Borough defeats parish in battle over bridge

12/01/2022
Dominic Browne

Tewkesbury Borough Council has defeated one of its own local parish councils in a court battle over the development of a road bridge over the railway in Ashchurch and Northway.

A High Court judge upheld Tewkesbury's decision to permit plans to develop the bridge following a legal challenge by Ashchurch Rural Parish Council.

The borough council was awarded £8.1m  by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in 2018 to construct a new road, cycle and walking bridge over the railway at Northway, which leads to land highlighted for potential development in the Tewkesbury Garden Town concept plan.

The Ashchurch Bridge is said to form 'a crucial part of the infrastructure needed for a new Garden Town in the area – Tewkesbury Garden Town'.

The borough council’s planning committee granted planning permission for the bridge development in March 2021.

Mr Justice Lane dismissed the application for Judicial Review of the decision on all three of the grounds.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s chief executive, Mike Dawson, said: 'Clearly, we are very pleased by this judgement – we were successful on all three grounds of challenge, which sends a strong message that the decision to grant planning permission for the bridge was done in a lawful way.

'The Tewkesbury Garden Town team can now continue with plans to start work on building a road, and integrated cycle and foot bridge over the railway at Ashchurch with the support of Gloucestershire County Council, its consultants Atkins, and Network Rail.'

The Tewkesbury Garden Town concept will include new schools, health and community facilities and sustainably-designed houses, as well as walk-cycle greenways and improved links to the railway station.

The Garden Town status was awarded in March 2019 to help the council deliver more than 10,000 new homes over a thirty-year period and draw upon specialist government support and strategic planning advice.

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