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High Court gives green light to legal challenge over planning permission for development next to Royal Military Canal

A High Court judge has granted campaigners permission to bring a judicial review challenge over Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s (FHDC’s) decision to grant planning permission for development on land adjacent to the Royal Military Canal.

A scheduled ancient monument, the canal was built as a defensive measure during the Napoleonic wars.

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.

In an update to its Crowd Justice fundraising page, campaign group Save Princes Parade said Mr Justice Supperstone had determined its case as being arguable on both of the two grounds advanced.

The group had previously said these grounds were that:

  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).
  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 Prince’s Parade said: “Were FHDC permitted to proceed with this development it would be an environmental catastrophe, as well as being contrary to the decision of Full Council on 26th June 2019 to abandon the planning application and build the Leisure Centre on Martello Lakes.

“We all want a replacement for Hythe’s ailing swimming pool and it remains unbelievable that FHDC have failed to recognise that the only sensible option for the new leisure centre is to build it on Martello Lakes. We now possess evidence that the costs for building it there will be much cheaper than previously estimated.”

It is expected that the judicial review will take place in March 2020.

Law firm Richard Buxton Solicitors is advising the claimant.

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