Swindon Borough Council has confirmed they will be taking the Berkeley Farm Planning Application to Judicial Review. Swindon Borough Council has said they will make the challenge in the High Court following legal advice from a planning QC.
The legal challenge to the planning inspector’s decision will be brought under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The Swindon Labour Group have said they are opposed to Swindon Council will taking to Judicial Review the Berkeley Farm Planning Appeal decision, saying this would be a colossal waste of money.
The Labour Group have pointed to a Judicial Review in 2013 by the Cotswold District Council, where a planning application for 250 homes in Tetbury was granted on appeal by the inspector for the “persistent under-delivery of homes”, cost the District Council £120K. This decision was eventually upheld at Judicial Review by the judge.
The Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Strategic Planning, Councillor Jim Robbins, said:
“Taking this planning decision to Judicial Review would be the biggest waste of money in recent years by this Council. This planning application has already cost the Swindon taxpayer £35K by losing the appeal to the planning inspector and now they want to spend more than £120K on a Judicial Review.
A similar planning application to Berkeley Farm, in Tetbury, was taken to Judicial Review and the planning permission was upheld because of a persistent under-delivery of homes built, the same reason the Berkeley Farm application was granted.
If the Conservative administration go-ahead with this Judicial Review at huge cost, the only winner will be the Planning lawyers who will be defending the developer and Swindon Council and making huge sums of cash. When they are spending £100k on this and yet are closing children children’s centres and expecting Swindon residents to afford a 4% increase in Council-tax, one can only conclude that there is only money available for pet political projects of this Conservative administration.”