Judge dismisses permission for judicial review over neighbourhood plan

A second application by a developer to hold up the adoption of the Kelvedon Neighbourhood Plan has been dismissed by a Judge.

Since 2015, Kelvedon Parish Council has been working on a Kelvedon Neighbourhood Plan with Braintree District Council, which sets out planning policies and allocations in a neighbourhood area and is used to help determine planning applications.

The Neighbourhood Plan was independently examined by an Examiner in November 2021 and, subject to modifications, was sent to a referendum on 3 March 2022. The results showed that 94% of those who voted said they would like the community-led Neighbourhood Plan to be used by Braintree District Council in determining planning applications.

A legal challenge was issued by Parker Strategic Land Ltd who sought to overturn Braintree District Council’s decision to submit the Neighbourhood Plan to referendum and thereby stop the Neighbourhood Plan being adopted by the Council. On 12 April 2022, a High Court Judge dismissed all grounds put forward by Parker Strategic Land Ltd and ordered them to pay the Council’s costs.

The developer since then sought to renew their application for permission to apply for a Judicial Review which was dismissed by an Upper Tribunal Judge on 9 June 2022.

Cllr Graham Butland, Leader of Braintree District Council, said: “We are pleased that the judge has refused the developer’s renewed application for a Judicial Review. Now we can finally move forward with getting the neighbourhood plan adopted, which we know is important to residents as it will be crucial in shaping future growth and development in Kelvedon

A joint statement from Kelvedon and Feering ward councillors Cllr Jenny Sandum and Cllr Paul Thorogood, said: “This is fantastic news for Kelvedon and pleased that we can now move forward with getting this neighbourhood plan adopted to help protect it from large-scale speculative development.” 

Cllr India Jayatillake, Chairman of Kelvedon Parish Council, said: “Kelvedon Parish Council is pleased to hear that Parker Strategic Land is no longer pursuing a judicial review of the Kelvedon Neighbourhood Plan, which had been overwhelmingly supported by residents at the referendum held in March.

“We're very grateful to Braintree District Council for their support during this process and especially for the expertise of their legal team in helping to defend the Plan.

“It's wonderful for the efforts of Kelvedon's Neighbourhood Plan volunteers over the course of several years to be recognised by having Braintree District Council formally adopt the Plan in the near future and we hope that this will also ensure that Kelvedon's residents are given a strong voice in determining how any development in the village should be undertaken in the future.”

The developer had the right to appeal against the decision to the Court of Appeal within 7 days which was not taken up.

A report to adopt the Kelvedon Neighbourhood Plan is planned to go to a meeting of Full Council on Monday, 25 July 2022 and if approved, the plan will then be used in determining future planning applications that come forward in the parish area.

Published: 22nd June 2022