A campaign group’s bid to force council officials to launch a judicial review over plans for a major new housing development has failed.
Residents in Whittle-le-Woods were left stunned last year when a planning inspector approved plans for 135 properties on greenfield land off Town Lane and Lucas Lane at an inquiry.
The only hope campaigners had left of stopping the residential development was if Chorley Council appealed against the decision.
However, at a full council meeting, councillors noted the authority would not be bidding for a judicial review.
Coun Dennis Edgerley, who is responsible for planning at Chorley Council, said: “The council will not be seeking a judicial review of the planning inspector’s decision because there were no grounds for the council to appeal.
“We weren’t happy with the planning inspector’s decision and before we were in contact with residents we immediately sought two separate pieces of legal advice.
“The information we received was very firm in that the inspector had correctly considered the law and that there were no grounds for appeal that were sustainable.
“To have appealed the decision in light of this, the council would have been penalised with significant costs and as we didn’t appeal we cannot ask for a judicial review.
“I share the residents’ frustration with this situation because recent planning inspectorate decisions are taking important planning matters out of the council’s hands, which is completely at odds with the localism agenda.”
Nick Hall, who is one of the campaigners against the housing scheme, said: “I don’t think there is much more we can do after the council said it would not be appealing it.
“It is frustrating the council has been on our side backing us by saying it was wrong.
“However when push comes to shove and that it would risk a bit of taxpayers’ money, it is unwilling to support us.”