Campaign group SWARD (Safety in Waste and Rubbish Disposal) will today instruct barristers for legal opinion on their case against Gloucestershire County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for Grundon Waste Management to operate at Wingmoor Farm, Bishop’s Cleeve until 2029.
Planning consent was granted after a tied vote and the Chairman of the Planning Committee using his second casting vote in favour of Grundon. The decision has been the subject of huge controversy, with both council members and local residents making formal complaints to the county council’s legal department about the way the meeting was run and the way officers answered councillors’ questions.
A jubilant Barbara Farmer said:
We are absolutely delighted to be able to take this case forward. The planning committee meeting was a travesty of democracy. We have been given an anonymous donation which will enable us to take the first step in fighting back. Our lawyers will scrutinise all the relevant documents and then the barrister will give a legal opinion on whether we should proceed to fight a judicial review.
The donation was offered by a member of SWARD during a meeting last night (Wednesday). Members had gathered to decide on the course of action for the future. Before the secret donation was announced, members had already pledged to raise the money needed to carry out the initial screening of the case. After a unanimous vote of confidence in fighting on, an emotional Barbara Farmer announced that she had just been told that someone in the room was willing to sign a cheque there and then to secure the funding.
Parish and District Councillors who had objected to the application were present to hear the decision. County Councillor Ceri Jones and Councillor Peter Lightfoot, Chair of Bishop’s Cleeve Parish Council, thanked SWARD for all their hard work on behalf of the local community.