East Northamptonshire Council have released a statement today after a high court judge refused the application of the Warth Park Opposition Groups (WPOG) application for a judicial review regarding the decision to allow the Warth Park development to go ahead
“East Northamptonshire Council welcomed the decision made on Tuesday, 31 October that the potential Judicial Review of the decision to grant planning permission on 29 March 2017 for the expansion of the Howdens facility at Warth Park, Raunds (ref ENC/16/ 02119/FUL) has not been given permission to proceed.
Applying for a Judicial Review of the council’s decision, the Claimant argued that the members of the planning committee had been misled as to the weight which could be applied to an emerging Neighbourhood Plan Policy.
Refusing the application at an oral renewal hearing, the High Court judge stated that she did not accept the claimant’s submission that members were misled and that the Claimant’s case was unarguable. She further commented that the officer report was impeccable. The Claimant has the right, with seven days of the decision, to apply to the Court of Appeal.
Councillor Steven North, Leader of the Council, welcomed the decision and noted that it “Vindicates the conduct and approach of the members of the council’s Planning Management Committee and officers, in reaching the decision on the Warth Park planning application.”
The council will continue to seek to recover any costs it can in relation to its defence of its decision.”
Members of the WPOG are clearly disappointed with the result and have expressed this on the Stop Warth Park Facebook group where residents are asked to no longer add any funds via the donation page, as these amounts may simply end up being recovered by ENDC or Roxhill. The Crowd Justice page has since been taken down.
It is our understanding that should the Judicial review have been accepted then there would have been further protection of the monies that were donated by the local community, however since this was not granted, the same rules do not apply.
It is now up to the Judge to decide if any or how much funds can be allocated to Roxhill / ENDC or whether any of the funds can be used to pay for the solicitors and barrister who have been working on this case.