Friday, 19 December 2014

Luton application has been dismissed by Judge.

Sources have informed us:
The Council's planning decisions on development to the north of Houghton Regis which is contributing significant funding (£45 million) to the Dunstable/Houghton Regis Bypass. Luton had said in Court that they would not have brought the action if Central Beds had provided more social housing for Luton.

Regrettably , Luton immediately asked for leave to appeal against this judgement which Justice Holgate refused.

"This morning High Court Judge, Justice Holgate, has dismissed the legal challenge brought by Luton Borough Council against this Council’s planning decision on development to the north of Houghton Regis.


Whilst the challenge was dismissed in its entirety, the judgement was particularly robust in its criticism on four of the grounds raised by Luton which in some cases were referred to as “wholly misconceived” and “utterly inarguable”.


Conversely Justice Holgate backed Central Bedfordshire completely. He was satisfied that there was nothing misleading in the Council’s Committee Report, that we had properly exercised our planning judgement and that there were no matters open to legal criticism.  The Council had correctly balanced the very important benefits this scheme would bring against the concerns raised by Luton. 


To quote Justice Holgate specifically, “It is most unfortunate that this project, which will deliver much needed development and nationally important infrastructure, has been delayed by a challenge lacking in legal merit.”


Regrettably, Luton has already lodged an appeal against this judgement.


Whilst Justice Holgate has denied them the leave to apply to the Appeal Court for this to be considered, it is possible that the Borough Council will continue to pursue all legal avenues open to it to press for the their appeal to be heard.


We will be alerting local stakeholders, including local Members and the media, to this news today and anticipate some national media interest in the new year.







Jason Longhurst

Director of Regeneration and Business"

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