Legal bid to halt use of 1951 Walcot planning consent dropped

Image source, David Plummer
Image caption,
Only four out of the ten houses approved in 1951 were built and the land has seen a change of use, according to resident David Plummer

A legal bid to challenge a council's decision to uphold a 69-year-old planning application has been dropped.

Plans were originally passed to build 10 houses in Walcot, in Lincolnshire, in 1951, but only four were built.

North Kesteven has now passed a certificate of lawful development, meaning the council-owned land could, in principle, be used for new homes.

Resident David Plummer said he dropped his bid for judicial review to allow the council "the freedom" to talk.

"[We] are only asking to be consulted about this extraordinary piece of legislation that nobody has ever heard of," he said.

Mr Plummer, who lives nearby and rents a plot on the land, had sought to take the council to judicial review on the grounds the original application was abandoned and the land has seen a change of use.

Council leader Richard Wright said consultation had taken place even though "there was strictly speaking no requirement for the council to do so".

"In this case," he said, "it was confirmed that the original planning permission granted is still capable of being completed, as the evidence demonstrated that the 1951 planning permission had already been implemented and the site had not been subject to any subsequent change of use since".

But Mr Plummer said the land was predominantly used as garden space and allotments, and had been for decades.

Image source, David Plummer
Image caption,
Mr Plummer said he is angry how "this rubber stamping exercise" has been allowed

Mr Plummer also questioned why a recent private planning application for a small number of homes had been turned down on the basis that Walcot was a "countryside location, protected by the provisions of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan". the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The council leader said the development certificate was not comparable.

He added that the authority was "yet to determine" any future plans for the site.

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