Corporate ‘bullies’ threaten to take Council to court in first test of Neighbourhood Plans
From the Chester Chronicle:
In the first major challenge to Neighbourhood Plans three national housebuilders have been accused of ‘corporate bullying’ after threatening legal action against the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan in Chester.
Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes and Wainhomes want Cheshire West and Chester Council to rescind the plan and suspend the referendum scheduled for this coming Thursday.
Lawyers have started a judicial review pre-action based on a number of technical grounds.
Council leader Mike Jones dismissed the claims as ‘highly regrettable corporate bullying of a local community’.
Taylor Wimpey have applied to build 110 homes; Wainhomes Developments, 137 homes; and Barratts, 68 homes.
But the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan – the first in the borough – advocates that ‘large scale, inappropriate development along existing village boundaries will not be supported by the community’.
The plan suggests that future development is limited to housing groups of no more than 30.
Cllr Jones said:
Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan represents over two years of hard work by a local community dedicated to producing its vision for the future development of the village and its surrounding areas.
It would be absolutely tragic if such dedication and commitment was threatened simply because the plan’s recommendations differed from developers’ requirements.
The Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan provides a framework for sustainable development for a village which has attracted numerous development applications from house-builders and takes precedence over the local plan on non-strategic issues.