A RESIDENTS group's bid to overturn a High Court ruling over two major development sites in High Wycombe has ended in failure this week.
The Court of Appeal has dismissed the case brought by the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum against Wycombe District Council.
The residents’ group took the council to court over WDC’s decision to remove Handy Cross and RAF Daws Hill from its designated area.
Mr Justice Supperstone threw out the forum’s claim in the High Court in March last year but residents took the case a stage further on appeal last month.
However it emerged this week that the Court of Appeal has upheld Justice Supperstone’s judgement, that Wycombe District Council had acted lawfully in exercising its power of designation in setting the neighbourhood area.
DHNF said when it contested the original decision that the council had ridden roughshod over new legislation introduced by the Government to give more power to communities over planning issues in their areas.
Residents argued that, in designating them a forum, WDC wrongly excluded from their Neighbourhood Area the only two major sites for development that might affect them.
However, the council argued that the provisions in the Neighbourhood Planning scheme, introduced in 2011 by the coalition Government’s Localism Act, gave the council a broad discretion over which locations may be suitable for planning within a Neighbourhood area.
The council has already approved an outline planning application for a new sports centre at Handy Cross. The project will also include a hotel, office blocks and a coachway park-and-ride.
Taylor Wimpey's proposals for 362 houses, 79 apartments, nine industrial units, a community centre, Air Training Corps Base and a bus hub have also been given the green light by WDC.
The case marks the first legal test of the Localism Act, which is meant to empower local groups.
It is understood the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum have informed the Court they will not appealing the judgement.
An Order for costs is expected to follow.