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Judicial Review

Attached is some correspondence between the SOLVE/CountryWatch legal representative and the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council,

SOLVE and Country Watch's legal challenge to the council prepared by DAC Beachcroft LLP (click image to read): 14 December 2011

 

 Basingstoke and Deane Council's Response (click image to read): 21 December 2011


  

 

Council heads for JR clash

SOLVE Report – January 2012

It is unfortunate that the current Borough Council continue to defend their decision to exclude Manydown from the list of potential housing development sites.  Residents, Local groups, and Parish Councils from all over the Borough continue to make representations which fall on Council deaf ears.

The latest example was on the 23rd November at the Economic Prosperity and Performance (EPP) Committee which held a special meeting to review the Manydown decision.  There were 13 public speakers including SOLVE. The Manydown Company’s representative gave a presentation which amongst other things repeated their view that the Manydown land is, and has always been, available.

The committee referred questions of governance to the ‘Audit Governance and Accounts Committee’ which next meets on 27th February.  A Liberal Democrat request for a second legal opinion was voted down.  The proposer said - “Who would oppose a second opinion unless they were afraid of what it might uncover?”  There was a lively debate with questions from opposition Councillors.  However, this was made one-sided due to the absence of the regular Chairman and Vice Chairman and some Conservative members.  Opposition questions and comments were answered on a superficial level by the Officers with very little input from the ‘substitute’ Conservatives.  It was clear that the Conservative ‘substitutes’ were there to make up the numbers to use their majority to vote through a pre-arranged motion.

PRESS RELEASE: SOLVE & COUNTRY WATCH BEGIN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS CLAIMING BASINGSTOKE and DEANE BOROUGH COUNCIL (BDBC)

 PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                      

 

SOLVE & COUNTRY WATCH BEGIN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS CLAIMING BASINSGTOKE & DEANE BOROUGH COUNCIL (BDBC) HAVE “ACTED UNLAWFULLY” by excluding Manydown from the core strategy.
SOLVE & Country Watch, supported by communities from the north, east & south of the Borough, today gave notice to the Officers’ & Administration of BDBC of their intent to instigate a Judicial Review if Manydown is not included in the Core Strategy being submitted for public consultation. This extended group of community organisations representing over 20,000 Residents have retained the Counsel of leading London law firm DAC Beachcroft and their Public law Consultant Tony Child, who is recognised nationally as a leading legal expert in Judicial Reviews of this kind (http://www.dacbeachcroft.com/people/directory/tony_child.htm). 
 
 
Click Image below to see full Press Release:
 
 
 

 

Legal Proceedings

Press Release

SOLVE & COUNTRY WATCH BEGIN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS CLAIMING BASINSGTOKE & DEANE BOROUGH COUNCIL (BDBC) HAVE “ACTED UNLAWFULLY” by excluding Manydown from the core strategy.

SOLVE & Country Watch, supported by communities from the north, east & south of the Borough, today gave notice to the Officers’ & Administration of BDBC of their intent to instigate a Judicial Review if Manydown is not included in the Core Strategy being submitted for public consultation. This extended group of community organisations representing over 20,000 Residents have retained the Counsel of leading London law firm DAC Beachcroft and their Public law Consultant Tony Child, who is recognised nationally as a leading legal expert in Judicial Reviews of this kind (http://www.dacbeachcroft.com/people/directory/tony_child.htm).

 

SOLVE Report - December 2011

Council Debates Manydown Decisions
A full council meeting on 13th October debated three motions concerning the Manydown site selection. The calls for its re-instatement into the LDF process were defeated narrowly by the ruling Conservatives.  Councillors Godeson and Cubitt voted with the opposition in support of their residents. Our thanks go to all those that attended the impressive public turnout. It is most unfortunate that another webcast failure coincided with this debate.
Since then the Basingstoke Conservatives suspended Cllr Onnalee Cubitt from the party for, in her words – “commitment to serving the interests of my electorate first and foremost”. We understand that Onnalee has received many messages of support.  There has also been a massive post bag in support of Onnalee in the Basingstoke Gazette and SOLVE endorses that support.
On the 17th October the Cabinet debated the site selection referral from the Planning & Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee (P&IOSCOM). There were 18 public speakers, including Parish and Borough Councillors, and the debate was interrupted many times from the ‘floor’. A representative from the Manydown Company, freeholders of this land, stunned the Cabinet by saying that, from their perspective, the Manydown land is “available” for development. However, the Cabinet ignored everything, including the call to remove Pyotts Hill (BAS121) from the site selection, and approved the next stage of the LDF process.

Read on - EPP meeting and Secretary of State ruling

Council Cabinet Meeting- 17th October 2011

LDF (Local Development Framework) Core Strategy Housing sites Distribution
Up for consideration by the Council Cabinet on 17th October, postponed from 4th October, was the housing site distribution, recommendations and comments, from the Planning and Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny Committee (P&IOSCOM) meetings on 20th- 23rd September. The P&IOSCOM recommended that BAS121, Pyotts Hill, be removed from the Greenfield sites to go forward.
There were 18 public speakers, including a number of Councillors, making representations on behalf of their local sites which included, Old Basing, Chineham, Popley, Down Grange and Basingstoke Golf Club. Yet again questions were asked why the Manydown site was not up for consideration. Most made the point that pressure has been put on their local sites because of this.
 

Manydown Company Bombshell hits the Cabinet.

Conservatives suspend Councillor Cubitt - Read on.

PRESS RELEASE: MANYDOWN LAND IS AVAILABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT.

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                      

 

“Manydown Land is Available for Development.” so says the manydown company, freeholder owners of the land
Residents that packed the Council Chamber recently were shocked to hear that despite claims by the Council to the contrary; the owners of the land called Manydown stated explicitly “on the record that there is no obstacle to the development to the Manydown land as far as management or ownership structure is concerned”.
 
 
 click image to see copy of Press Release

 

PRESS RELEASE: TORY COUNCIL SUSPEND AND THREATEN TO SACK TORY COUNCILLOR FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE WHIP

 PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                    

 

Tory council suspend and threaten to sack tory councillor for not following The whip.
Once again the Conservatives make a mockery of their commitment to localism by disciplining a Councillor for voting against a Group instruction and for a motion to review their decision to allocate greenfield land for the development.
 
click image to see the full Press Release:
 
 
 

 

 

What is the council planning to build?

 

9,000 new homes near you

 

 

Since the formation of SOLVE in 2009 we have been successful in lobbying for lower housing growth in the Borough. Further, we do not support large scale development on any Greenfield sites east or west. However, the Council has reneged on their pre-election promise not to build large scale developments on Greenfield sites. The proposals in the Core Strategy for some 3,000 houses on Greenfield sites around Old Basing & Lychpit, Chineham, Sherfield-on-Loddon, Newnham, Mapledurwell & Up Nately and Bramley ignores the central theme of the public consultation that residents do not want to see these large scale developments.
This is a direct result of the Council’s decision to exclude 2,000 acres of land, Manydown, to the west of the Borough. Land bought specifically for planned development including housing. We believe that Councillors have a duty to consider ALL sites on their merits, not on procedural sleight of hand and backroom deals. Therefore our immediate aim is the get all potential sites considered on their merits. At the same time we are opposing large scale building on the sites to the NE. If we allow the proposed Core Strategy to go ahead then the threat to the rest of the Loddon Valley is very real.  
Major house-building companies are pushing for these developments and ultimately 9,000 houses could invade the Loddon Valley and its hinterland. To put this in perspective, there are around 3,200 dwellings in Old Basing and Lychpit now. The plans could mean 20,000 extra people on your doorstep. These huge developments could swamp our communities. If these massive housing schemes go ahead, we can expect:
  • Destruction of a North Hampshire Conservation Area and important wildlife habitats
  • A significant loss of rural character to the east of Basingstoke
  • A complete loss of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs)
  • Increased risk of flooding and pollution of the EU protected Loddon River
  • A massive increase in traffic, pollution and noise on already crowded roads. A nightmare A33.
  • Insufficient infrastructure to cope with the increased population
  • Increased school class sizes, hospital waiting lists and strain on policing
  • Many years of continual building work, noise pollution and heavy vehicles
It's time to make a stand
Visit – “What Can You Do?” for further information including how to donate to SOLVE.

Manydown Land Available

 

Press Release

“Manydown Land is Available for Development.” so says the Manydown Company, freeholder owners of the land

Residents that packed the Council Chamber recently were shocked to hear that despite claims by the Council to the contrary; the owners of the land called Manydown stated explicitly “on the record that there is no obstacle to the development to the Manydown land as far as management or ownership structure is concerned”.

 

This confirms what SOLVE’s more than 1500 supporters and thousands of other residents around Basingstoke believe; that the Council is not being fair or balanced in the way they evaluate the suitability of greenfield sites for development.