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Holy Cross NSE Development

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Poll Question: Should the 'village' carry on the legal fight against the development
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Grand Wazoo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 April 2017 at 7:40pm

Redress for abuse of the planning system

Master Davison refuses to strike out claim alleging planning fraud by religious charity

Chalfont St Peter Parish Council v Holy Cross Sisters Trustees Incorporated

Queen's Bench Division, 10 April 2017

This claim concerns the grant of planning permission by Chiltern District Council ("CDC") in December 2010 for a mixed-use development on the site of the former Holy Cross Convent School in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire. The Holy Cross later sold the site with the benefit of the planning permission for in excess of £30m.

In August 2016, nearly 6 years after CDC resolved to grant the planning permission, the Parish Council issued a claim in the Queen's Bench Division alleging that the Holy Cross had fraudulently misled CDC as to the extent of the former playing fields at the school and thereby induced CDC to grant the planning permission. The Parish Council alleges that the Holy Cross thereby intended to injure the Parish Council, by knocking out its rival proposal for the development of the site.These allegations are strenuously denied by the Holy Cross.

The present claim followed protracted litigation in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, in which the Parish Council sought to set aside the planning permission, and which culminated in defeat for the Parish Council: see R(Chalfont St Peter Parish Council) v Chiltern District Council & Holy Cross Sisters Trustees Inc [2014] EWCA Civ 1393.

The Holy Cross applied to strike out the claim, alternatively for summary judgment.

The main issue was whether it was an abuse of process for the Parish Council to allege fraud at this point in time. It had not alleged fraud within the protracted judicial review proceedings. As Master Davison put it:

"Certainly, the ordinary observer would think that it is unsatisfactory that that allegation should be raised only now – 6 years after the events and after multiple hearings in the High Court and Court of Appeal about the same subject-matter."

However, the Master concluded that it would not be right to strike out the claim. Essentially, this was because:

"It is a cardinal feature of judicial review proceedings that the court will not ordinarily embark upon a re-hearing of the underlying facts. Firstly, that would be to usurp the function which Parliament has vested in the planning authority. Secondly, judicial review is a procedure fundamentally unsuited to finding facts – particularly heavily contested and contentious facts."

Therefore, he was not persuaded that the Parish Council should have alleged fraud within the earlier judicial review litigation.

The Master also stated that there was force in the submission that, if the claim was made out, then the true abuse of process here was the abuse of the planning system, which if the claim were struck out would go unpunished and un-redressed.

As to the summary judgment application, the Holy Cross was in the Master's view unable to land a "knock-down blow" to the Parish Council's case.

The full text of the judgment can be found here.

Matt Hutchings QC, instructed by Simons Muirhead & Burton LLP, appeared for the Parish Council.

Mark Lowe QC and Asitha Ranathunga, instructed by Farrer & Co LLP, appeared for the Holy Cross. Mark Lowe QC and Asitha Ranathunga also appeared for the Holy Cross in the prior judicial review proceedings.

For coverage of the judgment in the legal press, see the Law Society Gazette website.

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swej View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swej Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 10:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hissing sid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 5:39pm
Originally posted by Grand Wazoo Grand Wazoo wrote:

Its all here : 

https://cornerstonebarristers.com/news/redress-abuse-planning-system/




The link doesn't seem to be working, well not on this end.
Hissing Sid

It's a free country, adopt whatever PC stance you want. Just don't tell me which stance I should take just because it clashes with your opinion.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grand Wazoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 4:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hissing sid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 3:57pm
So maybe, they'll be forced to turn it back into a sports field or at least green space.
Hissing Sid

It's a free country, adopt whatever PC stance you want. Just don't tell me which stance I should take just because it clashes with your opinion.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilternman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 2:53pm
Wonderful! To think that a holy order would lie for financial gain is so comforting, indicative of what is going on in the world today!! Don't suppose now that it will make any difference but hopefully we can sue for the difference in value and use the money for something to enhance the village rather than destroy it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sunray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 2:33pm
I see in "The Times" today it has been reported that CSP Parish Council  are taking the Holy Cross order (Sisters of the Holy Cross) to court accusing them of misrepresentation of the facts when the application for planning approval was sought.

The Council claim that the Order misrepresented the past use of the school field, they say that the Order claimed that 3 acres had not been used as playing field when they knew that this was not true.

The Council say that the Order misled planning officers because if the field had been used for school games the application to sell it to a residential developer for £31 million would have been rejected, because local planning authorities will reject applications if they involve loss of sports facilities.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EmmaO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2015 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by Laceyb15 Laceyb15 wrote:

How many children attending the local academy live outside csp. Gone are the days when it was just for children of the village. The parish council are a rule unto themselves. They don't like it when a ruling goes against them and must be spending thousands of pounds fighting the decision and yet they will not overturn a stupid decission they made to grass over graves at the garden of rest to save money. Vote for change in May if you agree!!!!


Most are village children or at the point of entry into the academy were living in the village. Even the sibling rule comes below actually living in the village.
The artist formerly known as Bobblehead :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grand Wazoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2015 at 11:43am
You make a valid point though...you want to vote Conservative but the local Conservatives choose idiots... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grand Wazoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2015 at 11:42am
Speak for yourself! 
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