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High court rejects abbatoir review bid

Published: 26th Apr 2012

Please note this is an archived Press Release

A LEGAL challenge over plans for an abbatoir in an East Cleveland village has been thrown out by the High Court.

A resident had lodged an application for a judicial review into Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's handling of the issue in Boosbeck.

The abbatoir had operated in the community for several decades, before closing five years ago.

So when BHM of Middlesbrough submitted plans for a halal slaughterhouse, no planning permission was needed as there would be no change of use of the site.

The Council issued a lawful development certificate for the proposed use of the site last October - and maintained that it would robustly defend its handling of the matter against the legal challenge.

And its position was backed by His Honour Judge Behrens, sitting in Leeds this week, as he rejected the judicial review application.

In his ruling he stated: "The effect of this application is to put in jeopardy the certificate of lawful use issued on October 17, 2011, almost five months ago, yet no detailed grounds have been filed.

"Applications for judicial review must be made promptly. This is especially true in planning matters where, as here, a potential purchase is involved."

Judge Behrens added that the one ground for judicial review put forward had been "convincingly answered" and also awarded the Council costs.

Councillor Helen McLuckie, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Planning, said: "The Council was asked to provide a legal view on the use of the abbatoir site in Boosbeck, which we did. Our advice on this issue has always been that our position was robust.

"I am pleased that the High Court has confirmed that everything has been handled as it should have been, within national planning laws."

Council Leader George Dunning added: "We have been working very hard on finding a solution to the abbatoir situation - talking to the Boosbeck Against Slaughterhouse group throughout - and want to reassure residents that this work will continue until the matter is resolved."

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