Possibly some readers of this Blog have wondered why Fulvius has remained silent on the latest twist in the Cherkley Court saga. The simple reason is that I was out of the country when the Appeal Court judgment was given; and since my return I have been sorting out things and contributing to the debate on Streetlife (as, no doubt, some of you will have seen).
Lord Justice Richards wrote "I should say at once that Haddon-Cave J examined the case with great thoroughness and style", and then proceeded to 'respectfully' point out that Haddon-Cave J was wrong on practically every matter!
I find it incomprehensible how a judge, serving on the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of England and Wales, who examined a case with thoroughness could have got everything wrong - especially as Martin Edwards, a specialist planning barrister, and John Martin, a planning law consultant, took quite the opposite view in an article in the Estates Gazette (21st September, 2013) where they also agreed that the "local authority that approved the golf course neglected a series of key considerations in the process."
Their article concluded:
"It is difficult to summarise a 209-paragraph judgment and it is worthy of reading in full. It is one of the best planning judgments for a long time, partly due to the issues discussed and partly to the fact that it is entirely readable. For this judgment, the judge's scorecard should show a 'hole in one'."
Did that specialist planning barrister and that planning law consultant also both get everything wrong? To my simple mind, something does not add up.
This is and always has been a public interest case, not merely about local issues.
The paragraph in the letter on the back page of last Thursday's Leatherhead Advertiser (LA) beginning "Unfortunately, we are also aware that Cherkley Campaign Ltd may seek to continue the legal process ..." is rank hypocrisy. Does anyone seriously imagine that if the Appeal Court had overturned, say, just one of Haddon-Cave's findings but maintained the the other two (thus, effectively, keeping the planning permission quashed), the directors of Longshot Cherkley Court Ltd would not be considering appeal to the Supreme Court? Of course they would - and be shedding no crocodile tears for MVDC's costs.
To say "probably with a view to causing further delay" is, as the four directors know very well, untrue and, presumably, part of a smear campaign. If recourse is made to the Supreme Court it will be for sound, legal reasons - and they know it.
The paragraph which follows is quite out of order as the settling of costs are part of the judicial process and, as far as I am aware, going forward as one would expect. The inclusion of the paragraph is, at best, unethical; it is defamatory and possibly libellous.
I repeat: this is a public interest case. It seems to me that one purpose of the letter on the back page of the LA is to smear Cherkley Campaign and to stop it raising funds or recruiting yet more members.
Finally, it seems to me that Streetlife is now doing what this Blog was once intended to do. The Blog has, in effect, (apart from my odd postings) become merely a bulletin board, with mainly the webmaster and the secretary posting bulletins. So I think this may be my last posting here and I'll confine myself Streetlife in future.