NANT takes Martlesham homes protest to Europe
08:00 10 March 2016
Campaigners who fought proposals for 2,000 new homes at BT’s Adastral Park site are preparing to lodge a formal complaint to the European Commission.
No Adastral New Town (NANT) challenged the process by which Suffolk Coastal council selected the land at Martlesham Heath for development in the High Court, claiming it was unlawful.
After a series of appeals at which the council’s Local Plan was found to be sound and was validated, NANT was refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Now its legal team is to challenge the courts system – claiming the case was not dealt with properly.
A spokeswoman for NANT said its legal advisers felt “the domestic courts were in breach of obligations under EU law in relation to the way they dealt with our case, in particular failed to refer it to the European Court of Justice, and we are making a formal complaint to the European Commission along those lines”.
As well as homes, BT wants to create up to 60,000sq m of employment space in an innovation park with linked university provision, a mixed-use local centre, school, hotel, energy centre, public park, plus further community facilities.
There would also be an upgrading of the A12 alongside the site with new lanes and traffic lights.
Suffolk Coastal planners say BT is now making rapid progress on the preparations for the project and developers are looking to start building homes on the site in the first quarter of 2018.
However, NANT felt such confidence was premature.
The group said: “The 2009 planning application has not been determined and is now considerably out of date.
“There is no reference to a new planning application from BT on the Suffolk Coastal website so it would appear that BT has yet to submit a relevant application, never mind receive approval. It seems somewhat premature therefore to be predetermining when the building is going to start.”
NANT is also disturbed that land off Bell Lane at Kesgrave which had been put forward for 300 homes could now see 1,000 – a site previously rejected in favour of Adastral Park. It fears that the area could now have up to 3,500 new homes.