Last night (Monday 19 November) Buckingham Town Council decided not to take legal action against AVDC regarding the decision to approve an application to build a Crown Care Home on land behind the Grand Junction Public House (13 High Street).
The Council had obtained an expert legal opinion as to whether the Town Council had reasonable grounds to instigate a Judicial Review in the High Court of the recent planning decision. The Town Council had six weeks from the date the decision was made – Friday 26 October – to decide whether to launch an appeal.
The Council considered the legal advice provided by Mark Westmoreland-Smith. The full legal opinion provided is available here.
The Council was advised that while there may have been grounds to pursue a case, there would have been “limited benefit in going to court in the context of policy EE5 where it is clear that (AVDC) is intent on granting planning permission.”
Councillor Mark Cole JP, Chairman of the Town Council’s Planning Committee, said:
“Although the legal advice to Buckingham Town Council was that while we might have had a reasonable case against AVDC on the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan ground, but not on the National Planning Policy Framework ground, he was not persuaded as to the overall merit of our making a claim. He felt that even if it was successful, AVDC was determined to grant planning permission one way or the other.
“I hope that AVDC (and its successor) will now be on alert, and take note that towns and parishes are prepared to fight to protect their Neighbourhood Plans, which are the wishes of their residents. We have not won, but neither have we lost, as this money has been well spent in obtaining this advice, of which we can make full use as we start to prepare revisions to our Neighbourhood Development Plan in the coming year.”