Martlesham: Fight Over Homes Goes To Supreme Court

18 March 2015, 07:55 | Updated: 18 March 2015, 08:23

Campaigners against a 2,000 home development near Ipswich are taking their fight to Britain's highest court.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is proposing the new homes for land as Adastral Park in Martlesham Heath as part of the Local Plan.

However a group called "No Adastral New Town Ltd" (NANT) are opposing the decision.

In February 2014, a High Court Judge dismissed legal action by NANT against Suffolk Coastal District Council's Core Strategy.

However, NANT were given leave to appeal against the decision.

Then in February this year (2015), the Appeal Court upheld the original judgement - dismissing the appeal and awarding costs to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Now the group has applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.

Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Planning, said: "This news is extremely disappointing and frustrating, not only for the Council but also for the people of this District. This protracted legal process has already created a completely unnecessary delay to implementation of the plan to provide new homes and jobs in Suffolk Coastal."

"The Local Plan has already been examined in detail and validated through two court cases. These came after we spent nearly a decade developing the Plan, during which time it was open to public scrutiny and comment, before it being given the final seal of approval by the independent Planning Inspectorate."

"It is frustrating that a small number of people can continue to drag out this process and undermine this essential development process, creating years uncertainty and putting unnecessary pressure on the Council's ability to protect our unique environment when considering other planning application."

"We had hoped to put all this negative speculation and uncertainty behind us in order to push forward with implementing the Local Plan, working with the community to ensure the vitality of the local economy by providing job opportunities and much-needed new homes, particularly for young families and low wage earners in the district."

"I do not think the Appeal Court Judges could have been clearer in their dismissal of the previous action, when they found that the Council had behaved properly and followed the correct democratic processes in drawing up the plan. Yet we are now faced the possibility of a third round of legal action."

"Although this is extremely frustrating, Suffolk Coastal remains confident that it can successfully defend the Local Plan against any further action and believe the rigorous process we followed when drawing it up will once again be found to be sound."