Developer fails to stop referendum on Buckinghamshire neighbourhood plan

Out-Law News | 24 Jul 2014 | 5:05 pm | 1 min. read

Developer Gladman Homes has had a request for an injunction to prevent a referendum on a Buckinghamshire neighbourhood plan refused by the High Court.

The emerging Winslow neighbourhood plan (WNP), which is intended to be used to guide planning permissions in the Winslow area between 2014 and 2031, allocates five sites for housing development in the plan period. Aylesbury Vale District Council resolved in June to proceed to a local referendum on the plan after it was approved for referendum by independent planning inspector Nigel McGurk in May.

In representations (45-page / 3.8 MB PDF) during the consultation for the WNP in January, Gladman had said that three sites in Winslow that the developer submitted for consideration "should have been considered as realistic options through the WNP site allocation process" and that it considered both the Vale of Aylesbury plan and the WNP to be "fundamentally unsound".

The developer, which has appealed against two decisions to refuse permission for housing schemes it hoped to develop in the area, applied to the High Court for an injunction to prevent the referendum from going ahead. According to a report in Planning Magazine, the developer argued that, if the WNP was made following referendum, its two appeals would be affected. According to the report, the judge said that cancelling the referendum would not be in the public interest and that the developer had other courses of action available should the referendum result in the WNP being made.

A statement on the District Council's website on 22 July said: "Gladman Developments was granted a High Court hearing to seek an injunction to prevent the referendum taking place. Following a hearing at Manchester’s High Court [on 22 July], the application for the injunction was dismissed. The referendum on 24 July will give Winslow residents the chance to have their say on whether they want the future development of the town to be in the hands of the WNP until 2031."

The referendum takes place today. The 3,916 residents entitled to vote will be asked the single question: "Do you want Aylesbury Vale District Council to use the WNP for Winslow to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area"?