Local Plan legal challenge fails

Zurich Assurance has abandoned its legal challenge to Winchester City Council’s adoption of Local Plan Part 1, following the rejection of its case by the Courts.

Zurich had gone to the Court of Appeal following the rejection of all of its grounds for challenge by the High Court in March.

Refusing leave to appeal, Lord Justice Sullivan said that the original judgement ‘is both comprehensive and thoroughly convincing’ and that there was no compelling reason to grant permission to appeal.

This means that any uncertainty over the Local Plan has now been removed and that it is not possible for Zurich to ask the Courts to quash any part of it.

Cllr Vicki Weston, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Built Environment, said:

We were always convinced that the challenge by Zurich was unjustified and its submission has caused a good deal of unnecessary work and expense. The Council will be compiling a claim for its legal costs to be reimbursed. The High Court judgement dismissing Zurich’s claim was clear that the Plan was properly examined and adopted. This will be helpful in progressing Local Plan Part 2 and dealing with any relevant applications or appeals.

This outcome helps to ensure that Winchester City Council will have strong planning policies for the future which are essential to deal with speculative development challenges that conflict with planning policies such as the one at Pitt Vale.