The last-ditch attempt to get legal representative to go for judicial review against the planning inspectors’ decision got underway on Tuesday with the official deadline day for making the application Thursday.
A special meeting of the council to discuss the proposal from Councillor Alex Phillips to seek judicial review was held at the Shirehall on Tuesday evening when councillors voted to leave the final decision to the group leaders after every avenue was explored.
The plans for 182 units of care accommodation and 75-bed nursing home faced major opposition, with protests when a planning inquiry was held in January. Protestors said the Hencote development would ruin the Winney Hill beauty spot.
At Tuesday’s town council meeting a petition signed by 320 residents was handed into the meeting by protestor, Mr Ben Jephcott, urging the town council to apply for a judicial review.
He said: “This has been a shadow over our lives over the past eight years. This hillside, a valued part of our countryside and the green lungs of our town, has been gradually eaten away.”
“Elected councillors never voted on this at any stage. People are deeply, deeply concerned.”
Helen Ball, clerk to the town council, said she had contacted two solicitors and planning consultants and had not yet found a legal representative to take on the judicial review.
“The planning consultant said that ‘it would be a big waste of public money to challenge this’ and I don’t believe that we have enough information to complete the application to seek judicial review,” she said.
She said she could not see how the application could be submitted within the next 24 hours.
Chairing the town council meeting Councillor Alan Moseley said: “I don’t think a judicial review against Shropshire Council would succeed as it did not make the decision.
“I have taken my grandkids sledging on Winney Hill. The view will be spoilt for future generations. But can we come up with a case that is strong enough and has the credibility to take to a judicial review against the planning inspectorate?”
Councillor Julian Green said: “We should not give up tonight, we have 24 hours to see if we can do this.”
He also called for a strong letter of protest to Shropshire Council over its handling of the application.
Councillor Nat Green, chair of the town’s planning committee, agreed. He said: “This has been a catalogue of errors that has brought us here. This is a major development and it should have gone to Shropshire Council’s planning committee as a matter of course, not dealt with by officers. It was dealt with in an appalling way.”
It was agreed that a formal letter of complaint be send to Shropshire Council over the way that the planning matter had been dealt with.
Source By https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/shrewsbury/2023/04/11/last-ditch-attempts-to-be-made-to-seek-judicial-review/