YORK housebuilder Persimmon has vowed it will start work on its controversial Germany Beck development "as soon as possible" as another court challenge is thrown out.

An application by Fulford Parish Council for a judicial review into the approval of planning permission for the 650 home scheme has been turned down at the Court of Appeal.

Parish councillors had been attempting to challenge a previous High Court decision which found the planning approval by City of York Council for reserved matters, had been granted legally when it was passed in April last year.

Speaking after the Court of Appeal decision, Simon Usher, deputy managing director at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “The order backs up the decision in two previous orders which sanctioned the legality of our planning permission.

“At the appeal court Lord Justice Sullivan was firm in his conclusion that Fulford Parish Council’s submission could not in fact identify any seriously arguable error of law in the local planning authority’s decision-making process.

"In fact, it was noted that the complaints which tried to form a legal argument were no more than criticisms of the planning authority’s judgement.

“We believe this brings us a step closer to building much-needed new housing in the area and remain fully committed to the development of the site. We are seeking to commence work as soon as possible.”

In a statement on its website, Fulford Parish Council said it will be pursuing its final option available to appeal the decision, after voting to renew the application for consideration at an oral hearing in the Civil Appeals Court.

The statement said: "In taking this decision, the Parish Council had regard to the clear advice of its legal team that the decisions taken by City of York Council do contain errors of law.

"It is hoped that more money can be raised by public donation and by fund raising events to pay the legal costs of the oral hearing, because the Council may otherwise reluctantly decide to withdraw its appeal and cease legal action."

The Germany Beck development is also subject to another High Court battle in which archaeologist Charles “Chas” Jones is challenging a refusal by English Heritage to register Germany Beck as the site of the 1066 battle.

A decision is still awaited following a High Court hearing last month.

Mr Usher added: "In their first decision, issued in February this year, the High Court found that Mr Jones did not have an arguable case and we are hopeful of a similar outcome from the most recent proceedings.

“We regard both this and the previous three failed challenges by Fulford Parish Council as totally without merit, as confirmed explicitly in each of the previous legal decisions.

"The legality of the planning permission has been consistently found to be robust by senior judges at every point in the process.

"These challenges will not impede the progression of the development and we expect site works to commence in the near future.”