ahead at London's high court next month.
A developer who is seeking to have part of the Plan quashed, in the hope of winning the right to build up to 550 homes in Thatcham, has failed in a bid to put the hearing off until next year.
Newcastle-based Bellway Homes Ltd is challenging the council's decision not
to allocate land at Siege Cross Farm, Thatcham, which it has an option to
purchase, for housing development in the Plan and is set to put its case in
a four-day hearing starting on 11 December.
However, it also has an appeal to deputy prime minister John Prescott, the
secretary of state responsible for planning, against the council's refusal
of planning permission for the development. That challenge is scheduled for March next year, and today it asked Mr justice Maurice Kay to adjourn next month's hearing until after then.
However, ruling that there was a wider interest in both the council and
other affected people knowing with certainty whether the 2002 Local Plan is
totally effective in its current form, the judge said that he would not
contemplate putting it back from its current allotted date.
He said: 'In my judgment, the claimant is asking far more than it is
entitled to, considering the interests of both parties, and considering the
interests of the wider world, because other people are waiting for the
result of the hearing in this court.'
At next month's hearing, Bellway, a nationwide builder of volume housing in
areas of high population, will ask a high court judge to quash parts of the
adopted West Berkshire Local Plan 2002 that do not allocate Siege Cross Farm for housing. The Plan was adopted by the council on 14 June.
Bellway claims it was perverse and irrational for the council to refuse to
amend the Plan prior to adoption by allocating the land following the
recommendation of a planning inspector after a public inquiry that the
building should go ahead.
STRAND NEWS SERVICE