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Funding appeal almost there… but time running out to get it over the line

David Mairs
By David Mairs
29th January 2024

Can you help with challenge to damaging development in National Landscape?

A funding appeal to cover the cost of taking Canterbury City Council to court over its decision to approve a huge winery in the Kent Downs National Landscape (formerly AONB) has almost reached its initial target – but needs a final push to get it over the line.

The challenge to the scheme at Highland Court Farm has been launched by environmental campaigner Sarah Moakes, one of many people who wish to save the Grade II*-listed Higham Park and its environs from “an inappropriate and harmful industrial estate development”.

CPRE Kent is fully supportive of the campaign to contest the CCC decision, having itself challenged it by requesting Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, ‘call in’ the application so he would make the decision rather than CCC. The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty supported us in our request.

However, we were advised that this request had been unsuccessful.

CPRE Kent took legal advice to explore the necessary first steps to apply to take the decision to the High Court for a judicial review of CCC’s decision but decided with regret in this instance not to take the matter further.

Nevertheless, we are happy for that initial legal groundwork to be taken forward by another challenger and wish them every success.

An initial CrowdJustice target of £2,500 has reached £2,165 – but the final £335 must be raised by midday on Thursday (February 1). Can you please spare a little to help this wholly worthy campaign clear the first hurdle in the bid to overturn a deeply damaging decision for the environment?

To learn more about the proposed scheme and to contribute to the CrowdJustice appeal, click here

The downland surrounding the proposed development hosts a rich flora and fauna