3,000 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar

www.barrowvoice.co.uk

Spring 2014



 

 

 


Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.

Advertising Deadline
28th April 2014

Copy Deadline
28th April 2014
Copy to:
The Editor
55, Thirlmere Road,
Barrow upon Soar,
LE12 8QQ
editor@barrowvoice.co.uk

 

Barrow Parish Council challenges Government’s ruling to allow 300 houses at Melton Road

It is an obvious strength of our legal system that the least powerful in our system of governance is able to challenge the most powerful. This is what happened when Barrow Parish Council (BPC) sought a Judicial Review of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s decision to allow an appeal by Jelson Homes to build 300 houses at Melton Road.

The Judicial review ( JR) was heard in the High Court in London on 27th and 28th January 2014 by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Collins, QC. BPC was represented by John Pugh-Smith, QC , The Secretary of State by Steven Whales, QC and Jelson Homes by Christopher Lockhart- Mummery, QC, in Court Room No.2 of the High Court.

Previously, in July 2010 Jelson Homes submitted a planning application to build 300 houses at Melton Road. This was rejected twice by Charnwood Borough Council planning committee. Jelson Homes appealed and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local government agreed with the Planning Inspector’s recommendation and upheld the appeal. Barrow Parish Council sought legal advice and were advised to seek a Judicial Review in the High Court. Following a public meeting held in Summer 2012 it was agreed, with financial conditions, that the Parish Council should seek a Judicial Review. Throughout the various stages of this planning application there has been considerable objection from the village and support for BPC by attending public meetings and writing letters of objection to this proposal. 700 letters of objection were written to the original application and over 1300 residents signed a petition against.

The case presented to the High Court on behalf of BPC focused on the deliver-ability of the site. Planning law requires a site to have a ‘realistic prospect’ to provide homes within five years of the planning permission given. Te Judges attention was drawn to the difficulties occurring now with the foul drainage system (sewers) adjacent to the site and BPC’s consultants report which pointed to the possibility of a major upgrading of the pipe work. Te responsibility for this system lies with Severn Trent Water (STW) and it was clear that Jelson Homes had had no discussion at any stage with STW to determine whether or not an additional 300 houses connected to the foul drain would be possible or if the system is at capacity. If an upgrade is required then there will be a considerable cost with the attendant works planning and cost. Te time factor involved may fall beyond five years.

Some local residents believe the system is at capacity now because it has surcharged, uplifting manhole covers and spilling raw sewage on to their gardens.

The response of Jelson Homes was to say they are a reputable developer with the foul drainage existed. They did not present any evidence to show they have had discussion with STW to ascertain the capacity of the system.

In a second ground for appeal, the BPC barrister referred to the amount of building which has taken place in the village without the necessary uplift in services and infrastructure. Oversubscribed medical services, schools, and roads and now it seems the sewers. He also referred to the draft Charnwood Core Strategy for development which would build on average around two homes per annum in the village over the next fifteen years (200 houses in 7 Service centres in Charnwood between 2013 and 2028). Te Judge expressed some sympathy with BPC and the people of Barrow for the amount of additional housing they have endured in the last ten years. Te barrister for BPC contended that the Secretary of State’s decision should have given more weight to the draft Core Strategy, the evidence presented by BPC at the Public Inquiry and the amount of houses built in the last ten years.

It may be that the Judge’s decision will be known before you receive this copy of Barrow Voice. It will be posted on the PC website and in the PC office window.

Alan Willcocks