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MP: Residents have 'strong case' in legal action against council
MP Steve Baker believes the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Forum has a “strong case” as residents prepare to drag a council before a judge.
The Wycombe MP was a guest speaker as the forum was officially ratified on Thursday night, before residents voted to take Wycombe District Council to a Judicial Review over the area it has been designated.
Mr Baker is still hopeful the dispute will be settled outside the courtroom but, should it go the distance, he thinks residents have a good chance.
Mr Baker told the meeting: “I think your request is perfectly reasonable.
“It’s a personal opinion, but I think you have a strong case and the RAF base should be part of the neighbourhood forum area.”
The residents association applied to be a forum so it could influence the proposed developments on RAF Daws Hill and the mooted new Wycombe Sports Centre, but these sites were removed by the council.
But the Conservative MP feels the sports centre site is a different case as it affected the wider district, before going on to say councillors are “not tyrants” and they are simply “trying to do what is best for the town”.
He added: “I very much hope Wycombe District Council resolves this with you before it goes to Judicial Review, which would be better.
“But I have lived on Daws Lea, I know what it’s like, and I don’t want to see a bus lane run through there any more than current residents do.”
Neighbourhood Forums were born out of the Localism Act to give residents the chance to shape development within their community.
Mr Baker, who is an executive member of the 1922 Committee, said Parliament could learn from the way residents and ward members had conducted themselves during the forum process.
He said: “Congratulations, I have listened to how you have conducted yourselves and Parliament could learn a thing or two from you.
“...I think it [the Localism Act] is a step forward, I have listened to what you have said and I will bear this in mind when I see the Prime Minister.”