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High Court victory for Thames Gateway scheme as government opposition is quashed

The High Court has quashed a decision by former Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to refuse permission for a major housing scheme in the heart of Thames Gateway

The High Court has quashed a decision by former Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to refuse permission for a major housing scheme in the heart of Thames Gateway.

The Thamesside Corys Wharf scheme in Purfleet, by Taylor Wimpey has been dubbed the ‘gateway’ to Thames Gateway.

It was struck a blow in October last year after Kelly dismissed an appeal by George Wimpey (as the firm was then) that had attempted to overturn Thurrock Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the project.

Original proposals included 571 residential units in high-rise, high-density housing; a new roundabout; public open space; a riverside walkway; and the the demolition of a derelict pier.

When Kelly rejected the scheme following a negative CABE report, she also claimed that because of the location of the site ‘any development should be of high-quality design’.

Kelly added that outline applications failed to provide sufficient information ‘to conclude that they would result in developments of an acceptable standard’.

But in the High Court last week, judge Mr Justice Underhill said that current Communities Secretary, Hazel Blears now ‘conceded’ that the decision to dismiss Wimpey's appeal ‘should not be allowed to stand’.

Before last week's court intervention, Taylor Wimpey insisted that the decision to reject the original outline application was flawed, as the design proposals were only for illustrative purposes.

Blears will now have to re-determine the case and will invite interested parties to submit further evidence.

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