Planning lawyers have called for the government to delay a consultation on its eco-town programme until after a judicial review of one scheme.
A lawyer for the Bard campaign group said the consultation should be put on hold while a judicial review of the Middle Quinton eco-town, granted by Mr Justice Collins last week, was carried out. The review could take up to a year.
Simon Ricketts, head of law firm SJ Berwin’s planning and environment group, said: “There is little point in a consultation until the [judicial review] is disposed of. It would be premature for the government to take any further steps.”
Stephen Turnbull, planning lawyer at law firm LG, said the decision to grant a judicial review put the future of the entire programme in doubt. The government plans to issue councils with a planning policy statement about the programme, but Turnbull said: “It is difficult to see how this can be done with credibility during a judicial review.”
The communities department said: “We believe we have acted properly throughout this process and will defend this judicial review vigorously. The government remains of the view the claim is premature in challenging an ongoing consultation process.”