We have received the judges decision on our application to proceed with a judicial review against the Vearse Farm urban extension planning permission.
Disappointingly the judge has declined our application, but has not rejected it out of hand. This meant that we were able to make a renewed application for permission which will be heard at an oral hearing in front of a different judge. The case has been referred to the Cardiff Regional Court and hearing will be held at Bristol.
Our lawyers are currently preparing our renewed application and this should be lodged tomorrow at the court. Once we know when the oral hearing will be held we will release an update.
Our lawyers still believe that our case has merit and we are hopeful that we can still obtain permission and take the case to a full judicial review hearing in court.
As mentioned in an earlier post, we went ahead with the Judicial Review claim and lodged the court papers on 12th June.
Our understanding is that our case has been allocated to a judge for review, but that this review has not yet occurred. This is probably due to delays at the court given it is the summer holiday season.
So we are still at the permission stage awaiting to hear if a judge considers our case to have sufficient merit to go to a full hearing in the Administrative Court.
We are still hopeful to have news by the end of August and be able to take our challenge to a full court hearing.
Saturday 20th July saw an article in the Daily Telegraph outlining the campaign against the Vearse Farm urban extension to Bridport.
This national media coverage is very welcome and follows on from the recent BBC Spotlight feature.
Below is the link to the Telegraph article. In the meantime we continue with our judicial review and will provide an update once we have some news.
On Monday BBC Spotlight featured the Advearse campaign against Vearse Farm development.
See video below – apologies for poor video quality.
Last week BBC Spotlight sent a journalist (Anna Varle) to interview Advearse and Dorset CPRE representatives. She spent 4 hours filming in various locations including our meeting, top of Allington Hill and by the Bridport medical centre.
The feature will be aired on BBC 1 Spotlight at 6.30pm on Monday 24 June. As well as the Vearse Farm development the feature will also cover other plans to build on AONB countryside in West Dorset. We hope that our campaign being featured on TV will attract further media coverage.
Whilst we have raised the funds to finance the Judicial Review we still need to build our support base and demonstrate to Dorset Council the massive depth of opposition against this huge Bridport Urban extension on AONB countryside.
After tremendous support we have just reached the £34,000 fundraising target! This includes the pledges from the Crowdfunder appeal which closed at 6pm on 17th June. A huge Thank You to all our donors and also to the CPRE for their £10,000 matched funding pledge.
As mentioned in the last post, we went ahead with the Judicial Review claim. The papers for the claim were lodged on 12th June and have been acknowledged by the court. The Defendant (Dorset Council) and Interested Party (Hallam) have now been formally served them with the claim and have 3 weeks to respond (ie by 10 July).
Next there is a permission stage to the Judicial Review process where our case will be assessed by a judge. This is likely to be between 2-6 weeks after the 10 July. So most likely we will get news on this during August.
If we obtain permission then we progress to the full hearing in the Administrative Court which if held in London probably won’t be earlier than December 2019. However, there is a high chance that the case will be transferred to the nearest regional Administrative Court (in our case Bristol) in which case it would probably be heard in the Autumn (eg around October).
We will continue to post updates as our claim progresses!
We have been able to extend our crowdfunder deadline by 7 days to 17 June. This gives more time to collect the remaining funds to meet the Judicial Review fundraising target. We have also been able to make a special pledge of £5,000 onto crowdfunder based on the direct donations received.
We are talking to some media outlets and hope that the campaign will now attract wider media attention.
Thanks for your fantastic support!
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
Or you can
send a cheque to ADVEARSE at 10 West Mead, Bridport, DT6 5RU
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.
Sarah Carney was interviewed on the Radio Solent breakfast show discussing the Vearse Farm urban extension to Bridport
You can hear the interview here at 08:05am on the following link.