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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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‘The cheque is in the post’ says Deer Park protestor

The Maryport man who spearheaded a campaign to stop a controversial housing development on Deer Park said this week that he would do it all again.

Story Homes revealed last week it would be seeking legal costs from campaigner Shaun Ritson, of Church Street, whose bid for a judicial review of the planning application was dismissed by the High Court.

Mr Ritson replied this week: “The cheque is in the post.”

Story Homes is now clear to press ahead with its plan for a 152-home development off Netherhall Road.

Mr Ritson said that when he sought a judicial review as a final step to halt the development, which had received council planning permission, he was told that only one in five judicial reviews were ever granted.

He said: “I put my money where my mouth was and if I was given similar odds of stopping the development I would have no hesitation in doing the same again.”

Mr Ritson said he was adamant that there were several planning reasons that would have allowed Allerdale councillors to turn down the plan.

He claimed: “If planning applications are to be approved merely because they are lawful and in accordance with the planning officer’s recommendations, then what is the purpose of a development panel?”

Mr Ritson said councillors who supported the scheme should “hang their heads in shame” while the 2,500 who signed a petition and the Friends of Deer Park action group could “walk the streets of Maryport with their heads held high.”

Maryport councillors Peter Kendall and Martin Woods, who both serve on Allerdale council development panel, have said that they were unable to object to the application because it met all planning requirements.

l Letters – Page 22

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