Fundraising milestones tumble!

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.

Thanks!

Fundraising milestone!

Thanks to all your donations and pledges we now have just under £7000 to raise for the JR!

With 13 days left to complete the fundraising we have a few more milestones to hit along the way. We will make sure that we announce these so you can keep track of how we are doing.

Thanks for all the support – keep it coming!!

View from the Legal Eagles

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!

Where is our Press Release?

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.

Fundraising update – 27 May

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.

Latest Video appeal released

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.

20 Days left – Fundraising Update!

We now have over 250 people supporting the campaign through either direct donations or Crowdfunding pledges.

With all this great support we have now just over £10,500 left to raise to hit our £34k target to fund the Judicial Review and try to stop the massive and damaging Vearse Farm Bridport Urban extension.

But we have just 20 days left to raise this money – so please keep the donations and pledges coming in. This is a really worthwhile cause to stop the loss of our precious AONB countryside, prevent the spoiling of Bridport and pressure Dorset Council to build genuinely affordable eco-friendly houses for local people using available brownfield sites

PRESS RELEASE – Dorset Council procrastinate over judicial review legal deadline

Dorset Council have asked to defer the deadline to respond to a lawyer’s letter setting out ADVEARSE’s proposed claim for a judicial review against the outline planning permission for the Vearse Farm development.  Officially, a response should be expected within 14 days of receipt of the pre-action protocol letter sent by Leigh Day Solicitors. 

The official decision notice granting outline planning permission to Hallam Land Management was issued on election day, Thursday 2 May.  ADVEARSE has just six weeks from this date (deadline 13 June) to apply for the judicial review.  In accordance with legal requirements, Leigh Day sent the pre-action letter, addressed to the council’s legal department, on 8 May.  Dorset Council says the letter was received on 9 May but that it took a further four days for it to reach the legal department through internal mail.  In their interim reply the council has said it cannot make the deadline of 23 May and has asked for a further extension to 6 June, four weeks after the letter was received.  It says it needs the time to prepare a response, despite reporting in Local Government Lawyer on 21 March 2019 that it was aware of ADVEARSE’s intentions.

ADVEARSE Chairman Barry Bates says ‘The decision notice was issued on the afternoon before a bank holiday weekend and before the new council had a chance to be elected.  Luckily, we and our lawyers have been on standby awaiting the decision notice for almost 18 months since the planning committee made its initial decision to allow the development to go ahead.’ 

While the council’s delays will not affect the time limit for the judicial review application, its failure to meet the 14-day deadline may be taken into account by the court and costs sanctions imposed.  Leigh Day is asking for a compromise deadline of 27 May. 

In the meantime, ADVEARSE has, after initial legal and other costs, just over £12,000 left to raise of its £34,000 target money.  It must raise this money before 13 June or the legal action cannot be actioned and the Vearse Farm development cannot be stopped. 

ADVEARSE Treasurer Phil Summerton says ‘People wouldn’t object if this was a smaller-scale development of genuinely low-cost housing for local people.  But this is set to be a luxury estate for second-home owners and will bring in retirees on a massive scale.  This goes against national protections for AONB land, but local democracy has let us down and now the only recourse appears to be to the law.  This is our very last chance to stop the Vearse Farm development.’

Bridport residents have rallied round contributing direct donations of £10,000 and these have been matched by a donation of £10,000 from Dorset CPRE.  A further £3,560 has been raised through the Bridport-based Crowdfunder website: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb.

Support is now being sought from further afield in recognition that Vearse Farm, the biggest development ever to be allowed on AONB land, will set a dangerous precedent for urban sprawl all over the UK countryside.

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Further information

Information about ADVEARSE can be found at: http://www.advearse.org.uk/about-advearse/

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ADVEARSE/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/advearse

Crowdfunder: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-west-dorset-aonb

Campaign Site