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High Court judge rules against Basingstoke and Deane housing plans
4:24pm Tuesday 17th April 2012 in Gazette
A HIGH COURT judge has ruled against Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in a stunning defeat for the borough’s controversial plans for where houses should be built.
Mr Justice Lindblom delivered his judgement this afternoon after The Manydown Company, a major landowner to the west of Basingstoke, began legal action last year.
The company sought judicial review of the Conservative administration’s decision to omit 820 hectares of land jointly owned by the borough and Hampshire County councils from house-building plans between now and 2027.
In a 40-page judgement, Mr Justice Lindblom said: “I cannot see any escape from the conclusion that the council’s decision was not only inconsistent with the purpose for which the Manydown land was acquired and held, but plainly contrary to that purpose.”
It was an "irrational" decision, he said.
The Manydown Company sold a 999-year lease on the land to the two authorities in 1996 claiming it entered the deal believing the councils would be the “best stewards” of the land when it was developed.
The judge’s decision means the borough council will have to go back to the drawing board on its housing and development plans and is likely to be faced with substantial legal costs.
See Thursday’s Gazette for more.