Judicial review reaches High Court

Judicial review reaches High Court

Saturday, January 6, 2024

The judicial review into whether the planning appeal over Harts Farm was legal, reaches the High Court on Wednesday 17 January. Court judges have decided to combine the hearing with a similar case from North Somerset. Redrow PLC have brought the case because they believe that Planning inspector, Joanne Gilbert, made three legal errors when determining last summer's appeal.

They allege that she misinterpreted the words ‘appropriate’ for the proposed development when assessing whether there were alternative sites with a lower flood risk which could be used.

They further claim that her use of ‘reasonably available’ in relation to alternatives was wrong in law and that she failed to have regard to housing need in the Borough. The planning appeal, which was held over the summer, was for 310 houses, a primary school and community facilities on the 18 hectare green belt site in Little Bushey Lane.

The first defendant in the challenge is the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with Hertsmere Borough Council cited as the second dependent.

It is expected that legal arguments and the North Somerset case will be heard on 17th, which Hertsmere officers and counsel will give evidence on 18th. Joe Cannon from Cornerstone barristers will again represent Hertsmere.

If the DLUHC and Hertsmere lose the case then the appeal will be re run. The outcome will have an impact not only on Harts Farm and Hertsmere Borough but on other sites where there is a flood risk.

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