Gleeson vows to fight U-turn over 180 Malmesbury homes in court
4:08pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in Latest News
Gleeson has reacted furiously to the decision by planning minister to call in a decision to allow 180 homes and a primary school to be built in Malmesbury saying it will fight the move in the courts if necessary.
The application to build on land south of Filands was initially rejected by Wiltshire Council.
An eight-week hearing concluded last month and it was then announced that Gleeson's appeal had been granted.
But after North Wiltshire MP James Gray expressed his dismay planning minister Nick Boles rang him to say that the planning permission granted for the development had been issued in error and that it was being called in to be dealt with by ministers themselves.
Now Scott Chamberlin, managing director of Gleeson Strategic Land, has said: "Following the independent inspector confirming that the appeal is allowed on the land at Filand’s in Malmesbury for 180 houses, we are dismayed that the Planning Inspectorate has issued a letter seeking to withdraw the decision.
"This is totally at odds with the Government’s commitment to economic recovery through house building and its commitment to addressing housing affordability issues.
"After hearing all of the evidence through the appeal process, the independent planning inspector rightly concluded that this sustainable site should be granted planning permission.
"He concluded that the land supply position in Wiltshire was deficient and little weight could be given to an emerging Neighbourhood Plan that has yet to have community input via formal consultation, when considered against the objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
"Given that the 18th March 2013 letter is a lawful grant of planning permission, the Secretary Of State has no legal power which permits him to withdraw that permission.
"He cannot as a matter of law, recover the decision for his own determination; the decision has in effect already been taken.
"The Secretary of State is alleging a breakdown of communication resulting in the Planning Inspectorate failing to act on an earlier direction. This does not, and cannot, alter the fact that a lawful planning permission has been granted.
"Any attempt to quash or revoke the valid decision through the courts will be vigorously defended by Gleeson.
"This remains a suitable and sustainable site for development, it is a very strong proposal which can contribute to the new homes needed in the area as well as delivering a site for a new primary school and other community benefits."