Court of Appeal dismisses challenge to permission for 1,700-home scheme

The Court of Appeal has rejected a judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission for a 1,700-home development.

Mansfield District Council had granted permission on 17 April 2013 for the large mixed use development close to Harlow Wood. The development extends over 169 hectares off the A617 Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route.

A judicial review challenge was brought by Susan Savage, one of a group of local residents who object to the development.

In Savage, R (on the application of) v Mansfield District Council & Anor [2015] EWCA Civ 4 the claimant’s grounds of challenge centred on alleged defects in that consultation process. These grounds were:

  1. 
The council did not follow Natural England's advice to carry out a "risk-based assessment" and by not doing so failed to comply with its legal duty;

  2. The council's officers misled the council's planning committee about Natural England's true position and their decision might have been different but for that fact;

  3. The council ought to have reconsidered the position between the date on which they resolved to grant planning permission and the date on which they actually granted it because there had been a material change of circumstances; and

  4. One provision of a section 106 agreement was unlawful.

The Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the claim on all grounds.

The Executive Mayor of Mansfield, Tony Egginton, said: "We are extremely pleased with the outcome. This development and the much-needed high quality family homes and employment opportunities it will bring are vital for the regeneration and growth of the entire district. 

"It has been a long hard battle but the council has always maintained its position and robustly defended its original decision to grant outline planning permission. We are delighted that work is due to start in the coming months."

Shlomo Dowen, from the Stop the Lindhurst Development campaign, told the BBC: "There is the potential for a supreme court challenge but that has not yet been decided, so there is uncertainty there.

"But absolutely the local residents' campaign does not end here, no opinions have been changed by the ruling today."

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