Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is set to face a court challenge following its decision to rescind a planning refusal for 14 homes in Wells Farm, Cuffley. 

The High Court gave claimant and Cuffley resident, Jonathan Shack, permission for a judicial review challenge after he accused WHBC of unlawfully rescinding its decision in September 2022. 

The decision related to the demolition of existing buildings and erection of 14 dwellings in Wells Farm, which were originally refused and later on approved.  

The court date for the review has been set for Thursday, June 15. 

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Jonathan has been given permission for his case to be heard on three grounds, including one that argues a direction given to councillors to completely disregard the first meeting was unlawful. 

Another argues that the committee's decision to rescind its previous resolution was unlawful, as members were not given the information they needed to make a properly informed decision. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council offices in Welwyn Garden City.Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council offices in Welwyn Garden City. (Image: WHBC)

The developer, King & Co (Wells) Ltd, applied for planning permission to build 14 dwellings on a parcel of Green Belt land at Wells Farm, in December 2020. 

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's planning committee decided to rescind the planning refusal after a councillor appeared to be "not paying attention" during the meeting. 

At a later meeting, the council reconsidered the same application and granted permission. 


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Councillor Barry Knichel of Northaw & Cuffley Parish Council said: "We are in full support of Johnathon and his fight, and we hope for a positive result. 

"He is basically a local hero, and the residents are also in full support of his court challenge as well. Northaw & Cuffley Parish Council will continue to show their support. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: WHBC decided to rescind a planning refusal for 14 homes in Wells Farm, Cuffley. WHBC decided to rescind a planning refusal for 14 homes in Wells Farm, Cuffley. (Image: Google Maps)

Barry added: "We do not understand the council's decision to defend the judicial review action, but we look forward to seeing the outcome of this." 

A spokesperson for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council said: "We can confirm we will be defending the judicial review action. As it’s an active legal case, we can’t comment any further at this time."