How many people have been denied access to justice since the LASPO law changes [2013]?

Alan Rundle made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

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Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

1. Since the introduction of the 2010 - 2015 Coalition Government's Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO, 1 July 2013), which included cuts to legal aid funding of £300 million per annum and the reduction in the time limit for members of the public to seek permission for a judicial review (from three months to six weeks), how many people have been denied access to justice?

2. How many local authorities have been able to breach their own planning policies, like Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, as detailed below (1), as a consequence of members of the public being denied the time needed to identify errors of law, satisfy the pre-action protocol requirements (14 days), complete all the necessary judicial review claim forms (X4) and access the courts within six weeks?

3. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council claims that their APP/13/00844 (30 August 2013) planning permission was lawfully granted, as a consequence of the High Court and Court of Appeal finding the applications for judicial review to be without merit, since the applications were outside the newly-introduced six week time limit.

(1) THE BRIDGE COURT TREE PRESERVATION AREA, WEST KIRBY.

CONCERNING THE UNLAWFUL GRANT OF PLANNING PERMISSION

APP/13/00844 (30 August 2013).

WHO SHOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL’s SPD2 POLICY

(paragraph 5.8) APPLYING TO SEPARATION DISTANCES?

· The Leader of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, (“the Council”) Councillor Phil Davies?

· The former CEO, for the Council [2012], Graham Burgess?

· The Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, for the Council, Kevin Adderley?

· The Assistant Director of Regeneration, Housing and Planning, for the Council, Paul Grey?

· The CEO of Magenta Living (formerly Wirral Partnership Homes), Brian Simpson?

· The IBI Nightingale Associates architect, Tim Kilpatrick?

· The Case Officer for the Planning Application, for the Council, Matthew Rushton?

· The Principal Planning Officer, for the Council, Matthew Rushton?

· The Head of Planning, for the Council, David Ball?

· The Development Management Manager, for the Council, Matthew Davies?

· Housing Minister [2012] Grant Shapps MP (who visited Bridge Court in 2012)?

· Wirral West MP [2012] Esther McVey?

· Members of the Planning Committee (22 August 2013) who approved the APP/13/00844 Planning Permission:

Councillor Bernie Mooney (Chair), Councillor Denise Realey (Vice-Chair), Councillor David M Elderton, Councillor Stuart Kelly, Councillor Phillip Brightmore, Councillor Anita Lynch, Councillor Joe Walsh, Councillor Irene Williams, Councillor Eddie Boult, Councillor Paul Hayes, Councillor Simon R Mountney, Councillor Patricia Glasman (Deputy), Councillor Les Rowlands (Deputy)?

· Magenta Living Board Directors:

Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Councillor Jeff Green (a former Leader of the Council), Councillor Steve Foulkes (a former Leader of the Council, formerly Chair of the Council's Planning Committee, and currently Chair of the Regional Housing Board, a Member of Merseytravel and a Member of the City Region Cabinet and Local Enterprise Board, as well as being a Council Planning Committee member) and Councillor Bill Davies?

Did any of those named above actually read the Council’s SPD2 policy?

Did any of those named above understand the Council’s SPD2 policy?

SOMEBODY SHOULD TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE APPROVAL

OF THE UNLAWFUL DEVELOPMENT OF TWO, HUGE BLOCKS OF FLATS (BLOCK ‘A’ and ‘BLOCK ‘B’) inside the BRIDGE COURT TREE PRESERVATION AREA, WEST KIRBY.

Will any, of those named above, accept that the APP/13/00844 planning permission was UNLAWFULLY granted?

Many West Kirby residents are aware of the world famous artist, Charles Hutton Lear, and of the influence that his former garden, the Bridge Court Tree Preservation Area, had on some of his oil paintings. These residents want to see the Bridge Court Tree Preservation Area returned to its former condition, as an area of Urban Greenspace (with eleven different species of tree) for the benefit of present and future generations.

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE BRIDGE COURT TREE PRESERVATION AREA, BY MAGENTA LIVING, SHOULD BE STOPPED, IMMEDIATELY.

For more information, Google:

(i) Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.SPD2 Policy. Go to Paragraph 5.8

(ii) What do they know.com

(iii) West Kirby.renewal

Alan Rundle. West Kirby. November 2015.
_________________________________________________________________________
Local Development Framework for Wirral

Adoption Statement (Regulation 19)
Supplementary Planning Document
SPD2 - Designing For Self Contained Flat Development & Conversions

Adopted 30 October 2006

Paragraph 5.8 states:

"Unless it can be demonstrated that privacy would not be unduly affected, habitable room windows directly facing each other should be at least 21 metres apart. Main habitable room windows should be at least 14 metres from any blank gable. If there are differences in land levels or where development adjoins that of different ridge height, such as three storey development adjacent to two storey property, a greater separation should be provided. For every metre difference in ridge height (or part thereof) the above distances should be increased by 2 metres."

________________________________________________________________________

The Council has erred in law by failing to implement planning policy SPD2 (Google:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=wirral...).

The proposed 12.2 metre flats should be at least 33 metres from the existing 7 metre terraced houses in Bridge Road, West Kirby, not 23 metres, as proposed by the Council. The Council's own calculation of the Separation Distance between the proposed Block 'A' and the terraced housing in Bridge Road is flawed. If the Council approves buildings with habitable rooms facing the existing terraced housing in Bridge Road, at a distance of 23 metres, then the height of the proposed buildings should be 8 metres and not 12.2 metres. The SPD2 policy (paragraph 5.8) should have been followed, having regard to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the adopted Unitary Development Plan.

The correct calculation of the Separation Distance:

21 metres + (13m-7m = 6m x2 = 12m). 21m + 12m = 33metres.

The Separation Distance calculation that the Council appears to have made:

21 metres + 2metres = 23 metres.

The existing terraced houses, in Bridge Road, have habitable rooms which are to be overlooked by habitable rooms of four storeys (12.2 metres of Block 'A'). If Block 'A' is built, as proposed, as the result of a simple, mathematical miscalculation, West Kirby residents will have to live with the huge structure of Block 'A', which clearly breaches the Council's own SPD2 policy, for decades into the future. This is not acceptable.

Yours faithfully,

Alan Rundle

Denise Drake left an annotation ()

Why dont you start an e petion or petition on line?

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

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