Bath City

A court challenge too costly for defenders of historic Bath hospital Bath City News

Opponents of plans to turn a historic Bath hospital into a hotel say justice is “only for the rich” after learning that a court challenge could cost £ 20,000.

Bath Campaigns members allege that the Bath and North East Somerset Council’s decision to approve the Fragrance Group program was against its own policies and against the law – a claim the authority refutes.

Activists say they’ve been told a judicial review could be successful, but court costs mean it’s out of reach.

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They are backed by director Ken Loach, who has warned that decisions like that of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital put Bath on the “same dangerous path” as Liverpool, which last month lost its World Heritage status.

A spokesperson for Bath Campaigns said: “We strongly believe that this development not only goes against the council’s own policies, but is also against the law.

“However, to challenge this requires judicial review.

“And, as always, justice is only available to the rich. We have taken note that a challenge is potentially winnable, but with legal costs of up to at least £ 20,000 (and being responsible for developer fees if we lose), this is not something we can pursue, while the developer has unlimited funds to counter any legal action.

“We will continue to build on this campaign and demand that council serve the broader interests of residents – there is certainly no shortage of issues.”

The spokesperson said the redevelopment of the Min into a 160-bed luxury hotel would provide more hotel rooms Bath does not need, cost the city green space despite the climate emergency being declared by the advice and “would sacrifice the needs of local residents to the wants of multinational corporations.”

Planning committee chair Sue Craig has criticized Bath Campaigns and others for their bullying behavior against counselors and staff in recent months.

Bath-based director Ken Loach (Image: Getty Images)

But Mr. Loach, filmmaker like myself, Daniel Blake who lives locally, said the Fragrance group’s town planners and “ruthless profiteers” were the real tyrants.

He said, “We are in desperate need of advisers who are not mesmerized by wealthy developers, but who recognize that the special quality of this city is the unity of its buildings.

“More and more modern additions are destroying that. Liverpool lost its UNESCO World Heritage site for the same reason.

“Decisions like Min’s take Bath down the same dangerous path.”

Councilor Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “The Council followed full and proper procedures in determining this planning request.

“The request has been reviewed under due process and all representations and objections made by residents and other third parties have been fully taken into account. The request was fully considered in a public forum, the planning committee.

“The council is satisfied that there is no evidence of a violation of the code of conduct by the councilors concerned or of a failure of the council to follow the correct process to determine the planning application, and it does there is no evidence to the contrary provided. “

He said the council makes all planning decisions based on planning law and policy, and residents have many opportunities to have their voices heard.

The Fragrance group declined to comment.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-11 16:09:56

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