Council will not challenge homes plan after legal advice

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Hopes of residents living in Barrow have been dashed after council officials “reluctantly” decided not to challenge the approval of more than 500 homes in the village.

Ribble Valley Borough Council engaged a barrister to review the Secretary of State’s decision to allow the planning appeal for 504 houses in Barrow. He was asked to advise on the likelihood of a successful challenge in the High Court under Section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1980. However, his overall conclusion is that an appeal in the High Court would have little chance of success.

Reluctantly the council has accepted this advice. Council leader Coun. Stuart Hirst said: “I am extremely disappointed that the legal advice we have now received from our barrister in relation to the Barrowlands Appeal leaves us with no credible legal basis on which to challenge the Inspector’s conclusions. A judicial basis to a challenge was inevitably going to present serious difficulties, but I feel we were correct to formally explore this option despite the problems. We must, however, regrettably now accept the clear professional advice given. We remain nonetheless highly dissatisfied with the decision in terms of its impact on the borough and I intend to make our views known at the highest ministerial level.”