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Farthingloe AONB, Supreme Court to decide on whether to build 600-plus homes there

The Supreme Court will decide on whether to build hundreds of homes on a beauty spot.

Dover District Council has taken its case to the country’s highest court after losing its fight in the Court of Appeal last year to allow 521 homes and a 90-apartment retirement village.

They would be at Farthingloe, near Dover, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Farthingloe beauty spot. Picture: CPRE Kent
The Farthingloe beauty spot. Picture: CPRE Kent

The latest hearing, which took place on Monday, saw the council again being challenged by CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) Kent.

The court will make its decision two to six weeks from now.

The campaign group had won its case in the Court of Appeal in September 2016 to stop the development.

A statement on its website said: “The scale of the development is unprecedented in an AONB and the harm that the development would do it is neither properly taken into account nor mitigated.

“It is CPRE Kent’s belief that not only should the Farthingloe case never have reached this far but DDC should have dismissed the application.”

The scheme is by developers China Gateway International Ltd, which is supporting the court action.

When it first went before the council, officers had recommended just 375 homes and wanted less density.

But the planning committee disagreed and granted permission for the 600-plus homes.

The judgement for this hearing is not expected for another two to six weeks and CPRE Kent says it will not comment further until then.

MP Charlie Elphicke says it is unfair for anyone to be in his position
MP Charlie Elphicke says it is unfair for anyone to be in his position

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “Everyone knows we need more housing.

"Yet the CPRE are doing all they can to stop the homes we need getting built.

“The CPRE should listen to the young people of Dover, who desperately want new homes and stop undermining their hopes and aspirations of a better future.

“We must put the future of our young people ahead of such unelected, anti-democratic campaign groups.”

A Dover District Council spokesman said: “This is the latest in a series of legal steps, after China Gateway International Ltd (CGI) applied to DDC for planning permission for a large-scale residential development in an AONB.

"The planning committee granted permission.

"CPRE Kent brought a claim for judicial review of the decision on several grounds, including that the planning committee had not provided adequate reasons for its decision.

"The claim was dismissed in the first instance, but allowed on appeal.

"It was the decision of the Court of Appeal which was appealed to the Supreme Court by DDC.”

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