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A wildlife campaigner who said the creation of a £3 million luxury housing development would harm badgers is tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket after losing a High Court fight.
Ralph Patmore took legal action in an attempt to overturn a council decision to give-the go-ahead for the building of two six-bedroom houses near his home in Brentwood.
Mr Patmore, a member of the Essex Badger Protection Group, said the development would disturb badgers which foraged and lived around Hutton Mount, one of Essex's most-expensive areas.
But on Friday (13th April) Judge Alice Robinson refused to quash the decision by Brentwood Borough Council's planning committee after a High Court hearing in London.
And she ruled that Mr Patmore must pay the costs of the litigation, which lawyers said totalled more than £70,000.
Mr Patmore said a badger expert had been due to address a planning committee meeting but a late agenda change prevented him speaking.
He said councillors had been denied relevant information and should have re-opened the meeting and heard from the expert.
But the council said evidence about the impact of the development on the badgers was already before the committee.
Lawyers said Mr Patmore's legal bill was more than £50,000 and the council's more than £20,000. The judge said Mr Patmore had lost and must pay the council bill as well as his own.
Katrina Yates, for Mr Patmore, told the court after the ruling: "This was a high-profile case which was of great importance to the local area.''