As previously mentioned, the full JR hearing was held on Tuesday 28 January at the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre.
The hearing was in front a judge with lawyers representing Advearse, Dorset Council and the developer (Hallam) making oral arguments to supplement the written skeleton arguments already submitted to the court. The judge had available a large amount of material relevant to the planning application. This includes a significant amount of case law. We had a total of 8 Advearse members and supporters attending on the day. We were told that the Judge would have noticed this presence.
Our lawyers sought an order from the judge quashing the planning permission citing specific legal failures by the Council in relation to the planning application. Of course, both the Council and Hallam lawyers resisted our claim.
If granted, a quashing order would render the current Vearse Farm Outline Planning Permission (OPP) null and void.
Due to the length and complexity of the legal arguments the case had to be adjourned and was completed on Friday 31 January with some Advearse members in attendance. As expected, the judge reserved judgement and will, over the coming weeks, review all the legal submissions and arguments and issue his written judgement. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication of how long it will take to issue the judgment and more importantly which way it will go.
At our January meeting we examined the possible responses of Dorset Council and Hallam to which ever result emerges and to plan our own response. Fingers crossed we win the case – but whatever the outcome we will continue to fight against the massively destructive Vearse Farm Bridport urban extension.
We will provide a further update once the Judge has finalised his decision.