High Court grants campaign group permission to argue its case against plans for Middle Quinton eco-town

The government’s eco-town policy will be subject to a judicial review after a campaign group won a ruling in the High Court today.

The Better Accessible Regional Development campaign (BARD) applied for a judicial review in June this year, challenging the government’s eco-town consultation processes.

Now the case will be subject to a full hearing at the High Court before the end of the year.

The campaign was founded by residents opposed to the development of an eco-town in Long Marsden near Stratford Upon Avon, a 600 acre site formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence.

I have no doubt that this claim is arguable and so permission should be granted

Mr Justice Collins

BARD argued that plans for the new eco-town “Middle Quinton”, which includes the development of 6,000 houses, leisure and retail facilities and a railway will fail in its eco agenda. Campaigners have also argued the development will spoil the area, which lies adjacent to the Cotswolds’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr Justice Collins, who granted the application, said: “I have no doubt that this claim is arguable and so permission should be granted.”

David Bliss, chair of BARD campaign said: “The issue is quite simple. Large-scale local planning decisions should be left to local authorities with direct accountability to the people whose lives they impact. Over 47 national and regional expert bodies, campaign groups and locally elected representatives have expressed their widespread misgivings over this eco-town programme since its inception.”