LETTER: Cost to council of court action

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Last week’s front page headline ‘£300k High Court bill for council tax payers’ and lead story (which covered discussion at the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 14 September) stated that an appeal to the High Court by the council, concerning a Planning Inspector’s decision to grant permission for new homes at West End Lane, Henfield, had cost taxpayers £300,000.

This is not correct. The total cost to the council was £16,823, broken down into Secretary of State’s costs of £7,033, a court fee of £465 and HDC Barrister fees of £9,325.

An application to the Court by Barratt Homes for an award of their costs, totalling £50,167, was defeated by HDC.

The council only pursued this High Court action after advice was sought from a senior planning barrister who felt we had a sound case to challenge the Inspector’s decision.

TOM CROWLEY

Chief executive, Horsham District Council, Chart Way, Horsham

Editor’s note: Our coverage was an entirely accurate report of what was said at the the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.We are, however, pleased to publish this letter clarifying the information that was discussed.

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