High Court grants legal challenge to Prolog plans

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A judicial review into plans to build two warehouses on the outskirts of Sudbury is to go ahead, after receiving the backing of the High Court.

An application to take legal action against proposals by local firm Prolog was submitted earlier this year and was given permission last week.

Objectors to the £50million development in Church Field Road claim there are a range of reasons why the scheme, put forward by the marketing and logistics firm, is unsuitable and have consent to challenge the proposals on nine grounds.

Among those opposing the project are Lord and Lady Hart, of Chilton Hall, who feel Babergh District Council was wrong to pass the plans as they will harm the Grade I listed St Mary’s Church, their Grade II listed home and its Grade I listed walled garden.

“The fact that a High Court judge has granted permission for a judicial review on all our nine grounds of challenge to the granting of planning permission should cause Babergh District Council to examine seriously its past and future actions in relation to this planning permission,” said Lady Valerie Hart.

“Ratepayers’ money is being spent in defence of the council’s actions and we continue to believe that very grave errors have occurred in the handling of this case.”

Prolog, which employs around 400 people at offices in Milner Road, has been seeking to build on the site for more than a decade and claims the development would create up to 500 full-time jobs.

The legal challenge will argue these jobs could only be delivered if both warehouses were built. Under the terms of an agreement with the council, the firm could lawfully sell both buildings after 18 months without even occupying them.

It will also claim council officers misled members about the damage to the walled garden as being “less than substantial” when it would, in fact, be more serious.

A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said the authority was aware permission had been granted to apply for a judicial review into its decision to approve the building of two detached industrial buildings on the site.

“Babergh considers that its decision to grant planning permission for the Prolog development has been lawful,” said the spokeswoman.

“We will defend our decision robustly.”

A hearing for the judicial review is due to be held in the near future.