R on the Application of Hawkhurst Parish Council v Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Case Number: CO/431/2020

Giles Cannock QC successfully represented McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd when a council tried to overturn planning consent. The award-winning developer was granted planning permission in December 2019 to develop 43 retirement living apartments in the village of Hawkhurst, Kent.

The site currently contains a detached dwelling named The White House, a non-designated heritage asset.

Hawkhurst Parish Council challenged the lawfulness of the decision by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to grant planning permission for the development of the accommodation.

The Council tried to overturn permission on the grounds that planning officers had not adequately considered the highways impact of the scheme. They also argued that there had been a misinterpretation of heritage policy and the policy on protection to be given to an Area of Outstanding Beauty (AOOB).

The Hight Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division Administrative Court dismissed the bid to overturn consent for the development. The Judge found no legal flaw in the Council’s decision and dismissed the claim for judicial review.

The case is of wider interest as it discusses the scope of Transport Statements and Transport Assessments, especially in the context of cumulative assessments.

Giles Cannock QC was instructed by Shoosmiths.

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