LEGAL CASE: JUDGE RULES IN FAVOUR OF BUCKS COUNCIL AND TAYLOR WIMPEY UK


Last Friday (11th March 2022) the judgement was released on our claim for Judicial Review against Bucks Council’s decision to approve the 3,000 houses on Hampden Fields. Our case was focused on supporting the NHS’s clear evidence that the medical facilities and contributions for healthcare were significantly below what they should be.

Bizarrely, the Council’s argued that an increase of 3,000 houses (that is, c.7,000 more people!) would have a “negligible” impact on healthcare to the extent that no additional doctor’s surgery or additional resources at Stoke Mandeville hospital were required at all. This is completely counter intuitive, goes against common sense, local people’s experience and the very strong evidence provided by the NHS. However, the judge ruled that the council were entitled to make that “planning judgement”.

The judge did agree with HFAG that the committee had been given “incorrect” information around the ability to build a bigger doctor’s surgery at some stage in the future. However, the judge decided that this error was not significant enough in law to have made any real difference.

In our view, this is a damning indictment on our Council and Councillors who, according to the judge, have knowingly approved a major new development of 3,000 houses in the full knowledge of the deficiencies and inadequacies highlighted by the NHS.

It is now highly likely that there will be no doctor’s surgery on Hampden Fields, just like there isn’t one on Kingsbrook after 10 years.

Now we are faced with a big bill: we had to spend £50,000 on this case and had previously raised £35,000 through your very generous donations. Unfortunately, costs have increased because of the hundreds of extra pages of documentation submitted by the Council (who obviously spent a seemingly bottomless pit of your money employing very expensive QC’s, solicitors, planning consultants and the like) and by the developer Taylor Wimpey UK. We are therefore re-opening our Just Giving page in an effort to bridge this gap, details of which can be found below, and your support would be gratefully appreciated.

HFAG DONATE HERE

We are looking into grounds for a potential appeal of this ruling but the initial advice is that the prospects are not promising. We will keep you updated.

Our next step will be to hold a public meeting as soon as we can to fully inform you of the issues and get your views before we decide the future direction of HFAG and our next steps.

As ever , we thank you for your support.

The Hampden Fields Action Group committee

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