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York campaigners lose again in Germany Beck homes battle - but vow to fight on
A PARISH council has lost another round in its legal battle to block York’s biggest housing scheme - but says it will fight on at the Court of Appeal.
A High Court judge in Leeds has turned down a renewed application by Fulford Parish Council for a judicial review of City of York Council’s decision to grant ‘reserved matters’ planning permission for the 650-home Germany Beck scheme.
Judge Behrens dismissed a series of arguments by the parish about issues including the archaeology of the site - where campaigners claim the Battle of Fulford was fought in 1066 - flood risks, bats and air quality. He agreed with another judge who turned down the parish’s initial application in September that the claim was ‘not arguable.’
Fulford parish chairman Alan Smith said the council was disappointed because it continued to believe there were strong grounds for judicial review.
“Following legal advice, the parish council has decided to appeal the judgment and will be lodging an application to the Court of Appeal within seven days,” he said.
“In order to help us meet the costs of this appeal, we'll be seeking the continued support of the local community by holding a public meeting and will be relaunching the Germany Beck Fighting Fund.”
Mike Slater, York’s assistant director of city and environmental services, said the council’s decision-making process over the reserved matters application had been closely scrutinised by the High Court and the authority was pleased with the outcome.
He said the council was determined to kick-start stalled developments, adding: “We look forward to working with Persimmon Homes in order to get house building moving on this site.”
Simon Usher, of Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said it had worked closely with the council and engaged with other interested parties, including the parish council, throughout the planning process to ensure the planning application was robust in every way.”
He welcomed the court decisions and added: “Furthermore, we remain confident that all other claims of this nature will result in a similar outcome.
“We remain fully committed to the development of the site and are seeking to commence work as soon as possible following the discharge of the appropriate planning conditions.”