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Protesters in judicial review bid
9:40am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A LAWYER has been instructed as campaigners against development at St Clement’s car park prepare to challenge a decision to approve a planning bid.
Last week, developer Watkin Jones was given permission to push ahead with plans for 140 student rooms across four blocks above the car park site.
Traders had objected to plans, claiming the loss of parking spaces would hit businesses, and residents said the new development was too big and overbearing.
The proposals were initially turned down in August, but 13 Labour councillors signed a “call-in” of the plans, and they were revisited, with a slight change which will see parking maintained on parts of the site during development, but with fewer spaces.
Business owner Clinton Pugh said: “We have a lawyer looking into it. There is a resident of Anchor Court who is trying to get legal aid for the process.
“There will be a challenge of some sort. We want a judicial review because we don’t like the way the council have just called it in because some of them didn’t like the decision.
“They’ve been judge and jury, and they get to reap the benefits.”
Mr Pugh claims the council stands to gain £5m from the sale.
But Labour councillor and board member for city development Colin Cook, said: “I don’t think it will get them anywhere. I believe you can only get a judicial review if the council has failed to do something it is supposed to do, and I don’t believe we’ve done that.
If campaigners decide to pursue a judicial review, they must first apply to the High Court for permission to do so. If they win the right to take it further, the High Court will then arrange to hear their case.