Application made for Judicial Review of ‘flawed’ Northern Gateway planning permission

Tollgate Partnership, the company behind the £70 million Tollgate Village proposals in Stanway have applied for a Judicial Review into ‘flawed and unlawful’ Northern Gateway planning permission.

The Directors of Tollgate Partnership Limited (TPL), the Stanway company behind the £70 million Tollgate Village proposals, have filed a High Court claim requesting permission to apply for a Judicial Review of the decision to grant Turnstone Estates planning permission for the Council-owned site for restaurants and a cinema at Northern Gateway.

Daniel Watts and Jayne Gee said: “Colchester Borough Council needs to be held accountable to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which helps to inform its decisions. We believe the Council’s decision was based on a flawed application of the Framework’s Sequential Test and therefore the wrong decision was made.

“There is at least one suitable site, Tollgate Village, which has consent for a cinema and the Council agrees is ‘available’ under the test. Tollgate Village is part in-centre and part edge-of-centre and is therefore sequentially preferable to Northern Gateway, which is an out-of-town location.

“TPL objected to the planning application early on while it was being considered and some changes were made, but the Council failed to adequately address the fundamental issues of the Sequential Test and permission was granted, therefore, we maintain that this decision remains flawed and unlawful. This is about consistency; planning rules can’t be applied to some applicants and not to others.”

The Northern Gateway proposals in Colchester have been designed to be leisure led, with no current proposals to introduce any retail units to the area.

Planning permission has been agreed to allow construction of up to 12 restaurants to be built alongside an 80 bed, four-storey hotel and 12 screen multiplex cinema, as well as various leisure units near the Colchester United football stadium.

Chris Goldsmith, Director of Turnstone Estates said arguments made are well worn and were properly considered by the Council, adding, “We are deeply disappointed with the Tollgate Partnerships’ actions which will only cause delay in delivering to Colchester major investment in jobs and much needed leisure facilities.”

“As far as I can judge, arguments were properly considered by the Council in weighing the planning merits. I would be surprised if the Courts have any truck with what, on the face of it, is a commercially motivated action.”

Northern Gateway Colchester design proposal

A Colchester Borough Council spokesperson said: “Very careful consideration was afforded to the National Planning Policy Framework’s Sequential Test in the planning committee’s consideration of the application and the council is content that it acted entirely appropriately in its determination.”

This story was updated at 16:51 to include comment from Colchester Borough Council.