Silver Hill judicial review

Cllr Kim Gottlieb’s challenge to Winchester City Council’s decision to approve changes to the Silver Hill scheme and Development Agreement was considered again at a hearing in the High Court on 18 November.

The challenge had been dismissed at the first stage but Cllr Gottlieb exercised his option to have the matter considered again before a different judge with representatives of both sides in court. Cllr Gottlieb’s challenge was on three grounds. The judge dismissed the claim that the Council has not secured best consideration under the revised agreement, as well as the claim that the Council’s decision constituted unlawful state aid.

The judge did however accept that the Court should hear detailed legal arguments on the one remaining ground, so that this can be tested further, in a full substantive hearing which should take place early in the new year. This relates to the issue of whether the Council is able, under European Procurement rules, to approve the changes that it did, without undertaking a new procurement exercise.

Cabinet’s decision was taken in the light of legal advice from external Counsel which had confirmed that the Council could agree the changes in the manner that it did.

The legal arguments on this point did not affect the Council’s ability to determine the planning applications and the Planning Committee met on the 11 December and unanimously approved the applications.

The hearing was held in the High Court on the 28 and 29 January 2015.