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Menston protesters win review of housing plans

One of the many campaign banners on show around Menston

One of the many campaign banners on show around Menston

By David Mackie

People in Menston who are fighting the development of a housing estate on Bingley Road have won a judicial review of the planning decision.

The Menston Action Group (MAG) have been working with Schofield Sweeney solicitors in their battle against the proposed development at Bingley Road and another at Derry Hill.

The new judicial review is of Bradford Council’s decision to grant planning permission to Chartford Developments Ltd, who want to build 12 houses on the Bingley Road site.

The site was given planning permission on April 2 despite MAG raising concerns in relation to the suitability of the site, which they claim is prone to flooding in times of prolonged rainfall.

A Taylor Wimpey proposal for 137 houses on an adjacent site was rejected due to flood concerns earlier this year.

The judicial review was granted by the Honourable Mrs Justice Patterson DBE on two grounds. The first alleges that the Council failed to consider the ability to alleviate existing flooding issues. The second alleges that the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee was ‘materially misdirected’ by Council officers when informed of the water storage proposals for the site. It is unclear what is meant by this at this stage.

Alistair Kennedy, Partner leading the team of litigators at Schofield Sweeney, said: “The Council’s decision will now be reviewed at a hearing by a High Court Judge and MAG are very hopeful that the Council’s decision will be quashed.

“MAG would prefer to deal with these issues constructively and without the need for Court proceedings, but the Council’s approach is leaving them with little choice.”

Bradford City Council told Yorkshire Voice that they have received papers in relation to a judicial review on a site at Bingley Road, Menston, but did not provide further comment.

MAG and the protestors have considerable public support. Menston residents held a referendum opposing the developments at Derry Hill and Bingley Road several years ago. 98% voted against the proposed developments and 2000 letters of objection were submitted.

The protests and complex litigation have each involved a considerable cost. Over £100,000 has already been raised by local residents.

The Bingley Road judicial review is scheduled for late summer.

MAG’s first judicial review is of Barratt Homes’ proposal to build 173 houses on a site at Derry Hill. This will be held at a hearing in Leeds on July 15 and 16.

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