THE sale of a former Ministry of Defence site in Beaconsfield will be scrutinized after a property developer was successful in their bid to have a judicial review.
The sale of Wilton Park, which could see 350 homes and a new community hub built, was completed two weeks ago with the MOD agreeing a deal with Inland Homes who were chosen as their ‘Special Purchaser’.
However, Beaconsfield-based developers Jansons Property were last week granted permission to hold a judicial review, which they say is in the national interest, looking into how Inland Homes were selected as developers.
Jansons Property Managing Director, Andy Jansons, said: “Pursuing a litigious process is a matter we have considered carefully and we believe the decision to grant a judicial review is fair, justified and in the national interest.
“The Judge has clearly acknowledged that the process should be opened up to scrutiny and that the MOD should explain the basis that Inland Homes met the requirements of a Special Purchaser.”
The judicial review will centre on the decision to sell the historic site to Inland Homes despite Jansons offering an interest before the sale was concluded, they have said.
Mr Jansons added: “We shall continue to pursue the matter, as we maintain that our access proposal for Wilton Park offers a far better solution, both on a technical basis and offers a pecuniary advantage for the taxpayer and the Government.”
“We have also escalated the matter of the disposal with our local Member of Parliament and have a copy of a response from November 2013, in which the Minister of State for Armed Forces (The Rt Hon Mark Francois MP) states that ‘The Ministry of Defence was given no choice but to go through Inland Homes’.
“We believe that the Minister has been ill-advised and that this statement is factually incorrect. The decision taken by the MOD therefore did not provide the opportunity for competitive tendering and may not result in securing the best price reasonably obtainable for the site.”
A MOD spokesman said: “The MOD is aware of the outcome of last week’s High Court hearing, but unable to comment at this stage for legal reasons.”
Inland Homes are soon to release a statement on the High Court challenge.