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District wins first ever judicial review challenge to decision of planning inspector

Tendring District Council has won its first ever judicial review challenge over a decision of a planning inspector.

The inspector, Jason Whitfield, had granted developer Ray Chapman Associates planning permission for a 175-home scheme on the outskirts of Clacton. Tendring had refused the application in June 2016.

The council said that neither the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government nor the applicant was to defend the challenge.

It added that it was still waiting for information on why the challenge was not being contested having put forward three reasons for challenging the inspector’s decision.

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It is now expected that the appeal decision will be quashed - with a new appeal to be held in front of a different planning inspector next year.

Tendring Leader Neil Stock, who chairs the council’s Local Plan Committee, said the challenge had been a huge step for the council to take.

“Going for a judicial review in the High Court against Her Majesty’s Planning Inspectorate is certainly not something you enter into lightly,” he said.

“It is not something this council has done before but our planning officers were of the view that the appeal decision was flawed. We took legal advice and felt we had a strong case. We went out on a limb on this one and I am very proud of the outcome so far.”

Cllr Stock added: “We have won this particular battle but we have not yet won the war as there will be a further inquiry in front of another inspector and we do not know what the outcome will be.”

Tendring is also challenging an appeal decision to allow 132 new homes to be built in Sladburys Lane, Clacton.

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