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Judge throws out plans for psychiatric unit

[Tuesday 11 April 2006]

Plans to convert a former North Yorkshire naval communications station into a psychiatric unit have been overturned in the High Court.

Private health company Partnerships in Care applied in 2004 for permission to convert HMS Forest Moor, between Harrogate and Skipton, in to a medium secure psychiatric unit.

Planning permission was granted by Harrogate Borough Council in August last year and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott chose not to exercise his discretionary power to intervene.

Opponents of the scheme took the Council to Judicial Review and a High Court judge has now overturned the original decision to grant planning permission.

The reasons for the judge's decision were based on 'the technicalities of regulations and planning policies', including the council's interpretation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.

Nearly 200 objections - many based on fears over security at the site - were received by Harrogate Borough Council in respect of the plans that would have seen a three metre high fence erected around the 20 acre site, which lies in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The law states that the planning application must now go back to the council for determination as though the original application had not been granted.

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