A public inquiry over plans to build 1,200 homes on Peel Hall must be held again after a Government inspector’s decision was quashed in the High Court.
An appeal against Warrington Borough Counci’s decision to refuse Satnam’s masterplan for the site was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate and secretary of state in December.
But the determination has been quashed, which means there will be another public inquiry.
Warrington Borough Council has issued a statement.
A spokesman said: “We note the decision of the High Court and also note that, in drawing its conclusions, the High Court was not critical of the council or its procedures.
“The appeal has been upheld on the basis of the actions of HM Planning Inspectorate and the secretary of state.
“There will now be another planning inquiry, which will give the council and residents another opportunity to voice their opposition to this proposed development.”
The High Court hearing took place in July, with the judgement being handed down today, Tuesday.
Satnam appealed the decision in the High Court on the grounds that the secretary of state had misinterpreted a paragraph of the National Planning Policy Framework, he had erred in law in his approach to whether the proposed development was deliverable, he had erred in law in applying the criminal standard of proof to the assessment of traffic impact and the decision was vitiated by the apparent bias of the inspector shown in his conduct of the inquiry and site visit.
The High Court quashed the decision on the first two grounds, while dismissing the second two.
Warrington North MP Helen Jones has called on the borough council to robustly defend its position in any new inquiry.
She said: “The decision of the High Court is disappointing but all is not lost.
“I understand, from the council, that the matter will be remitted for a rehearing of the inquiry.
“It is therefore important that those concerned marshal their arguments once more and get ready for another hearing.
“It is particularly important that the borough council continues to defend its position robustly and I will be seeking an assurance from the council leader and chief executive that this will be the case.
“Following the decision not to take Peel Hall out of the latest draft local plan, there is a feeling among residents in the area that the council have become lukewarm in its support for protecting the last large green space in the north of Warrington.
“The council must prove them wrong and continue to strenuously oppose any development on this site.”
Satnam says it is ‘pleased’ after the court quashed the decision.
A spokesman added: “We look forward to working with the officers and elected members of Warrington Borough Council to bring forward this site as speedily as possible to meet the housing shortage that exists in Warrington.”
Campaigner Wendy Johnson-Taylor has also responded.
She said: “We will not stop this fight.
“Naturally, we are bitterly disappointed and really astonished with the decision.
“We will be gathering as much information as we possibly can and will be going through each and every single detail, then we will rally the troops and fight again.”