After months of uncertaintly, Cherkley Court in Surrey once again looks set to be turned into a five-star hotel following a court victory on behalf of its developer.
Developer Longshot, operating as Longshot Cherkley Court (LCC) announced that the Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of the High Court to quash the orignal planning permission granted to Cherkley Court by Mole Valley District Council.
It marks the end of a long battle for the developer. Despite winning planning permission from Mole Valley District Council, the case was brought before the High Court after a pressure group, the Cherkley Campaign, supported by the Surrey branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), won the right to pursue a judicial review against the council. Members of the campaign questioned why a site which borders an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could be giving the go-ahead to be turned into a another golf course in a county which already has more than 140. Following the High Court decision, Longshot turned to the Court of Appeal in August last year.
Last week, Appeal Court judges Lord Justices Richards, Underhill and Floyd unanimously agreed that Mr Justice Haddon-Cave's quashing order and costs order should be set aside.
The Planning Permission for the transformation of Cherkley Court in Surrey has now been reinstated.
Longshot originally bought the property in 2011 for an asking price of £20m with a view to turn it into a 48-bedroom luxury hotel with an exclusive private members' golf course. The project is expected to create 200 jobs
In a statment, the developer said: "LCC, having bought the site three years ago, looks forward to pressing ahead with its implementation, thereby enabling them to fully preserve and transform this precious site of historic and environmental importance."
Ian Todd, director of Longshot Cherkley Court added: "From our point of view the Court of Appeal judgement and the overwhelming support from the local community have only strengthened our resolve to deliver a project, of which, the Mole Valley residents can be justifiably proud."