Appeal against Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan is dismissed

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A developer’s legal challenge to Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan has been dismissed by three of the country’s top judges.

Bourne-based Larkfleet Homes had asked the Court of Appeal to quash the result of a referendum on the plan.

The firm said Rutland County Council should never have put the issue to the vote. The plan received a 92 per cent approval rate in July 2014.

An initial appeal at the High Court was dismissed in December. Larkfleet appealed, but on Wednesday Court of Appeal judges Lords Justices Moore-Bick and Richards and Lady Justice Sharp upheld the original ruling.

Lord Justice Richards who gave the main, highly complex, judgment in the case said Larkfleet’s submissions were “attractively presented.” But he and other two judges ruled that the High Court judge’s conclusion “was correct.”

The court also refused permission for Lakfleet to appeal to the Supreme Court against its decision. However, it is still open to Larkfleet to make a direct application to the Supreme Court for permission.

Ron Simpson, who was the principal author of the Neighbourhood Plan, said: “ From the many messages I have received from residents, it is clear that the Uppingham community is delighted to hear that the Court of Appeal has found in favour of the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan.

“The judgement is well written and clear in its intent. Through the Localism Bill and neighbourhood planning legislation, local communities do now have the power to decide where they wish new housing to be built. A great deal of public money has been spent in clarifying this fact.

“It is time for Larkfleet Homes to recognise Government intent and acknowledge the choices made by the Uppingham community.”

A site off Ayston Road where Larkfleet wanted to build was not included in the Neighbourhood Plan.