Judicial Review Update

North Field 2016

Land North and South of Holt Road, Rossett

Following the advice (Counsels Opinion) of a Barrister in London Rossett Focus Group (RFG) decided that there was no merit in proceeding with a Judicial Review of the Ministers decision on the Planning Appeal for the above site.

Our Barrister examined all the issues surrounding the decision and advised that there were insufficient grounds to make a legal challenge and that if successful, which was unlikely, the matter would be referred straight back to the same Minister to make again the decision having corrected any procedural errors. The courts will only override a decision based on a failure to follow the law, they will not over turn a bad decision if the law or procedures have been followed.

We were advised that it was:

Important to remember that even if successful, the appeal will simply be remitted back to the Minister to redetermine – if you believe the Ministers are committed to pushing it through (for the sake of the LDP) then it is likely to be a pyrrhic victory.

In view of the substantial costs likely to arise from an unsuccessful challenge RFG would be seen to be throwing good money away. In our Barristers Opinion the case put forward by the Council was lightweight, the Inspectors Report was equally thin and that of the Minister was ever more so.

Counsel examined the question:
“was RFG’s evidence properly considered and advised?”

The Inspector dealt with it very briefly – a list of bullet points, compared with detailed discussion of Council and Developer’s cases.

However, lots of caselaw confirming that decision makers only need to deal with the main issues, they don’t have to address every point or rehearse all arguments made.

Clear that the material was before the Inspector, it is on PINS portal and bullet points do cover all issues raised, although cursory.

No realistic prospect of arguing that RFG’s evidence was
ignored.

Going Forward

Our Counsel felt the best solution was to mount challenges at Reserved Matters stage bearing in mind the site has yet to be sold and the Minister has reduced the term to reach Reserved Matters from 3 years to 2 and there was strong evidence to suggest that the conditions imposed on  outline approval for 132 houses may not be able to be discharged by the SUDs Board.

Overall the advice was to continue to resist this development in every arena possible over the next 2 years even up to the time the last brick is laid, if that should happen. 

This we will endeavour so to do on behalf of all the villagers, so we may need some help from time to time. 

At present we have raised matters with the Association of British Insurers re this development and also seeking the guidance of the Equality Rights Commission (Wales) on footway issues. We are also making representations in a number of other areas and we will keep you informed on progress.

RFG Meeting – 8 March

RFG Icon

A smaller gathering than usual of RFG members met last night to consider our responses to recent events. Items I can share as follows:

  1. One of our members is writing to the Health Board to ask if the Emergency Clinic is located in a suitable position given its limitations.
  2. We are aware of Insurance companies refusing to quote for properties in our area due to flood risk. We would ask for you to respond to this note if you or one of your relatives/neighbours has been refused. Please give Name of Insurance Company and the Postcode of the address.
  3. We shall be writing an objection to the proposed boundary change to the Rossett Ward. Please try to attend the Community Council Meeting in the Village Hall on Thursday 12th March 7:45pm to understand the impact.
  4. Some of our members will be attending the LDP hearing on Housing Provision. Please try to come along and see what we are up against. Starts 09:30 Wednesday 11th March in The Memorial Hall, Bodhyfryd, Wrexham, LL12 7AG
  5. We continue our boycott of Bellis Brothers (Holt) and urge other Rossett residents to do likewise.
  6. We wish our new village business Cwtch Ceramics every success and look forward to a regular coffee and cake. Opens this Tuesday 10th.

We shall have an update on a Judicial Review later this week. Two local residents have funded the Barristers Opinion. We are still looking into the crowdfunding option once we understand all the costs.