UK Housebuilder Goes To Court Over Adopted Local Plan

14/09/2006 (source:

A housebuilder has begun a high court action against Winchester City council over its recently adopted Local Plan.

Cala Homes claims the planning authority has ignored a site where it wants to build 2,000 homes.

The company's plans to develop Group at Barton Farm were turned down by the city council in 2004 and the subject of an unsuccessful appeal.

Now Cala has decided to go to court after the council allocated four sites for around 400 homes in its revised plan but did not include the Barton Farm site.

Michael Emett, Cala strategic Group director, has claimed that the city council had "manipulated the situation" to ensure the company's site was never considered. Cala has long argued that its site is the most suitable for significant new housing in Winchester.

Council leader George Beckett said: "We are satisfied that we are right and that we followed the correct procedures so we will do everything to defend our Local Plan. Until and if the court decides otherwise, we have a local plan and will continue to make planning decisions based on the adopted plan."

He added: "This move by Cala Homes is as much a challenge to the government inspector, whose recommendations we have followed, but as it is the council's local plan, the notice has been served on us."

No date has yet been set for the High Court hearing.

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