30 May 2024

Wiltshire Council win legal battle against Old Sarum Airfield

Wiltshire Council has won a legal case brought by Old Sarum Airfield Ltd over an alleged breach of contract regarding an unsuccessful planning application on the site.

The applicant sought to claim more than £43m from the council because it alleged that an agreement between the two parties to assist and facilitate the planning application had been breached.

As well as the claim for breach of contract, Old Sarum Airfield Ltd also claimed that the council was negligent and sought financial restitution. All claims were dismissed in an oral judgement by the High Court in May this year without going to trial.

Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said, “We’re delighted that these dubious claims were dismissed without going to trial earlier this year, as they had no reasonable prospect of success.

“The planning application in question, for housing on Old Sarum Airfield in Salisbury, went through the fair and proper planning process and was originally rejected. It then failed an appeal and also was subject to an unsuccessful judicial review.

“The judge’s decision was made a few months ago, and now we have passed the appeal period, we can move forward safe in the knowledge that the proceedings cannot go any further.

“This unsuccessful claim could have cost Wiltshire taxpayers a significant amount of money, but the court ordered that Old Sarum Airfield Ltd must pay for our costs, officers’ time, and the overall costs of the proceedings, which will be significant once fully determined.

“I would like to pay tribute to officers in both our planning and legal teams for successfully defending this legal case.”

Written by
Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty