Jessica Hubbard Profile picture
Jul 19 22 tweets 4 min read
First hearing for the #GoringGap judicial review is set to take place tomorrow morning. I'll be there heatwave and travel disruption allowing.🤞#LDReporter A picture of the High Court...
Well I'm on *a* train. It's not the one I was hoping for but maybe I'll get there before Friday...
I've placed myself firmly in the middle, at the back of court 18. If you don't hear from me, I have melted.
And we're off. Just discussing the mass of documents that will be referred to at various points like location plan, NPPF extracts, and site masterplan.
Some agreed common ground is the need for housing - the Borough did fail the Housing Delivery Test (government set housing targets).
Council side has been arguing that not enough weight given to emerging policies. Some debate if green gaps (which the site was originally identified as in the emerging local plan) are reflected in national policy. Inspector originally concluded site has 'no formal protections'.
Now the argument from the council that the development would affect the South Downs National Park.
A break now for lunch....
We're back in court 18. Discussion on harm to the South Downs National Park continues. Council side argues this should've been given great weight by the appeal inspector.
The side arguing on behalf of the Sec of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities now.
Hearing has ended for today and will resume tomorrow morning. DLUHC representative argued the inspector did not make an error in his decision. A major consideration has been the need for housing. They also argue that the emerging plan was still being amended at time of decision. High Court cause list for t...
Also, they - alongside the representative for Persimmon - say the appeal inspector was right to conclude that the view from the Downs and its setting would not be 'materially affected' by development.
Hearing will continue tomorrow morning. It's important to note the High Court isn't deciding whether or not the development is right- it's deciding if the inspector who allowed it on appeal made an error or not...
Day 2: hearing completed at about 12.30. No Tweeting from me due to a technical glitch with my data and no access to WiFi! 😭

Today key documents that were seen during the appeal inquiry (landscape and visual impact study/ies) were discussed.
Isabella Tafur for the council continues the argument that 'significant' harm to views from South Downs should've been considered by the inspector. DLUHC and Persimmon however say he was right to consider 'moderate harm'.
Defendants (DLUHC and Persimmon) also referenced a number of separate, prior cases where areas of natural beauty (AONB) were relevant.
Justice Lang will reserve judgement due to the amount of detail in the case. I'll be here to update you all when the justice makes their decision at a later date...
For those wondering why livestream was not available: I pushed for one but was told court 18 doesn't have the necessary equipment. Unfortunately, this means a lot of those with an interest in the case were unable to view the hearings first hand. I'll do my best to untangle them!
In other news: I took the wrong exit at the station and got lost, my laptop and phone died, and I just paid £3.95(!) for a coffee ... I'm going to go home and wrap myself in bubble wrap before another disaster befalls me. 🤣
Report on day 1 here. I've done my best to highlight some of the main issues but this by no means goes into detail on the myriad local and national planning policies that were discussed...…

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