Killian Garvey and Jonathan Easton, acting for two local residents, successfully secured the quashing of a decision by York Council in the matter of R.(on the application of John Matthews and Mary Urmston) v City of York Council and Octopus Healthcare Developments Limited  EWHC 2102 (Admin).
The Council granted planning permission for the demolition of an existing 31-bed car home and the erection of a new-64 bedroom care home. The Council had produced a Committee Report that spoke to the need for care homes in York and specifically within the locality of the development. However, the Council had significantly erred in the figures it had provided about this need.
The Council had sought to rectify that error at the Committee meeting itself, through producing an updated report that addressed the correct figures for care homes. However, that update note only considered the consequences of these revised figures in the context of flood risk. It did not consider the corrections for any other purpose.
Consequently, the Court found that the Committee Report had served to significantly mislead the Committee. Her Honour Judge Belcher held, ‘In my judgment, there is real cause for concern in this case where corrections have been made but have been identified in express terms by the planning officer as relevant to one part only of her report’.
The judgment is important in that it highlights the steps a Council must take where they acknowledge errors in their committee reports.
Killian Garvey acted for the Claimants throughout the claim, but was unavailable for an additional day for the Court to hear the Claimant’s Reply. Accordingly, Jonathan Easton stepped in to do this Reply.
Walton & Co were the solicitors for the Claimants, with David Walton and Paula Churm taking the lead. Vanessa Redfern at Walton & Co had also acted for the Claimants but she sadly and unexpectedly passed away during the course of the litigation.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.
Winckworth Sherwood in conversation with Kings Chambers
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