North Cornwall MP, Scott Mann, has described his "dismay" at news that two national housing and energy companies have launched legal action after plans were rejected for 190 homes in Wadebridge and a wind farm in Week St Mary.
Writing separately to the chief executives of Redrow plc and Good Energy Group plc, Scott Mann asked them to abandon their High Court legal action and to respect the views of local people.
Planning applications by Redrow for 190 homes in Wadebridge and by Good Energy for a wind farm in Week St Mary (known as the Big Field Wind Farm) were both rejected by local councils, Cornwall Council and the Planning Inspectorate upon appeal, with the latter also being rejected by the Communities & Local Government Secretary this summer.
Both companies have now applied to the High Court for judicial reviews to try and overturn the decisions taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
Writing to John Tutte, Group Chief Executive of Redrow plc, regarding rejected proposals for 190 homes in Wadebridge, Scott Mann said:
"The planning application for this proposed development received a fair hearing. It underwent significant scrutiny at a local level through the normal planning procedures at Cornwall Council, whereby many local residents lodged their objections alongside the evidence produced by the planning officer as to why planning permission had to be refused.
"Nearly one year later in July 2017, after receiving initial refusal from Cornwall Council, the application was again rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. This first appeal action was met with much disapproval locally, and I am astonished that Redrow continue to pursue this matter as far as the High Court."
The local MP said he could not stress "the level of anger and disappointment" caused locally by Redrow's legal action. He added:
"Of course, Redrow is well within their rights to seek a judicial review if it believes the Planning Inspectorate did not properly scrutinise and analyse the appeal, but based on the level of objection that this development has received from local people and local representatives, plus the dismissal by Cornwall Council and the Planning Inspectorate, I urge you to re-consider this legal action and to withdraw your High Court application.
"The people of Wadebridge have made their views known on this development, and I ask that Redrow respect this."
Writing to Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive Officer of Good Energy Group plc, regarding rejected proposals for a wind farm in Week St Mary, Scott Mann said:
"The proposed wind farm was opposed by a number of parish and town councils during the original planning process and it also received widespread opposition from local residents during both the original planning application process and the appeals process, and I would like to register my dismay on behalf of local communities that Good Energy is pursuing this proposal through the High Court, even though it has received a high level of objection from local people and official rejection by planning officials.
"In fact not only has this proposal been rejected by local people, local councils, Cornwall Council and the Planning Inspectorate, but it has also been rejected by the Communities and Local Government Secretary himself. I therefore find it astonishing and alarming that Good Energy is ignoring this – particularly the will of local people – and is pursuing the matter in the High Court."
Scott Mann reminded the chief executive in his letter that the appeal for the wind farm went under extensive scrutiny by the Planning Inspectorate, including a public inquiry in Launceston Town Hall where local people and representatives were able to give their views. He added:
"...given the level of objection registered by local people and those who represent them during the original planning process and the appeals process, I urge you to reconsider your decision to take legal action and to withdraw your application to the High Court.
"The people of Week St Mary and surrounding communities have made their views known on this matter, and I hope that Good Energy will respect that."
Local communities will now have to wait and hear whether the legal action for either proposal will be allowed to continue in the High Court.