Chippenham’s future judicial review can go ahead, judge says

A JUDGE has granted permission to begin the process of legal review of the proceedings surrounding the Future Chippenham project.

Last year, Dr Helen Stride launched her judicial review bid in response to a decision by Wiltshire Council cabinet to provide a ‘southern section of the A4 feeder road at the A350 junction at the Lackham which would provide between approximately 3,800 and 4,200 new homes and associated infrastructure”.

Now a judge has ruled the case deserves due consideration at a full hearing. Dr Stride called the decision “a good day for local democracy”.

Activist Dr Helen Stride Papers relating to clearance for judicial review of Future Chippenham Scheme. Photo Trevor Porter 67782 1

A spokesperson for the Save Chippenham protest group said: “In a recent interview with Channel 4, the leader of the council said how important it is for government leaders to demonstrate integrity.

“Contrary to what the leader of the council said in this newspaper last week, this is not about government goals, nor about a ‘master plan’ or avoiding ‘cookie-cutter’ housing estates, whatever they are, and it’s certainly not about responding to local needs.

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“This is a reckless and irresponsible government that is driven by an outdated ideology to build unnecessary highways and executive residences for commuters on precious green fields, showing complete disregard for the impending climate catastrophe.

“Where could I ask, is the integrity in this? We’re done listening to Wiltshire Council’s attempt to defend the indefensible.

“Let’s see if they have better luck in court.”

It is the decision that the council will have to defend in court at the expense of the taxpayer.

Council leader Richard Clewer said: “An application for judicial review has been lodged with the courts and served on Wiltshire Council. The matter is with our legal advisers, including lead counsel, and we can confirm that counsel will vigorously defend their position.

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“As previously stated, the Future Chippenham program does not determine where and if development takes place, this decision is subject to local plan review.

“Development proposed by the Future Chippenham scheme will be subject to local plan review and the statutory planning process following the same rules that apply to any other landowner wishing to propose a development in Wiltshire.”