Justice Evans-Lombe agreed that the local authority had the power to designate the land as a conservation area and that the area in question clearly had the necessary qualities to justify the classification. He dismissed the challenge, concluding that it was without merit.

Wadham College Oxford v Amber Valley Borough Council; Date: 20 October 2003; Ref: CO/2781/2003.

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