Legal challenge holds up Lyde Green housing scheme

May 28 2021

Lyde Green Farm

Lyde Green Farm

PLANS to build nearly 400 homes at Lyde Green are on hold after a High Court challenge.
Developer Edward Ware Homes wants to build 393 houses, including 139 affordable homes, at Lyde Green Farm, between the M4, Henfield Road and the Dramway cycle path to Westerleigh.
South Gloucestershire Council gave permission for the development last December – almost two years after plans were first submitted in 2019.
But now a judge has quashed the consent after the owner of nearby Lyde Green Common, Norft Ltd, claimed a “multi user path” included in the plans was unlawful as it used land that was part of the M4 motorway embankment.
Rather than oppose Norft’s claims at a lengthy and costly judicial review, the council has agreed to go back and make the decision again.
The council has also agreed to pay costs of just under £10,000 claimed by Norft, which has made its own planning application to build an access road and footpath on common land it owns near the development site. Emersons Green Town Council has objected to Norft’s application on the grounds that it involved a reduction in common land.
A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said: “On reviewing the grounds for the intended challenge, we agreed to support an order quashing the planning permission on the basis that one of the submitted grounds relating to a technical issue, had merit.
“This decision was taken to enable the planning application to be redetermined by the Council, with the Council thereby retaining control of the process for the benefit of the community and avoiding the potential costs and delays associated with a formal challenge.”
Edward Ware Homes must now wait for the council to take its decision on the application again, with a new condition relating to the path.
The company’s land director, Simon Jenkins, said: “We’re frustrated that it’s happened – there’s a huge demand for housing in that area.”
Mr Jenkins said the developer was hoping a new permission would be granted soon but said the delay would push back the time for starting work.
He said: “We would have hoped that it would have got under way this year and we would have been on site by October. Until South Gloucestershire tell us what their revised conditions are, there’s nothing we can do, but if they had decided to contest (the legal challenge), it would have been a longer procedure.”
The council had yet to confirm a date by which it expected to make a decision when the Voice went to print.