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Challenge over Selby District Council’s core strategy delays housing and jobs decision
A DECISION on millions of pounds of housing and new jobs in Selby has been deferred after complaints about the council’s core strategy.
Selby District Council’s core strategy has been developed and refined over several years, and sets out how the authority should operate over the next 14 years, but a legal challenge by Tadcaster’s Sam Smith’s Old Brewery could mean it has to be completely reconsidered.
The £300 million Olympia Park development at the former BOCM Pauls Ltd site in Barlby Road is one of the cornerstones of the core strategy, and is set to provide 850 new homes, a primary school, supermarket, pub, restaurant, new roundabout and railway bridge.
Council officers recommended the plans for approval, but an email sent to members of the Planning Committee last week said: “Due to the legal challenge the council has received by Sam Smith’s Old Brewery Tadcaster challenging the Selby District Council Core Strategy, the officer recommendation for both Olympia Park planning applications which are due to be considered at tomorrow’s committee meeting will now be to defer consideration of both applications to a future committee meeting.”
The claim by the brewery raised ten grounds of challenge to the core strategy, and requested the quashing of the entire strategy, on the grounds that the council allegedly failed to engage with the brewery as a key stakeholder in the district. It also claims the core strategy includes errors in approaches to housing and incorrect classifaction of some villages.
A spokesman for Selby District Council said: “We are obviously disappointed by this challenge to our Core Strategy. The strategy was tested by an independent planning inspector who ruled it to be sound. It has been adopted by the Council and remains in place.”
If the application was given the green light and a court were to eventually find in favour of the brewery, that agreement would be quashed along with the core strategy.
Sam Smith’s would not comment.
Richard Cooper, director of Three Swans Property Management Ltd, said: “After 18 months of negotiations with the council it was, however, very disappointing to suffer a further delay. Although not directly challenging the Olympia Park proposals, we understand the reasons why, when the application went to committee last Wednesday, the committee decided to defer a decision.”
Mr Cooper said Three Swans was liaising with the council to ensure the application goes back before planners “at the earliest opportunity in 2014”.
He said: “Olympia Park will provide much needed housing and related construction jobs for Selby and in the medium term will create many permanent jobs when employment land is opened up. The scheme will also revitalise the eastern gateway to Selby.
“We believe it is important for Selby to be seen as being ‘open for business’ and hope that the development gets the necessary early approval to allow it to start making a positive contribution to the Selby economy during next year.”