Ironbridge Power Station development vote unlikely to be held again

Shropshire Council's monitoring officer has said that he can see no legitimate reason to hold the vote on the Ironbridge housing application again.

The development will sit on the old Ironbridge Power Station site
The development will sit on the old Ironbridge Power Station site

Four councillors had challenged the legitimacy of the vote after plans to build 1,000 homes on the site of the old Ironbridge Power Station were approved by Shropshire Council's planning committee this week.

The four councillors - Andy Boddington, Caroline Bagnall, Tony Parsons and Richard Huffer - challenged the vote after the meeting and asked that it be retaken 'on a point of principle'.

One of the councillors on the planning committee, Dave Tremellen, had to leave the meeting briefly, but his vote was counted.

The dissenting councillors claim that this should not have happened.

The outcome of the vote would be unlikely to change if it was retaken.

Tim Collard, Shropshire Council’s monitoring officer, explained that the council is bound to proceed with the decision taken at any meeting, unless it is overturned by a judicial review in a High Court.

He added that he would need to be satisfied that the circumstances for a review were met.

He said: “This is a complex area of law but amongst other things, one issue that would be addressed is whether the decision was irrational, or to use the term applied by the courts, ‘Wednesbury unreasonable’, which has been described as ‘a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it'.

“I do not think that a judicial review would succeed on that basis."

Mr Collard added that another consideration would be if council procedures had not been followed correctly, and whether this would mean that the outcome of the vote would have been affected.

He explained that a case could be made that as Councillor Tremellen left the room, however briefly, should not have voted. However without his vote the application would have passed in any case.

He said: “As such I can see no legitimate reason, as the monitoring officer, to seek to intervene to have the matter re-opened.”

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