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In the news:- Judge refuses judicial review on land adjacent to Jessomine

Judge refuses judicial review on land adjacent to Jessomine
30 November 2017

Basildon Council has welcomed the decision of a High Court Judge to refuse an application to judicially review its decision not to determine a traveller’s planning application for a plot of land in Hovefields Avenue, Wickford.

The plot known as ‘Land adjacent to Jessomine’ belongs to William Casey and had once been used as a commercial dog kennelling business.

On Wednesday 29 November, in setting out reasons for rejecting the application, deputy High Court judge, Robin Purchas QC, said: “In the circumstances there is no arguable basis for permission to be granted for judicial review, which should accordingly be refused.”

Cllr Gavin Callaghan, Basildon Council’s Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, added: “This is vindication for the council and the work we are doing. We welcome this decision and we will continue to do all we can to address flagrant breaches of planning law when they occur in the borough, using all legal powers available to the local authority."

The planning application received by the council in July this year sought permission for stationing nine residential caravan pitches with associated parking and hardstanding but a planning enforcement notice had already been served in March 2017 requiring that the land be returned to its permitted use.

The council had used the Section 70C planning power not to determine the application because of the unauthorised development that had already taken place on the land.

Under planning law, the local planning authority can choose to decline to determine a retrospective planning application where planning enforcement notices exist. A change in the law allowing this discretion was made in 2011 with the intention of preventing retrospective planning applications from being used to delay enforcement action.

The landowner has lodged an appeal against a notice preventing the use of the land for storing caravans and this is currently awaiting determination by the Planning Inspectorate.

The council has been awarded all costs claimed, which amount to more than £2,000.

If he refuses to accept the judge’s decision at this stage, Mr Casey has seven days to request a hearing in open court.

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