Developer Larkfleet loses challenge against Grantham bypass in the Court of Appeal

Larkfleet chief executive Karl Hick.
Larkfleet chief executive Karl Hick.
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Housing developer Larkfleet Homes has lost its challenge against the building of the southern bypass in Grantham after a hearing at the Court of Appeal.

Larkfleet claimed that an environmental assessment of the road did not take into account the environmental impact of the housing development planned for the southern quadrant, off Somerby Hill.

Larkfleet argued that the road and the housing development were so inter-connected as to form a single project. It said South Kesteven District Council had failed to consider their joint impact on the environment but this did not persuade the High Court.

In rejecting Larkfleet’s challenge to that decision, the Court of Appeal found that there was a strong planning imperative to build the road which had nothing to do with the development of the residential site where 4,000 houses are planned.

The Court of Appeal said although the housing development could not be granted planning permission unless the road was built, the converse was not true. The funding arrangements for the road did not bear on its planning merits and, insofar as the council had treated it as an independent project, it was justified in doing so.

A Larkfleet spokesman said: “We are obviously disappointed with the court’s judgment and are considering our options with regard to this matter.”

Larkfleet wants to build 550 homes on land off Manthorpe Road. Work on the bypass is due to start at the end of this month.

Executive member for Highways and Transportation at Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Richard Davies, said: “We are delighted that the court has once again ruled against the continued and unwarranted challenge which has plagued this road since it was first granted planning permission. It is very disappointing though, that at least £50,000 of tax payers’ money has now been wasted over the past two years defending a decision which was clearly the right one to have been taken. We can hopefully now progress without further unnecessary delay or expense to the tax payer.”

The 3km section of road will lead from a new roundabout to be created off the B1174, around the Southern Quadrant, linking up with the A52 at Somerby Hill, paving the way for the regeneration of the area including the 4,000-home Spitalgate Heath development.

This will be the final phase of an £80m Southern Relief Road which will link the A52 to the A1.