After much deliberation and discussion with our lawyers, ADVEARSE have
made a decision to go ahead with the judicial review (JR) to challenge the outline
planning permission for the Bridport urban extension on area of outstanding natural
beauty (AONB) land at Vearse Farm.
We are just over £2,500 short of the funds needed to meet the costs of the
JR and have five days left to raise this remaining sum. But we have every
confidence that our supporters and donors will help to reach this target.
On Friday 31 May we had a long call with our lawyers to discuss the
strengths and weaknesses of our case after receiving a reply from Dorset
Council to our pre-action protocol letter which set out our case for
challenging their planning decision. As the arguments were complicated we took
time over the last few days to raise further questions and make sure we had a
clear understanding of the situation and all our options.
We also discussed the legal advice with Dorset CPRE who have confirmed their
£10,000 matched-funding support.
We are humbled and grateful for the fantastic support of local people and
people from wider Dorset and beyond. We have close to 300 donors who have made
direct donations and pledges on our Crowdfunder campaign site. The overwhelming
support and feedback we have received has been a great motivating factor in our
decision to proceed with the JR.
This is a vital environmental case because this
is set to be the biggest ever development to be built on AONB land and, if left
unchallenged, it will set a dangerous precedent allowing developers and
councils from ignoring the rules protecting the countryside nationwide.
Please help by donating via our Bridport-based
Yesterday (Friday 31 May) we had a long phone call with our lawyers. They went through the reply from Dorset Council in great detail pointing out their updated view on the strengths and weaknesses in our case.
The situation is complicated and over the weekend we will be assessing all the information we have been given and also going back to the lawyers with further questions to make sure we have a clear understanding of the situation and all our options.
We will also be discussing this with Dorset CPRE on Monday to obtain their views. By Tuesday we should have completed all these discussions and be able to give you a further update.
Thanks to your excellent support we now have just under £4,000 to raise to fund the Judicial Review against the massive and damaging Bridport urban extension on AONB countryside. Some wonderful CPRE members are rallying to our cause with personal donations. Most of the donations are coming direct, but we are encouraging people to make pledges on Crowdfunder.
We received a reply from Dorset Council to our PAP letter – needless to say they dismissed our arguments as “without merit”.
We will find out later today our lawyers view on this! Fingers crossed, our lawyers will still assess our chances of winning in court as better than 50%. This will give us the green light o go ahead and launch the JR.
You may have seen our earlier post about Dorset Council procrastinating with their response to our Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter sent to them announcing our plans to launch a Judicial Review (JR).
Well Dorset Council have now said they will reply on Wednesday 29 May which is an improvement, but still slower than the normal time frame for a reply to a PAP letter.
We will be talking to our lawyers on Friday 31 May at 5pm. By then our lawyers will have been able to assess the council’s response and be able to give us their reassessment of the chances of success with the JR. If the chances are still better than 50/50 then we will go ahead with launching the JR subject to having raised the necessary funds.
Thanks for the great support and please join me in having your fingers crossed that on Friday we get the green light to go for the JR! We will of course let you know as soon as we have the news!
You might have seen our post last Monday with a press release about Dorset Council procrastinating over their response to our lawyers pre-Action Protocal letter. We passed this to Bridport News to go in last Thursday’s edition (ie 23rd May). But it did not appear – it went missing!
What happened? Quite simple, as newspapers like to give the interested party a chance to comment they went to Dorset Council for a comment. And the Council, despite having plenty of time, failed to respond and hence our press release did not get published.
We are hoping that it will appear this week with or without the Council’s comment.
Maybe we’ve upset them! Perhaps they prefer the type of local democracy where they ask our opinion on a plan and then ignore us and expect us to just give up.
Our Crowdfunder appeal is going slowly with only £5,440 raised and 14 days left before the 10 June deadline. But then Crowdfunder tell us a lot of pledges are made towards the end when time is running out and the fundraising appeal become even more urgent!
But the good news is that we continue to receive donations directly via cheques and payments into our bank account. We recently received a £1000 donation which is fantastic. As a result the actual amount left to raise is £7500.
But we can’t get complacent as the time is ticking by so please encourage every one you know to help with the campaign.
We have just released our latest video appeal to raise the funds needed for the Judicial Review against the massive and damaging Vearse Farm Bridport urban extension.
This is a real call to arms as we now only have 18 days left till 10th June when time will have run out to launch the Judicial review and time will have also run out for Bridport and West Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.