Budleigh Longboat saga: appeal granted

PUBLISHED: 15:15 09 March 2013

Campaigners against the redevelopment of Budleigh’s Longboat Café are celebrating, after a judicial review of the scheme’s planning approval was granted by the High Court.

Calls for a review were initially rejected by the court last November, but it has now been granted on appeal.

A date has not yet been set for the full review, and it may not take place until the beginning of next year.

Campaigners against the plan say they are confident that when it takes place, East Devon District Council’s decision to approve the scheme will be quashed.

However, the council has downplayed the decision, saying it has no bearing on whether the full judicial review will be successful.

EDDC planners first gave the green light for businessman Brent Hushon to build a modern two-storey café on the site in 2010, but this plan was scuppered when the council refused to sell him the neighbouring shelter, the site of which formed part of his plan.

Mr Hushon then filed a plan for a smaller café, which was refused in February 2012, but a third application, submitted as an amendment to the 2010 plan, was approved last June.

Now, a full judicial review will be held into this decision, and campaigners opposing the destruction of the current building, which they say is a historic longboat house, are optimistic.

The Budleigh Salterton Longboat Association’s David Daniel said: “Association members are delighted with the result of the High Court hearing. This reverses an earlier decision, based on a paper review, where EDDC had successfully argued that our claim had been lodged out of time

“We have always contended that there was no legal basis for such a claim.

“It was an argument that drew attention away from the claims we make of significant errors in process.

“Our contention has now been upheld.

“We are confident and hopeful that EDDC’s June 2012 approval of the Longboat plans will be quashed.

“We must remember that a similar, previous, application was rejected in February 2012.”

A spokesman for EDDC said: “We note the decision of the court and we will defend the matter at the appropriate time.

“There will undoubtedly be a cost involved and this will ultimately be borne by the council tax payers of East Devon.

“It is too early to say what kind of amount might be involved.

“It is gratifying that the judge acknowledged that the council had used the correct procedure in the legislation for dealing with the application and only allowed the judicial review to proceed due to issues relating to how much weight was given to the previous consent granted in 2010 and a previous refusal in 2012.

“The fact that the judge has allowed this case to proceed has no bearing on whether or not the judicial review will be successful.

“It simply means that the judge considers that their case is arguable.”

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