A HIGH Court judgement over Harrogate Borough Council's Local Plan could affect where a new settlement is built to the west of York.

The plan calls for the 3,000-home development to be situated in the Green Hammerton, Kirk Hammerton and Cattal area, despite furious protests from local residents.

However, Flaxby Park Ltd, developers behind rival plans to build the new homes instead on a disused golf course at Flaxby, on the other side of the A1, have now won a judicial review challenge.

Chief executive Chris Musgrave said FPL instigated the proceedings in the belief the council had unlawfully adopted the plan, and Mr Justice Holgate had upheld their argument .

He said the judge had ordered the plan to be ‘remitted’ back to the council, so members could consider whether it should be adopted in the light of information which should have been shared with elected officials in March.

“HBC did not take into account vital information such as the sustainability appraisal and the detail of the consultation process," he said.

But a council spokesman said the court had dismissed outright two of three challenges by FPL and the judge was clear there were no flaws in the development of the local plan,and the process was fair and equal.

"He has ruled that the plan does not need to be quashed in part, or full, saying that would be 'wholly unjustifiable'," he said.

"The court's view is there was a single procedural issue because specific attention was not drawn to an updated sustainability appraisal when adoption of the local plan was discussed by councillors, even though the document was in the public domain at the time.

"The judge stated that although FPL has been successful, in-part, to Ground 1 they had mounted a ‘time-consuming and costly attack on the local plan process' and had ‘failed in achieving what was plainly the main object or thrust of the challenge.'

He added that to address the issue of the updated sustainability appraisal, a report would be brought to full council as soon as possible.