Goring Gap Supreme Court Response


KAMPAGNER hailed the Goring Gap verdict as “the best possible news”.

The group has fought the proposed development of Persimmon tooth and nail, rallying support for their cause and speaking at a public inquiry.

Ms Justice Lang released her verdict after a hearing on July 20, announcing: “The inspector’s decision is to be set aside by order of the court.”

Ed Miller, Secretary of the Ferring Conservation Group, also serves as Convenor of the Protect Our Gaps Alliance.

He said: “We were all taken aback when we received the inspector’s decision to uphold Persimmon’s appeal.

“We had no doubt that Worthing Council policy and the nascent local plan made this application to fill a 475 home green void, a non-starter.

“Now the High Court has ruled that the Inspector was legally wrong in failing to take due account of the resulting local plan – which had already been widely accepted by another Inspector – and also failed to take sufficient account of its impact on the South Downs National Park.

“All credits to Worthing Borough Council – both old and new – for fighting back so well to save one of the last stretches of land between Goring and Ferring.

“Not only would this large housing development destroy farmland, wildlife habitat and a valuable community convenience — it would have added an impossible amount of traffic to an already congested local road system.

“Our thanks also go to Sir Peter Bottomley, who fought with us at every turn, in Parliament and on the ground, against the 1,250 residents who lodged their objections.

“It’s not the end of the story yet.

“The original motion will have to be ‘re-decided’ by the Secretary of State, probably in a further appeal.

“But as time goes on and the local plan moves into its final stages over the next few weeks, it seems extremely unlikely that the appeal will be upheld.”

Worthing West MP Sir Peter said the High Court’s ruling was “a tremendous victory for our local councils and for our communities”.

He added: “A lot of people have fought the good fight. I’m glad to have supported and worked with them.

“It was wrong for the Appeals Inspectorate to overrule the elected council and the original Inspectorate’s justifiable refusal to build over 400 homes in the Goring Gap.

“Your decision was perverse. It has destroyed the planning system as we know it and undermined the authority of our elected council.

“Ministers should step in now and give their own inspectors clear instructions and guidance to preserve the identity of local villages and towns, and not to concrete every field, vineyard, nursery or recreation space.” Goring Gap Supreme Court Response

Fry Electronics Team

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