High Court challenge over St Albans Sewell Park development

Green Belt land to the rear of Harpenden Road

Green Belt land to the rear of Harpenden Road - Credit: Archant

A HIGH Court challenge for the right to build a controversial housing development on Green Belt land off Harpenden Road in St Albans has been launched by the scheme’s promoters.

Hunston Properties have been seeking the go-ahead to build a major housing and care home development – named Sewell Park – to the rear of 112-156B Harpenden Road.

But their application has been rejected three times by St Albans district council (SADC).

And last month the Planning Inspectorate backed the council’s decision, dismissing a second appeal by Hunston and awarding partial costs to SADC because the scheme would harm the openness of the Green Belt.

The application was for 116 homes, a 72-bed care home, new accesses to Harpenden Road, two tennis courts and open space.

When approached by the Herts Advertiser, Hunston’s spokesman refused to comment on the High Court bid.

However, Mike Lovelady, head of legal, democratic and regulatory services at the district council, confirmed that the council had been notified that the Planning Inspector’s decision of March 12 dismissing Hunston’s appeal has been challenged in the High Court on procedural grounds.

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He said: “The council has been served with papers as second respondent. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [Eric Pickles] is first respondent.

“I have received instructions to contest the proceedings on behalf of the council.”

Cllr Teresa Heritage, portfolio holder for planning, said residents who have been campaigning against the development were bound to be disappointed at the High Court challenge.