Bourne developer Larkfleet to challenge Uppingham neighbourhood plan

Larkfleet Homes. ENGEMN00120130905092040
Larkfleet Homes. ENGEMN00120130905092040
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A developer hopes to make a High Court challenge to a neighbourhood planning guide which it claims is “not legally valid.”

Larkfleet, based in Bourne, is objecting to the Uppingham neighbourhood plan, which has been drawn up to help Rutland County Council determine planning applications in the town.

Residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plan in a referendum on Thursday last week.

But Larkfleet believes the document should not be adopted by the county council. The firm has lodged a judicial review. A spokesman said: “We believe that the Uppingham neighbourhood plan is flawed in several areas and therefore not legally valid.

“In particular, we feel that it is not appropriate that the process of deciding where housing should be located – known as ‘site allocation’ – should be delegated to the Uppingham neighbourhood plan instead of being part of the Site Allocation Policies prepared by the county council.”

The spokesman added: “We do not believe that this is an appropriate way of delivering the county council’s Core Strategy – which sets out how Rutland will meet future housing need – as the Core Strategy expressly states that the location and details of future housing development should be determined through the Site Allocation Policies.”

Although the plan has now passed the referendum stage, the pending review means the county council will not yet be able to adopt it.

The plan was drawn up over two years by an Uppingham Town Council task group. Lead volunteer Ron Simpson said: “I would like to thank everyone who helped create the plan over the past 30 months. It has been a tremendous team effort. “Uppingham now has a forward-looking plan up to 2026 which has a very strong mandate from its community.”