‘Fighting fund’ given backing

Daventry District Council Offices ENGNNL00120131022090525
Daventry District Council Offices ENGNNL00120131022090525
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Reserves of £70,000 have been earmarked to fight two major upcoming planning appeals on greenfield sites in villages near Daventry.

The district council’s Strategy Group gave its assent to the fund at a meeting held last week as the local authority gears up to make its case for the proposed 121 homes off New Street in Weedon and 99 homes near Rugby Road in Kilsby.

Both applications were refused by Daventry District Council’s (DDC) planning committee last year.

The application for Weedon attracted strong criticism from locals who were concerned existing services, including the surgery and primary school, were already near capacity.

In Kilsby the proposed homes were refused over worries it would cause harm to the local area and would be detrimental to highway safety.

Villagers who set up Kilsby Action Group to combat the plans opposed additional development due to the expansion of DIRFT and other housing estates nearby.

Both developers have appealed and the cases will go before the planning inspectorate later this year.

According to the council’s website, the council cannot demonstrate a five-year land supply, making it harder to it to fight appeals. The legal aid, which still must be given 
approval by full council, would pay for legal services, expert external witness and 
additional administrative support if contingency funding is unable to meet these costs, 
expected to be around £40,000, with £30,000 in reserve.

The report says: “It is important to local residents and the Planning Committee that these appeals are properly defended.

“Whatever the outcome of the appeal, failure to provide an adequate defence of the reasons for refusal could lead to an award of costs against the council for unreasonable behaviour.

“These could be a considerable amount.”