Well, CDWA has now had its day (and a half) in Court: 23/24 June. The hearing was before Mrs Justine Thornton DBE. Only a few members of the CDWA committee were allowed to view on the very limited court video link.
There was a static video camera which focused solely on the judge. We were however able to send ‘WhatsApp’ messages to our legal team. Our Grounds were (1) that the Inspector, in judging that
there were exceptional circumstances to develop in the Green Belt, failed to take into account lower forecasts of Oxford’s housing need – and (2) in allocating the golf course for housing failed
to take account of evidence that Frieze Farm could not provide suitable replacement facilities.
Firstly, our CDWA QC, Jenny Wigley presented our case on the two grounds (sticking as she had to, to the legal arguments). Ms Wigley was supported by Ricky Gama of Leigh Day solicitors. The QCs for Cherwell and Landlords and Barrister for the Secretary of State, then sought to counter her arguments. The hearing finished at lunchtime today.
Judge Thornton now has to consider the legal arguments. It is possible she may give a decision by the end of July; otherwise it may be as late as September (as the Court closes for the summer).
We have no indication of the likely judgement. Getting a favourable judgement is of course a very high bar and most local plan challenges fail – but were it to be in our favour, there would then need to be a subsequent decision on possible remedy.
We will of course keep you in touch with any news. Meanwhile thank you for your support thus far.