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Judicial review over Whitchurch medical centre plans granted

By Lisa O'Brien | Whitchurch | Property | Published:

A bid for a judicial review over plans for a new medical centre, 71 apartments and a community room has been granted a hearing at the High Court next month.

Pauls Moss House in Whitchurch

Campaigners launched the bid after Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee approved the proposal to redevelop the Pauls Moss area of Whitchurch in October.

Members had rejected the original plan in order to retain Pauls Moss House, which was at risk of being demolished. Wrekin Housing Trust returned with a fresh application proposing to retain the historic mansion and convert it into a cafe and community hub.

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But campaigners are unhappy with these plans and Paula Fraser, from the Save Pauls Moss group, applied for a judicial review into the process and decisions made.

She says she wants the planning permission to be quashed and suggests the plans should be redesigned to be more sensitive to the area, with more open green space.

A new planning application has been submitted by Wrekin Housing Trust and the group says it contains updated supporting information “including how the application meets all open space criteria”.

The planning statement adds: “This fresh, third planning application remains unaltered in any physical or factual way from the approved second planning permission.

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"This submission is made having regard to the claim for judicial review made by an interested party, which is challenging the grant of planning permission, and which is also based on factual inaccuracies so far as the challenge relates to the quantum of open space.”

Pauls Moss in Whitchurch. Photo: Google StreetView

But Ms Fraser says the application for a judicial review has moved on to the next stage and a High Court hearing is set for next month.

She said: “The grounds for the judicial review centre on the council’s application of their open space policy.

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“Shropshire Council has granted permission for a development which contains far less open space than their planning policy requires, with the justification that the intended residents are elderly and/or in need of care and therefore won’t need the same space provision as those who don’t share these characteristics.

"This approach to policy is not only unfair, but also unlawful, discrimination which is contrary to the Equality Act 2010

“This third proposal is in fact exactly the same as the previous application.”

Shropshire Council said it could not comment while the judicial review process is under way.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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