Court of Appeal upholds planning permission for homes by Shrewsbury playing fields

Judgement has been handed down by the Court of Appeal in relation to a housing development by playing fields in Shrewsbury.

An aerial view of Greenfields Recreation Ground in Shrewsbury. Photo: Google
An aerial view of Greenfields Recreation Ground in Shrewsbury. Photo: Google

The hearing on Wednesday related to an appeal launched by Dr Peter Day against the High Court's decision to allow 15 dwellings to be built on land next to Greenfields Recreation Ground in Falstaff Street.

The Court of Appeal declared that planning permission was lawful and upheld the High Court's decision following claims previous agreements stated it must remain as open space.

Ian Kilby, Shropshire Council’s head of planning services, said: “This judgment relates to an appeal by Dr Peter Day against a judgment of Mrs Justice Lang in the High Court not to quash planning permission granted by Shropshire Council in 2018 for 15 dwellings on land next to Greenfields Recreation Ground in Falstaff Street, Shrewsbury.

“The claimant in the case, Dr Day, had undertaken historical research to show that the land was bought by a predecessor council as open space in the 1920s but it subsequently became allotments in the Second World War and then was used as a tree nursery by Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council before falling into disuse.

“In 2017 the land was sold by Shrewsbury Town Council with the benefit of planning permission granted in 2016. The new owner then applied for permission for a different scheme which was granted in 2018.

“The court has decided that even though the procedures to free the land from the trust that it was held on as open space were not carried out, legally the trust did not survive the sale to the third party developer and as such the previous status of the land was not material to the decision to grant planning permission.

“Had the council found out about that previous status it would not have made any difference to the planning decision.

“The council is pleased that the Court of Appeal has upheld the judgment of the High Court and its decision to grant permission confirmed, and permission to appeal to the Supreme Court has been refused.

“The council has been awarded costs against the claimant, although as the costs for claimants are capped in environmental cases, it does not cover the public funds the council has been forced to incur in this matter when Dr Day challenged the High Court’s decision.”

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