Legal battle over Redhill Aerodrome hard runway continues, with appeal against High Court Judgement
In 18th July a judge at London’s High Court, Mrs Justice Patterson, allowed Redhill Aerodrome Ltd’s appeal against refusal by Tandridge District Council and Reigate and Banstead Council, as well as a Government planning inspector, of permission for a new hard runway. As a result, Eric Pickles would have the proposal reconsidered. The judge said the Government inspector who turned down the plan had taken an “impermissible approach” to planning policy relating to sustainable development in the green belt and that this had “tainted” her ultimate conclusion. Then a few days later the Chief Planning Officer, and Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning at DCLG said: “We disagree with this ruling which is based on a very narrow interpretation of national planning policy. The Secretary of State is seeking permission to appeal the decision to ensure the high level of protection afforded to the Green Belt is maintained.” On 25th August is was revealed that the Treasury Solicitors and 2 local authorities have been granted leave to appeal The High Court judgement. This is likely to be in September 2014, on a date to be fixed. Opponents of the hard runway hope it will restore the inspector’s decision to refuse RAV planning permission for it.
KRAG (Keep Redhill Aerodrome Green) said the Treasury Solicitors and Local Authorities have been granted leave to appeal The High Court judgement. KRAG understand the appeal is likely to be heard in September 2014, on a date to be fixed.
KRAG trust that this hearing will restore the inspector’s decision to refuse RAV planning permission for the hard runway and put an end to the airfield owners speculative ambitions which have consistently been demonstrated will cause harm to the green belt.
Key victory for Redhill Aerodrome in battle for new runway
A judge gave plans to replace an existing grass runway with a hard one a fresh chance at securing planning permission
Redhill Aerodrome has won a key victory in its ongoing battle to replace its existing grass runway with a hard one.
A judge at London’s High Court gave it a fresh chance at securing planning permission for the controversial development on Friday (July 18).
Mrs Justice Patterson allowed Redhill Aerodrome Ltd’s appeal against refusal by Tandridge District Council and Reigate and Banstead Council, as well as a Government planning inspector, of permission for the new runway to be installed.
As a result, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles will now have the proposal reconsidered.
The judge found that the Government inspector who turned down the plan had taken an “impermissible approach” to planning policy relating to sustainable development in the green belt and that this had “tainted” her ultimate conclusion.
Ordering a re-think the judge said: “One does not know what her decision would have been if she had followed what, in my judgment, is the correct approach. Accordingly, it cannot be said that her decision would inevitably have been the same.”
The application for permission to install the runway was initially turned down by the two councils last May.
Then, in January this year, a Government planning inspector dismissed an appeal by the company against the stance taken by the councils. The inspector found that the hard runway would constitute “inappropriate development in the green belt”.
The inspector found that the proposed new runway would enable them to develop their role in serving the local business community and she referred in her decision to an additional 140 jobs and a net economic impact of £12.4m per year by 2030 as “realistic outcomes”.
However, in backing the councils she took the view that the environmental harm would “significantly and demonstrably outweigh the economic benefits”.
At the High Court hearing last month, the firm argued that, in approaching the balance in that way, the inspector made an error on the interpretation of a crucial paragraph in the National Planning Policy Framework on development in the green belt.
Agreeing, the judge ruled that the inspector had wrongly taken “no green belt harms” into account when assessing “any other harm”.
Lawyers for the Government had argued in court that harm to the green belt, through loss of encroachment and encroachment of development into the countryside, carried “substantial weight” and that the inspector applied the policy correctly.
Separately instructed lawyers acting on behalf of the councils maintained that the result would inevitably be the same on any reconsideration, and that the considerations in favour of the proposal do not even come close to outweighing the harm.
Proposals for a hard runway at the aerodrome were also rejected in 2011 and 1986, while a proposal for a commercial airport failed in 1995.
News about Redhill Aerodrome:
Piers Mason, Chief Planning Officer, and Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning at DCLG, have told Sam Gyimah MP that:
“We disagree with this ruling which is based on a very narrow interpretation of national planning policy. The Secretary of State is seeking permission to appeal the decision to
ensure the high level of protection afforded to the Green Belt is maintained.”
This matter will take time to progress. Sam Gyimah says he remains opposed to the concrete runway at Redhill Aerodrome and will do all in his power to prevent it.
REDHILL AERODROME APPEAL INQUIRY – UPDATE
15th April 2014
KRAG (Keep Redhill Airfield Green) recently received the news that RAV (Redhill airport) have lodged a further appeal against the decision of The Inspector to dismiss their appeal.
In simple terms this appeal is based on RAV’s view that The Inspector made an error in her interpretation of National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). They claim the error was material in the formation of her decision to dismiss their appeal and is thus unlawful. Accordingly, in their opinion, her decision should be quashed.
The present situation is that The Treasury Solicitors will now review the original decision. They have to decide whether to support the Inspector’s decision, or not.
If they decide to support the decision then they will disagree with the RAV opinion and the matter will be heard by the High Court for them to decide if a mistake has been made in the interpretation of the NPPF. If they decide not to support the Inspector’s decision then RAV will apply to the High Court to quash the decision and it is likely that a new Inspector will be appointed to start the appeal process again.
There do not appear to be any statutory time limits for The Treasury Solicitors to make known their decision and at time of writing no estimates of a time scale have been forthcoming.
Redhill Aerodrome runway appeal, for a hard runway, dismissed by Planning Inspector
February 21, 2014
Plans to build a hard runway in place of its 3 existing grass runways at Redhil aerodrome have been refused by a planning inspector. The owners of Redhill Aerodrome, RAV, had wanted the hard runway in order to have aircraft movements all year, even in bad weather, and to increase the number of flights from 60,000 to 85,000 a year. Following last month’s public inquiry, the planning inspectorate ruled the development was “inappropriate” and could “harm the green belt”. Reigate and Banstead Council and Tandridge Council rejected the scheme last year, saying it was inapproprite development in Green Belt, so RAV appealed. Local residents groups and Surrey Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) were among objectors who gave evidence to the inquiry. Local Conservative MPs Crispin Blunt and Sam Gyimah lodged formal objections against the development, saying the economic case was weak and it would cause major detrimental impacts on the surrounding area. The airfield flooded as a result of heavy storms last month. Click here to view full story…