Peel had been locking horns with both Salford Council and local residents group R.A.I.D (Residents Against Inappropriate Development) since 2013 after proposals were put forward to create 600 dwellings on a plot of land between Monton Green and Worsley Road.
Local Councillors Karen and Robin Garrido have both spoken strongly in opposition of the applications made by Peel, citing issues such a development would bring to the area, from increased traffic disruption on local roads and the knock-on effect on the wider area, to the effects that 600 new dwellings would have on local services.
The initial plans were refused by Salford council but that did not stop Peel from appealing the panels decision, however, after a six week public enquiry in 2014, the original decision was upheld by the Secretary of State Eric Pickles in March 2015.
Peel didn't waste any time in submitting a high court challenge but before that could be heard a separate high court panel ruled that a technical element of the inspectors report was wrong and that the March 2015 decision by then Secretary of State Eric Pickles should be quashed.
The government said a new inquiry would have to be opened to consider all the evidence once again.
Meanwhile, Peel applied for planning permission to build another 165 homes on a smaller part of Broadoak which was again refused by the council’s planning panel in July 2017.
After yet another lengthy and costly enquiry, Secretary of State James Brokenshire backed both Salford Council and the campaigners by ruling that both appeals should be dismissed and the original outcomes be upheld.
Peel Investments (North) were given a 6 week window to challenge the decision and once more formally submitted papers requesting a judicial review based on the question of whether Mr Brokenshire properly interpreted national policy in respect of housing and sustainable development.
Peel, The Secretary of State and Salford City Council were set to clash at the High Courts of Justice as they set out to quash the November 2018 decisions.
During the court proceedings, Peel's legal team raised questions as to whether the Secretary of State correctly interpreted national planning policy, particularly in respect of housing and the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
It was suggested that there was inconsistency with the housing policies of the Framework which, in particular, addressed the need for a balanced supply of housing including family housing and affordable housing within the available supply. It was further suggested that the inspector’s assessment was measured against the 2012 Framework, rather than the revised 2018 Framework which was available to the Secretary of State at the time.
A number of other grounds were dismissed.
After carefully considering the evidence presented and having heard arguments from both sides, Mr Justice Dove ruled in favour of the defendants, both the Secretary of state and Salford City Council.
He came to the conclusion that there as no misinterpretation and that all grounds should be dismissed and that the decision by the Secretary of State and Salford City Council to deny planning permission be upheld.
In summing up Mr Dove told the court,
"It follows from the forgoing that having analysed the various grounds upon which the Claimant’s case has been brought.
"I am satisfied that permission should be refused for grounds 6, 7 and 8 and that grounds 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 should be dismissed."
A Jubilant Councillor and Chair of R.A.I.D - Karen Garrido - said,
"This is a great victory for RAID with the huge support of local residents, ward councillors and the Council’s officers and QC.
"We could not have won this gigantic battle which has stretched over the last few years with two public inquiries and two High Court appeals without the support of 100’s of local residents who attended public meetings sometimes in the middle of torrential downpours and turned up at the Public Inquiries some to speak others giving moral support.
"if you believe strongly enough then your fight is strengthened as it has been in this case."
It is currently thought that any chance to appeal the ruling has been denied and so it finally looks like the epic battle is over.
The full ruling can be found on this link: Download