Westcountry Land

Latest News

Tile

April 23, 2017

Judicial review against Council says Councillor benefited from decision he helped make

A legal challenge has been launched against Cornwall Council over concerns a member failed to declare a personal interest before being involved in planning decisions that could benefit his own business.

Westcountry Land (Falmouth) Ltd said its plans to build 230 homes at Menehay, between Falmouth and Budock, could have led to the expansion of a caravan park on part of the land, and that a councillor who owns a competing business should not have had a say over them.

The company has lodged a claim for a judicial review against Cornwall Council after it removed the Menehay site from its allocations plan, a document which sets out sites for future development. It previously included Menehay, but following calls from councillors for Falmouth, including Alan Jewell, Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee agreed to remove it.

After that, the planning application for housing by Westcounty Land, in association with site owner Falmouth Rugby Club was turned down by Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee in a vote in which Councillor Jewell participated. One reason for the rejection, among others, was the fact it was no longer in the allocations plan.

Westcountry Land said the new legal action focused on concerns that Mr Jewell, for Boslowick ward, did not declare interests relating to the site before pushing for it to be removed or remove himself from the decision-making process as a member of the strategic planning committee.

The claim for judicial review by Westcountry Land states that Mr Jewell, who owns Pennance Mill Farm Chalet and Camping Park, was aware that his main competitor, Mr RJ Dunstan, of Menehay Farm Touring Park, stood to benefit financially from planning permission on the site at Menehay. It says that Mr Jewell was aware that if planning permission was granted, a covenant over Mr Dunstan's land which prevents the extension of his campsite would be lifted, allowing it to be extended, therefore increasing competition with Mr Jewell's own campsite.

Mr Jewell is reported to have previously made comments in the planning arena in respect of a conflict of interest between his and Mr Dunstan's business. He was criticised at a planning committee meeting in 2011 for "bringing his concerns about his own business into a debate" regarding plans to extend the Dunstan's caravan park.

Mr Jewell is quoted as saying: "We are the only campsite in the borough of Falmouth and if this does go ahead it will take passing trade away from me. It would have an impact on my business"

The claim also raises concerns that Mr Jewell had investigated plans to put student accommodation on his own land and that he subsequently had a say in policies relating to site allocations for student accommodation.

"We wish to ensure that the proper process for making crucial planning decisions is followed," said Justin Dodge, director of Westcountry Land. "We have reluctantly had to resort to legal action to ask the court to scrutinise that process and the concerns raised. It's in the public interest to ensure that the process is transparent and the interests of those making these decisions is properly declared."

The lodging of the claim is the first stage in judicial review proceedings and sets out the legal grounds for challenging the process by which Cornwall Council has made its policy and planning decisions.

A council spokesman said: "The council is aware of the judicial review challenge being pursued by Westcountry Land relating to Cornwall Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD).

"Following consideration, the inclusion of the Menehay site within the Allocations DPD was not supported for a number of reasons, one of which being that it was felt that an alternative disused brownfield site should be prioritised over the greenfield Menehay site.

"The council denies that there was any unlawfulness in the decision to not include the Menehay site within the Allocations DPD and the council will robustly defend any challenge on this basis."

Mr Jewell said: "What they are saying is not true and they cannot prove any of it. These are made up allegations. People in my ward were telling me not to push for it (the land being included in the local plan) and that's what I did."

Posted on: April 23, 2017

Tile April 23, 2017 Judicial review against Council says Councillor benefited from decision he helped make Tile March 13, 2017 Belle Hill plans for 96 new homes receives "Conditional Support" Tile November 01, 2016 Council will not support Falmouth Rugby Club plans for Menehay housing Tile October 14, 2016 226 homes will enable Falmouth Rugby Club to upgrade its facilities Tile October 11, 2016 Developer says majority of residents support 226 homes on Menehay fields Tile August 11, 2016 Midas wins appeal for 94 homes near Budock Church Tile June 10, 2016 Falmouth School’s State of the art sports facilities plan approved Tile June 09, 2016 Menehay housing scheme would secure Falmouth Rugby Club’s future Tile June 08, 2016 Development would secure club’s future Tile May 02, 2016 Union Corner housing plans win the support of Falmouth councillors Tile February 25, 2016 Proposals for new Falmouth School sports facilities and Union Corner housing opposed Tile January 28, 2016 Union Corner housing proposals get positive response from planning officer Tile November 19, 2015 Public consultation planned for Union Corner housing scheme Tile August 28, 2015 St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double hails “momentous” Trewhiddle Farm planning decision Tile August 28, 2015 Potential windfall for Falmouth club after proposed development but residents fear further projects Tile June 03, 2015 Mevagissey development set to be approved Tile May 26, 2015 224 new homes planned for outskirts of Exeter Tile March 31, 2015 Plans for 42 homes in Mawnan Smith approved at appeal Tile February 05, 2015 St Austell town council votes unanimously to back Higher Trewhiddle Farm plans Tile January 30, 2015 Developer in 12 homes plan Tile December 30, 2014 Council’s bill rises as developers win more planning appeals Tile August 27, 2014 Is plan for 47,500 homes in Cornwall a countryside invasion or a solution to housing crisis? Tile August 14, 2014 Housing scheme on the outskirts of St Just in Roseland thrown out Tile February 26, 2014 Delight and dismay as Mawnan homes rejected Tile December 13, 2013 Businesses to reveal retail site alternative Tile December 05, 2013 High Court halts 31-homes plan Tile October 24, 2013 Plans for 42 new homes in Mawnan Smith refused by Cornwall Council Tile September 21, 2013 Plans for 42 homes at Mawnan draws dozens of objections Tile June 25, 2013 Plans submitted for 42 home development in Mawnan Smith Tile April 25, 2013 Westcountry Land gets go-ahead for new equestrian centre Tile February 26, 2013 Developer’s £470,000 for village school and crossing Tile February 15, 2013 Final approval for affordable homes at Mevagissey Tile February 15, 2013 Planners agree to 90 new homes for Cornish village Mabe Tile January 17, 2013 Let us build houses to help stop Fal pollution – Luxury Homes preferable to ongoing oil leak into river, says company Tile December 03, 2012 New £100m plan for homes and shopping complex Tile November 28, 2012 Controversial homes plan in Mevagissey gets go-ahead Tile November 19, 2012 New affordable homes for Cornish villagers Tile November 09, 2012 Homes challenge being considered Tile August 02, 2012 Villagers seek more say over Homes plan Tile July 13, 2012 Developers defend affordable housing Tile May 30, 2012 31 homes are planned for port beauty spot Tile March 15, 2012 Views sought on Mabe housing plan Tile February 29, 2012 Local opinion split over housing plans Tile February 22, 2012 Group to fight plan for homes on green fields Tile February 22, 2012 Plans unveiled for Mevagissey development Tile November 28, 2011 Homes bid for Mabe Tile November 17, 2011 Plan includes new affordable housing

Project Map

Completed Completed       Live Live
Menu button Logo
Truro: 01872 248758 / Plymouth: 01752 967616