Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of Guildford Borough Council, says: “Last month’s unfortunate appeal decision by the Planning Inspector to allow the Solum scheme was extremely disappointing for us and our whole community. The Council’s Planning Committee had unanimously refused permission for the scheme and alongside poor design and little gain for railway station users, it undermined our aim for more affordable housing in the town centre.
“As promised at the time, we have now considered all options open to us regarding this depressing decision. The Council cannot lodge an appeal to try and overturn the Planning Inspector’s decision and the Government cannot ‘call-in’ a planning appeal decision after it has been made, so we explored the possibility of a Judicial Review about the process.
“Following professional internal legal advice, and expert QC opinion, it is clear that this is not a feasible option as there are no substantial grounds. To avoid using public money when there is no chance of a successful outcome, we have therefore decided not to ask for a Judicial Review.
“Although we cannot take any legal action, we want the best final outcome possible and will do all we can to make sure the least damaging scheme is developed. This includes helping to shape and improve the proposed design as it goes through the next planning stages. We will also continue our work with Network Rail and other partners to provide the supporting infrastructure vital to our borough’s future.” You can also watch a video of Cllr Spooner explaining more about the Judicial Review decision at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M4LxdYO-Xc