Helredale to go to the Supreme Court

Residents fighting to stop houses from being built on playing fields have won the right to take their case to the Supreme Court - the final court of appeal for civil cases in the UK.

Helredale Neighbourhood Council (HNC) will now be able to appeal against a decision made by the Court of Appeal last year which effectively meant its fight to stop houses being built on playing fields had come to an end.

But this gives them another opportunity to try and overturn the original ruling by an inspector at a public inquiry held back in 2009 to determine whether the playing fields could be registered as a village green.

Viv Wright, who has been leading the campaign since 2007, was on holiday in Mexico when she heard the news.

She told the Gazette: “I just didn’t know whether we would get it, it was a 50/50 chance so I just thought there is nothing to lose, we have gone this far so why stop

“I was in the hotel lobby when I saw the message, so I had another cocktail.”

It is quite rare for the Supreme Court to grant leave to appeal. Last month of the 24 cases put to it, only five were allowed to proceed and it is thought that the outcome of the Helredale case might affect the outcome of future village green applications.

Mrs Wright added: “I spoke to our solicitor, she said it is very rare for this to happen because the majority of them are rejected. They must consider that there is a case to be heard. I am delighted at last that somebody has thought we have got a case.”

“We are on the seventh year now and what annoys me is that Yorkshire Coast Homes have stopped people having houses for that six years instead of going and looking for another site.

“They are determined that they are going to carry on waiting and that is not fair to their clients and residents.”

A specialist team of barristers based in Cambridge are now preparing the case which isn’t expected to be heard for at least six months.