High Court rules in favour of Brentwood Council in badger housing dispute

A wild life campaigner faces a bill of around �70,000 after failing in his fight to save a habitat of badgers in Hutton.

Ralph Patmore went to the High Court in London as part of his battle to block a �3 million luxury housing development next to Longaford Way, Hutton Mount.

But after a judge ruled that Brentwood Council had been entitled to grant consent for the development Mr Patmore was left with legal costs of �50,000 for his representation and will also be landed with paying the estimated �20,000 bill run up by the council.

Mr Patmore had asked deputy Judge Alice Robinson to quash the permission granted by the council and order it to reconsider the application, properly taking the needs of the local badger population into account.

He claimed the council was wrong in February 2010 to grant planning permission for the development of two six bedroom houses with garages without hearing from a badger expert put forward by the Essex Badger Protection Group.

The badger protection group say the plan will disturb the badgers who forage on a greenfield site to forage and make setts.

Mr Patmore argued that, at the meeting where consent was granted, the council was scheduled to hear first an application for approval of reserved matters in relation to an earlier 2006 outline planning permission in respect of the site, followed by the application for a new outline permission, followed by an application for a full permission.

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He claimed that, without warning, the agenda was changed and the badger lovers were not given a chance to put their arguments against the development.

However, in dismissing his challenge Judge Robinson sided with the council.

She said: “If the council had reconsidered it would not have changed its mind. I decline to quash outline permission.”

And she ruled went on to rule that Mr Patmore must pay the costs of the case saying that as he had lost he would have to pay his own legal costs and the council’s.