Port Meadow Case to go before Judge
6th August 2013
Great news – our case to get a Judicial Review of the planning permission for the development at Port Meadow will be heard before a judge in October.
CPRE Oxfordshire has been told that an Oral Hearing will be held on 23 October to examine the case for a Judicial Review. The Judge will also consider whether the decision should be put on hold pending the outcome of another current legal case involving Environmental Impact Assessments and discontinuance of planning permission.
Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire, said: “The thrust of the City Council’s legal argument was not about the rights and wrongs of our case but that we should be ignored on procedural grounds. We are therefore delighted that the Court is taking the issues we have raised seriously and that we will have the opportunity to put our case before a judge.
“This helps to keep the pressure on both the City Council and the University to give better consideration to matters such as meaningful mitigation and contamination.
“The University is understandably keen to get students into the building at the start of the next academic year, but the West Area Planning Committee should under no circumstances be rushed into making further poor decisions.
“We are not yet convinced that the planning condition on contamination has been met, and the mitigation proposals currently suggested by the University are woefully inadequate to counteract the devastating impact of the buildings on Port Meadow and Oxford’s historic skyline.
“A few trees growing to approximately half the height of the buildings in 15 years’ time will not meet the brief of ‘hiding the buildings in summer and softening their impact in winter.’ Key issues such as the height of the buildings and light pollution still need to be addressed.”
CPRE Oxfordshire reluctantly took the decision to take action on Port Meadow in the face of the City Council and University’s refusal to take concerns over this development seriously. Legal battles don’t come cheap and we simply couldn’t do this without the amazing suport we have received from the local community and friends of Oxford from around the world. But we still need help!