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Thornbury Planning Consent Confirmed
High Court dismisses South Glos Council's Judicial Review
07 March 2019

Landform Estates is pleased to be able to announce that the Judicial Review challenge, brought by South Gloucestershire District Council, to the grant of planning consent at Cleve Park in Thornbury was dismissed in the High Court earlier this week.

Planning consent for the 350 dwelling project was allowed on appeal in May 2018 but was the subject of a JR challenge by South Glos in June 2018. The right to the challenge was rejected on the papers in July 2018 however, South Glos DC sought an oral hearing at the High Court, which was heard in October 2018, at which time they were granted the right to proceed with a JR on the single issue of prematurity.

The JR was heard on 15 January in the High Court before Mrs Justice Lang. The argument advanced by South Glos was that the appeal inspector’s decision did not give adequate reasoning on the issue of prematurity for the Council to understand how they should deal with future planning applications. The Council claimed that the decision prejudiced them and should be quashed, and the appeal reheard.

Mrs Justice Lang considered that prematurity, which had not been given as one of the reasons for refusal by South Glos, had been both fully considered at the appeal hearing and was unable to accept that the way in which the Inspector formulated his reasons substantially prejudiced the Council. For these reasons the challenge to the adequacy of reasons failed and the application was dismissed. 

Given that South Glos had an admitted 5 year housing supply shortfall and that both Thornbury and the Cleve Park site were specifically identified in the emerging West of England JSP and the Council’s own draft Local Plan as the preferred location for housing, it is a little difficult to understand why the Council has spent so much time, money and effort resisting the grant of planning consent that had been originally recommended by their officers for approval.  

The Cleve Park proposals were jointly promoted by Landform and its long-term partner Welbeck Strategic Land. The 55-acre site, which includes 350 homes, a 70-bed care home, 14 self-build plots and 1,050 sqm of community and commercial facilities can now progress and the site will shortly be taken to the market for sale through agents David James & Partners and Webb Paton.

Erik Pagano
Landform Estates Ltd.