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Highland Court decision is a sad outcome for our countryside

David Mairs
By David Mairs
27th May 2024

Judge accepts breach of council’s constitution but warehouse scheme can go ahead

CPRE Kent is extremely disappointed with the judgement in the High Court regarding the Chapel Down application to build a huge warehouse (or ‘winery’) in the Kent Downs National Landscape at Highland Court, near Canterbury.

Her Honour Judge Alice Robinson acknowledged the misleading advice given by officers of Canterbury City Council to CPRE Kent, noting the stark and muddled approach that misled us.

The judgement, announced on Friday (May 24), confirmed a breach of the council’s constitution, which directly impacted CPRE Kent and Natural England, which led to us being unable to speak at the crucial planning meeting where the application was approved. However, despite recognising the clear breach of the constitution, Judge Robinson concluded that it did not result in material prejudice.

CPRE Kent believes this permission will lead to the devastating industrialisation of an area of countryside with specially protected status that should be conserved. There are numerous other locations where such a large-scale development could occur without causing irreparable harm to our precious countryside.

This decision is a sad outcome for the countryside.

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