• EDDC begins High Court challenge over housing at Axminster

    4th December 2012 | News | Claire
  • East Devon District Council used the environmentally damaging draft Local Development Framework to approve the application in September 2010, which had been published for consultation just two or three weeks previously. 

    Its approval was one of the driving forces behind the creation of campaign group Communities Before Developers, of which I was a founder member.

    Save Our Parkland lodged a legal challenge, with the help of planning and environmental consultant, Charlie Hopkins, who works with a barristers’ chambers in London.  Charlie spends much of his working life fighting planning decisions, on behalf of community groups.

    Axminster Carpets, the applicants, members of East Devon Business Forum, was asked by councillors on the Local Development Framework Panel (while meetings were still secret) in 2009, to bring their application forward early, in advance of the Local Development Framework being finalised.

    It is not clear why Axminster Carpets were advised to do this. 

    The link to the relevant panel minutes are below.  There are no page numbers, but the resolution halfway down the document makes interesting reading.

    http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/ldf_panel_minutes_140509.pdf

    Interestingly, just prior to the application being determined by the development management committee in September 2010, the Axminster Carpets owners made an appearance at an East Devon Business Forum meeting (EDBF), and explained how important it was for their business that their application was approved. 

    The link to the relevant EDBF minutes are here – http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/edbf_minutes_100610.pdf

    The story was covered by BBC Radio Devon this morning.  Listen to the programme here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p010s8ns