Council hit by judicial review challenge over planning permission for site near scheduled ancient monument

Campaigners have launched a judicial review challenge over Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s decision to grant planning permission for development on land adjacent to the Royal Military Canal, a scheduled ancient monument.

On 18 July 2019 the local authority granted planning permission for a leisure centre, up to 150 dwellings and associated commercial development at Princes Parade Promenade in Hythe. The council is the landowner.

The claimant is a local resident and a member of Save Princes Parade, a group of residents who objected to the application for planning permission.

There are two grounds of challenge:

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  1. The Officer’s Report significantly misled the Planning Committee by failing to advise it that the application breached policies CSD7 of the Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan (2013) and Policies TM8 and LR9 of the saved policies of the Shepway Local Plan (2006). “This is a virtually identical error to that found in R(Butler) v East Dorset District Council [2016] EWHC 1527 (Admin)…,” the claimant said.
  2. The Officer’s Report significantly misled the Planning Committee by failing to apply policies in the National Planning Policy Framework in relation to “areas at risk of flooding”.

Save Princes Parade has so far raised £5,195 towards its £30,000 stretch target on Crowd Justice for funding the judicial review challenge.

The Royal Military Canal was built as a defensive measure during the Napoleonic wars.

A Folkestone & Hythe District Council spokesperson said: “We are aware that a request to seek permission to apply for a judicial review has been lodged, and we are currently considering the nature of this claim. We believe we’ve followed due process and we plan to defend our position.”