It is 5 weeks since we received the decision of Lesley Griffiths AC/AM, the minister responsible for planning. (you can can contact her by email: Correspondence.Lesley.Griffiths@gov.wales)
Since then we have been very busy. We have lobbied our elected representatives at Flintshire, Mark Tami MP and Jack Sargeant AM, both of whom have written strong letters of support of our community. We also also lobbied and been supported by Llyr Huws Gruffydd AC/AM the Plaid assembly member.
We have been in conversation with Flintshire County Council officers encouraging them to challenge the decision through the high court. As far as we are aware they are not planning to do that, though they have not communicated their decision to us one way or the other.
A high court challenge is the final step in the fight. It is possible for us to challenge the decision through a Section 288 or Judicial Review, up until the 5th July (6 weeks) - however we can only challenge an error in law or procedure, not the merits of the decision, however unjust.
The rules for a judicial review are rigorous and have to be followed - we have been speaking to solicitors and, in the end, appointed our own barrister (at significant cost). He has reviewed the case and recommended that we do not contest the decision, because the minister has 'covered her arse'. With a judicial review, the loser pays everyone's costs, so the financial risk is huge and we would have to be very sure of our case.
So that is the end of the road, we are out of options to resist the building of 186 houses and we don't believe there is any more that the community could have reasonably done to present its case.
Redrow have already applied for planning permission for their advertising board. The street names are being considered right now and the process of development has begun.
If we were in England, our Place Plan would be called a Neighbourhood Plan and would be a material consideration (with the support it has received). In Wales it was used as a weapon against us by the minister to prove that we are a 'resilient community'.
We will leave you with the Welsh Government's 5 Key Planning Principles which form the basis of the next version of Planning Policy Wales - there is no clearer demonstration of the Welsh Government saying one thing and doing the opposite: