Developer Lochailort in legal first

Lochailort, developer of the Thames Quarter scheme in Reading, has won a landmark legal ruling in a case it has been fighting in Somerset.

The developer has completed an award-winning housing site called Fortescue Fields in the village of Norton St Philip and plans further new homes nearby.

However, the Norton St Philip Neighbourhood Plan, due to go to referendum on October 17, would have blocked Lochailort’s proposals because it included a number of local green spaces (LGS) which prevent future development.

Lochailort successfully argued at the Court of Appeal last week that the referendum should be postponed so that a judicial review of the neighbourhood plan being mounted by the developer, could take place first.

In its judicial review Lochailort says the plan as currently drafted does not meet basic conditions laid down in the National Planning Police Framework (NPPF) and that neither the independent examiner which recommended the plan to go to referendum, nor Mendip District Council, which accepted the recommendation, considered whether the LGS designations are consistent with sustainable development in the area.

Lochailort managing director Hugo Haig said: “It is truly tragic that we had to take this matter all the way, when,  if those in the parish council and at Mendip Council had just listened to what we were saying instead of being misled with the wrong advice.  Those involved should either resign or pay the bill as they have clearly shown a fragrant disregard to tax payers money.”

It is the first time an injunction has been granted to postpone a local referendum. Lochailort was awarded costs.

Image shows the award-winning Fortescue Fields development.

Press Release provided by Thames Tap

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