“A campaign group has gained permission to take a controversial planning decision in Canterbury to judicial review.
Sustainable Ways Integral to Canterbury’s Health (Switch) has objected to the 4,000 homes Mountfield Park development, which also includes 70,000 square metres of employment space, two schools and a reserve site for the Kent & Canterbury Hospital, together with a 1,000 spaces park and ride site.
Switch has argued that the application by developer Corinthian Land should on air pollution grounds have been rejected, or called in by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
Campaigners said they sought to raise £25,000 but would be represented by Robert McCracken QC for “a cut-rate price because he cares about Canterbury”.
Switch said Canterbury had been in breach of air quality laws since 2010 and that 100 people a year died in the city due to air pollution, which would be worsened by the development adding some 28,000 extra vehicular journeys daily.
A Canterbury City Council statement said: “It is disappointing that the judicial review application challenging the secretary of state’s decision not to call the Mountfield Park planning approval in has been allowed to proceed.
“Any involvement we now have in this process will mean spending taxpayers’ cash, which we would far rather spend on services for residents.”
It said Mountfield Park was “crucial to the delivery of our local plan and our vision for providing the homes and jobs for people who want to live and work here”, and had been the subject of extensive consultation.”