legal team

Further success for Menston Action Group and Schofield Sweeney in the Court of Appeal

Menston Action Group (MAG) has been given permission by the Court of Appeal to continue its challenge in relation to the proposed development at the Derry Hill site in Menston.

MAG’s judicial review, in relation to Barratt Homes’ proposal to build 173 houses on a site at Derry Hill, was heard over 2 days in the Administrative Court in Leeds on 15 and 16 July.

Mrs Justice Patterson dismissed MAG’s claims, finding in favour of Bradford Council and upholding its decision to approve Barratt’s drainage scheme submitted in 2014, which was required to be based on sustainable drainage principles.

MAG appealed Justice Patterson’s decision and, following a hearing in the Court of Appeal late last week, was given permission by the Right Honourable Lord Justice Lindblom to continue to a full 3 judge Court of Appeal hearing.

That hearing, likely to take place early next year, will consider whether Justice Patterson was correct in dismissing MAG’s claim that Bradford Council should have considered the potential for improvement of existing flooding issues in Menston when assessing Barratt’s scheme.

Lord Justice Lindblom noted that the issues in the Appeal were of wider public importance and it is believed that the Court of Appeal’s judgment (when given) will set new law in this area. This is the second time that a decision by the Administrative Court in Leeds has been challenged by MAG in the Court of Appeal – Mr Justice Stewart previously refused MAG permission to proceed with one of its grounds of claim, a decision that was overturned by Lord Justice Sullivan when MAG appealed earlier this year.

Schofield Sweeney Partner, Alistair Kennedy, who is leading the team representing MAG, commented:

MAG has shown huge commitment to this issue and admirable determination. The Judgment in the summer was a setback and if we had been unsuccessful last week, it would have meant the end for MAG’s claim. In that context, the Judgment of Lord Justice Lindblom was very encouraging and MAG is pleased that these important issues will be considered fully by the Court of Appeal next year. The guidance they give will be of significant value to local authorities looking at similar drainage problems. The residents of Menston remain very concerned that the proposed development at Derry Hill will make existing flooding worse and believe that an opportunity to address the existing flooding issues has been missed. We have tried to discuss potential resolution of these issues with Bradford Council since the claim began, but our approaches have been flatly rejected. Schofield Sweeney will continue to support MAG in their legal challenges”.

Schofield Sweeney’s Chairman, Chris Schofield, has been working with MAG from the beginning of the issues in Menston and has offered his time throughout free of charge. Menston residents held a referendum opposing the developments at Derry Hill and Bingley Road several years ago. 98% voted against the proposed developments and 2,000 letters of objection were submitted, despite this Bradford Council still approved the schemes. MAG has long argued that both sites suffer from problems with water emerging from the ground and that the proposed developments would increase flooding in the area. An independent expert on flooding, Dr Duncan Reed, has supported these claims.

Alistair Kennedy, Partner, is available for comment on the above case on

0113 220 6271.



Chartford Homes Bingley Road Site

Judicial Review date announced as 27th of this Month