Bourne firm Larkfleet continues battle against Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan

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A developer will take its ongoing fight against the legality of a town’s Neighbourhood Plan to the Court of Appeal.

Larkfleet Homes hopes to persuade a judge to quash the result of a referendum on Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan, which gave a 92 per cent approval rate.

The Bourne-based firm lost a judicial review against the plan in December. Larkfleet had argued that Rutland County Council should never have put the plan to a public referendum.

But lawyers for the county council argued the challenge had been brought by an “aggrieved” developer seeking to promote its own site off Ayston Road, which was not included in the plan.

The judge decided with the council, but Larkfleet has won permission to take its case to the Court of Appeal.

A spokesman said Lord Justice Sullivan considered the proper interpretation of planning legislation, as to whether a Neighbourhood Plan is capable of allocating land for development, was an “important issue for the local planning process throughout the country.”

The spokesman added: “We hope that the matter can be brought swiftly to a hearing.”

The plan was drawn up by a team on behalf of Uppingham Town Council. Uppingham First community group secretary Ron Simpson was one of those who led the project.

He said: “Over two and half years work went into preparing the plan and it has the support of Uppingham Town Council and Rutland County Council.

“Over 1,200 communities in the UK currently preparing their own plans are now threatened by the actions of Larkfleet who appear to care little for the wishes of the communities from which they seek to make a profit.”