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Village development row could end up in the High Court
A SERIOUS row about a village development site is now unlikely to end up in the High Court.
Members of Hartley Wintney Parish Council decided it was too risky to take on Hart District Council over the decision to approve 14 homes at Monachus House, off High Street.
The decision was taken by officers, using delegated powers.
The parish council said the number of parking spaces in the plan was lower than the standard normally set by Hart and could increase the village’s parking problems.
At the January meeting of the parish council, members decided to seek legal advice about the likelihood of winning a judicial review.
But this month’s meeting heard that the legal advice was not positive, and that the applicant could submit a fresh application that could be accepted by the district council before the conclusion of the review.
Councillor Cathy Roberts said: “Based solely on that advice, it’s not a very good percentage on which to proceed. The parish council would not necessarily have won. I think we would be wasting a great deal of money on a judicial review.”
Cllr Roger Robertson said: “I’m appalled at this situation where if we go ahead with it [the judicial review], the developer can simply bypass it. I’m extremely disappointed and a great deal angry.”
Cllr Dorothy Harvey, chairman of the parish council, said she took heart from a recent meeting with Daryl Phillips, head of planning at Hart, at which Mr Phillips said the parish council’s feelings would be represented better in the future.
Members voted for the proposal not to proceed with the judicial review.