Shrewsbury residents bring judicial review against council over homes plan
A community group fighting to save a piece of land from development has brought a judicial review against Shrewsbury Town Council.
The residents of Greenfields in Shrewsbury believe the council illegally sold a section of recreation land which was granted planning permission for 15 homes in September.
Led by Peter Day, the group has been busy researching the history of the land, off Falstaff Street, and believes it has a strong case that it should never have been sold to developers because it forms part of Greenfields Recreation Ground.
Leigh Day solicitors in London have been instructed to bring a judicial review - a process by which the courts review the lawfulness of a decision or action taken by a public body - against Shrewsbury Town Council.
Colin Harper, treasurer of Greenfields Community Group, said the feeling among residents is so strong they have rallied to raise the money needed to launch the review.
"People in the area really care about this piece of land," he said. "Lots of us walk through it and have enjoyed it over the years.
"We do feel that an injustice is being done by building on it. We don't have anything against the planning process but it is open space and we feel that the town council sold it unlawfully."
The council has said it has nothing to hide and the sale was "completely above board".
According to town clerk Helen Ball, an old development plan showed the piece of land in question was classed as 'white land' and therefore could potentially be developed.
However, the residents have since uncovered deeds dating to 1962 from the Land Registry which allegedly shows it is part of designated parkland.
Mr Harper added: "We just think this whole thing has been handled incorrectly and the council has not listened to us. They have been invited to our meetings to talk it through but they have totally ignored us.
"Ultimately, we believe they have steamrollered it through unlawfully and we want to stop it."
Mrs Ball confirmed the council has received the judicial review papers and they are now with the council's solicitor.