Petition update

High Court grants permission for Judicial Review of Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan

Anna Hoare
Faringdon, United Kingdom

Feb 3, 2017 — Mrs Justice Lang DBE has ruled that my application for Judicial Review “merits full consideration” in the High Court. My claim challenges the Vale of White Horse District Council’s decision to adopt Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan, on the grounds that the Plan fails to meet the Basic Conditions.

The application has secured an Aarhus Convention Costs Protection Order. This important protection limits any potential adverse costs incurred by me to £5,000, and enables cases on environmental grounds to go forward with relatively limited funds.

In about two weeks’ time the second stage of Wicklesham's CrowdJustice Appeal will be launched. Now that I have been granted a full hearing in the High Court, a press release will be issued to increase public awareness of Wicklesham Quarry, and hopefully attract a wider pool of donors. As we prepare for the full hearing, it is vital to secure additional funds. In addition to the CrowdJustice Appeal, I would love to hear any creative suggestions you may have for fund-raising- such as raffles, ticketed events, auctions or anything else that could help to raise money. I know the campaign has a number of local business supporters who might be able to help launch our renewed collective efforts. If you have anything you would like to donate or some ideas, time, skills and talents you could contribute, please email: protectwicklesham@gmail.com.

Local people are delighted to have achieved this further important step in our campaign for environmental justice for Wicklesham Quarry SSSI. Now the hard work begins again in preparation for the full hearing, which is expected to take place in about 3 months’ time.

I want to thank everyone who has supported the campaign over the last three years, and to flag up the success of our efforts so far. Local people have tirelessly donated paper, lent photocopiers and printers, baked cakes and sold home-made cordial and books, distributed leaflets and petitions, written letters and submitted objections, and generously contributed to the successful first stage of our CrowdJustice Campaign, which raised just over £10,000 in just 16 days. Supporters have continued to write to Oxfordshire County Council in recent months, and this public pressure has helped to secure valuable supporting evidence. The documented attempts to frustrate Wicklesham Quarry’s Restoration and Aftercare Schemes and avoid meeting planning conditions demonstrate precisely why making provision for county matters is prohibited as ‘excluded development’ for Neighbourhood Plans.

I also want to thank my barrister Pavlos Eleftheriadis of FTB Chambers and my solicitor Linda Felton of Fortune Green Legal Practice. They remain extremely dedicated to our campaign to Protect Wicklesham Quarry from Development, and have contributed hundreds of hours to the case. With their expert help and commitment and the continued backing of loyal supporters of Wicklesham Quarry, we look forward to victory in the High Court!