JUSTICE FOR CROYDE, THE NORTH DEVON COASTS AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY and THE ENVIRONMENT
CARA is delighted that Mrs Justice Lieven has quashed the harmful 2014 planning decision that unlawfully permitted expansion of Ruda Holiday Park into green undeveloped fields in the area of outstanding natural beauty in the Croyde Bay area. In reaching her decision, Mrs Justice Lieven commented:
"It would be very hard to explain to a member of the public why a permission which was granted in complete error and where the developer has now got a permission which gives him what he originally sought, i.e. the extension of operating times, should not be quashed."
This is the right decision for this beautiful natural landscape and the environment. We are relieved that this result has, for now, put the AONB and environment back at the forefront when it comes to proposals for any development in this precious area.
“The overriding factor in my view is the harm that would flow from upholding the planning permission. The site is in the AONB in a highly prominent location.”
We want to thank our legal advisers Richard Turney and Alex Shattock of Landmark Chambers and Lisa Foster and her team at Richard Buxton Solicitors for their patience, commitment, expertise and practical approach to this important legal action.
Finally, and not least, we are hugely grateful to all those who have supported us from near and far. The funds we needed to raise to bring this legal action were substantial and the time and effort required to pursue this case, considerable. We could not have done this without the generosity, good spirit and good will provided by so many along the way. This decision represents a significant achievement for the many hundreds of people who have contributed in so many ways. Whilst CARA fronted this action, it has been buoyed up by a much wider community of people who care about preserving protections to ensure that beautiful areas like this continue to be there for everyone not only now but in the future as well.
Whilst we celebrate a good outcome for this area and the people who live, work or visit here, we remain ready for any further challenges there may be.
CARA awaits a decision on Parkdean’s application to the Judge for permission to appeal and our barrister has made submissions to oppose permission to be granted. They also have 21 days to apply to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal. We will keep you updated as we hear more.
If permission to appeal is granted by the High Court (rare but it can happen) or later on a formal application by Parkdean for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, CARA will mount a robust defence of the judgment of the Court handed down today. This is the right decision for the community and the sensitive environment CARA has been fighting to protect.
Whilst it is a highly unusual set of circumstances which has led us this point, CARA would like to engage with relevant parties to try and ensure that a situation like this does not arise again and that any future development in this area takes into account the impact on the AONB and environment.
The court reporter's report below provides more information about the arguments from each side, and additional quotes from the judge.