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A Harwich man has triumphed in a High Court fight against plans for a ...
A Harwich man has triumphed in a High Court fight against plans for a

77-house development in the town which he says would be too close to a

hazardous refinery, and would pose a problem if evacuation becomes necessary during an emergency.

Denis Saunders has persuaded senior London planning judge Mr Justice Sullivan, to

quash Tendring DC's grant of planning permission for the development of the

Brickfield Site, Una Road, by Barratt Eastern Counties Ltd. The council will now have to reconsider the planning application, in the light of the judge's ruling.

Mr Saunders argued that the council had failed to take into account the

proximity of the development to Carless Refinery, which he said was a

notifiable hazardous installation that has a large chemical storage tank,

and the impact the extra housing would have on the evacuation procedures in

an emergency.

He claimed that the council also failed to consider the environmental

capacity of the local roads, and whether they could support the extra

traffic the development will generate in environmental terms.

The council decision under challenge, taken in June, followed only four

months after it refused a near identical planning application for the same


In February, it rejected an application for full permission, while the

application it ultimately allowed was one for detailed approval for a

development, which had already been granted outline planning permission in

1993, renewed in 1998.

Mr Saunders attacked the latest the decision, claiming the council failed to give reasons for deciding to grant permission for a development that was

substantially the same as one for which it had only recently refused


In doing so, he also relied on the findings of a government planning

inspector who in August backed the council's February stance when the

developer appealed against the refusal of full plann ing permission.

The council claimed that, at all times, its planning officer had supported

the proposal, and that the clear inference was that the council committee

making the decision had been persuaded by his views. It also argued that,

following council elections in June, the committee was made up of different

members when the permission was granted.

However, backing Mr Saunders' challenge, Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that the

second incarnation of the council's planning committee had failed to take

into consideration the objections to the proposal raised by the earlier one. He said it had therefore followed an 'unfair' procedure.


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