Review granted into demolition of Budleigh Salterton café
PERMISSION has been granted for a judicial review of East Devon District Council's decision to allow the demolition and redevelopment of Britain's last Admiralty Longboat House in Budleigh Salterton.
As previously reported by the Echo, plans for a contemporary, two-storey building to replace the Longboat Café were approved in June.
The proposals were the third to be submitted by former Royal Marine Brent Hushon. His original planning application for a similar restaurant was approved by district councillors in 2010, but he was unable to proceed when he failed to acquire a public shelter crucial to the scheme.
In December 2011, Mr Hushon submitted another application for a smaller construction which was rejected by councillors in January 2012.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
When councillors on the planning committee considered the latest plans, they were advised by planning officers that "it was acceptable to handle it as a modification" to the existing planning permission.
However, citing a string of issues surrounding the decision, members of the Budleigh Longboat Association applied to the High Court for permission for the review – but it was refused.
The main thrust of their argument was that planning officers instructed members of the development management committee to "set aside" the previous decision to refuse an earlier scheme.
The association claims planners incorrectly told councillors they would have to approve the application because the applicant could start demolishing the building based on the 2010 approval, when in fact the scheme could not be implemented.
After challenging the judge's decision not to grant permission to proceed to a judicial review based on East Devon District Council's defence that the application for review was not made in time, a judge has now granted permission for a judicial review of the council's decision. David Daniel, association member, said: "Members are delighted with the result of the hearing. After a detailed examination the judge ruled that there was sufficient merit in a number of our claims to grant us permission for a full judicial review, reversing an earlier decision.
"We have always contended that there was no legal basis for the claim that our application was lodged out of time – it was an argument which drew attention away from our claims that there were significant errors in the process.
"Our contention has now been upheld."
Mr Daniel said that the group is not opposed to development but reiterated concerns that the development's location in a World Heritage Site has not been recognised.
He said the group's perseverance and willingness to incur costs if their bid was to fail is a "measure of the scale of the discontent felt at the way that the council push the boundaries of the planning process to force through decisions".