The High Court has dismissed all claims made by national housing building companies against the acclaimed Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan.
Barratt Homes and Wainhomes contended that the plan was flawed on a number of technical grounds and questioned the impartiality of its independent examiner, Mr Nigel McGurk.
But in his judgment handed down at London’s Royal Courts of Justice Mr Justice Supperstone ruled that he did not consider that the ‘fair minded and informed observer having considered the relevant facts would conclude that there was a real possibility that Mr McGurk was biased.’
He found that none of the grounds of Judicial Review challenge to the decision of Cheshire West and Chester’s Executive to approve the draft plan should succeed and accordingly dismissed the claims.
CWAC leader and local Councillor Mike Jones (pictured) said: “We welcome the judge’s findings which are undoubted endorsement of the processes employed in the creation of the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan.
“This decision will be greeted with delight in the village of Tattenhall by a community which worked so hard and showed such unbelievable commitment in creating the plan.”
By 905 votes to 38 a referendum endorsed a vision for a “sustainable and successful” future for the West Cheshire Doomsday Book village, which has taken the local community over two years to prepare.
The ballot produced a convincing 51.86 per cent turnout of the 1,822 eligible voters – easily exceeding the previous national record 40% in Thame Oxfordshire.
The Judicial Review judgement will now be reported back to Executive which will be requested to formally ‘make’ the plan which will stand alongside the Local Plan to guide future development decisions in the area.
The Secretary Of State has postponed a decision on appeals from three developers (Barratt Homes, Wainhomes and Taylor Wimpey Homes) against the council’s rejection of planning applications to build a total of over 300 homes in the village.
The authority will be writing to the Secretary Of State to inform him of the High Court’s decision.
CWAC will also be pressing examiner Dr Charles Mynors to reopen his hearing into the Winsford Neighbourhood Plan, adjourned in January until the outcome of the legal challenge to the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan was known.
An application for costs will be made by Cheshire West and Chester Council in due course.