Moss hearing D-day looms

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting a housing development in Marton will learn in a fortnight whether their legal challenge has been successful.

Angelia Hinds, chairman of the Save Our Moss pressure group, was granted a judicial review into Blackpool Council’s approval of a scheme by Kensington Developments for 584 homes to be built on land off Moss House Road.

Supported by her legal team, Mrs Hinds’ case was heard before a judge at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.

Legal representatives from Kensington and Blackpool Council were also present to put their arguments forward.

Mrs Hinds is arguing a decision by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to scrap regional spatial strategies (RSS), which included house building targets, was a big enough change in circumstances for Blackpool Council to have put the Kensington application back before the development control committee.

Mrs Hinds said: “The Moss is so important. It’s alive with wildlife and it’s the only green space in Blackpool South.

“If we lose this, we lose everything.

“The change of Government and the fact the Secretary of State said they were going to abolish the RSS are material considerations.

“The councillors should be allowed to think about it again in light of these material facts.

“Points were made by both sides well and the questions asked by the judge were quite delving. I really don’t know what the outcome will be, it’s so difficult to say.”

A quashing order – which means the original decision is struck down and has to be taken again – is among the powers of the judicial review judge.

If the outcome is not in favour of the Save Our Moss group, they would have the opportunity to appeal.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “I entirely support the motives of the Save Our Moss campaigners in challenging what was a disgraceful neglect of procedure by the council.

“They should have at least referred it back to the development control committee. The fact of the matter is the council has ignored the views of the people.

“They were right to take it to judicial review.”