My post dated 12 December https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2013/12/12/local-development-plan/ informs about the Local Development Plan (LDP) and its formal adoption by Solihull Council at the full meeting on 3 December. As readers will know, I support the LDP because it allows the borough and communities to identify a strategic and sustainable plan for housing development.
The LDP was signed off by the Planning Inspectorate, who believed the plan was sound and the phasing of development sound also. Developers had threatened a Judicial Review months before the LDP was adopted, with a QC acting behalf of Gallagher’s stating this verbally at the Lowbrook Farm planning inquiry.
I was informed on Wednesday last that Gallagher Estates and Lioncourt Homes have submitted an application to the High Court challenging the adoption of the Local Plan. The application, in part, reads:
The application seeks the following: a) an expedited hearing under s113 (3) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 ; and b) an interim order suspending the operation of para 11.6.6 of the SLP pending the determination of the pending Lowbrook farm appeal. Paragraph 11.6.6 reads: “The safeguarded land at Tidbury Green was removed from the Green Belt in the UDP 1997 for possible long term housing needs. Following assessment in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, this land is no longer considered suitable for development and is proposed to be returned to the Green Belt.”
In brief, and this is my interpretation of the application, the developers do not agree with two sites in Tidbury Green (Lowbrook Farm and Tidbury Green Farm) being returned to the Green Belt. As one resident had already commented to me “Well they would wouldn’t they?”
It is important to note that the LDP remains in place as the adopted development plan for the borough and can only be altered by a successful challenge via this judicial review. We are now in a position of the borough council providing substantial resources to defend a plan that is found to be sound by the planning inspectorate. The borough is preparing a robust response to the challenge.