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Second judicial review bid puts brakes on Northgate End multi-storey car park

A second court challenge to East Herts Council's plans for a new multi-storey car park in Bishop's Stortford has brought a new delay to the Old River Lane project.

A hearing has been scheduled for October after Yew Tree Place resident Clive Risby in May launched his second legal action in a bid to block the 546-space scheme for Northgate End.

He believes EHC acted unlawfully for a second time in approving its six-storey solution to the town centre's parking problems.

The council's scheme also includes a four-storey building with commercial use on the ground floor and 15 flats above, as well as surface-level parking for 27 spaces to the north of the former cattle market site.

Plans for a multi-use games area (MUGA) for the youth centre at Northgate End were scrapped in February after Mr Risby's previous High Court success – but he believes EHC has just tinkered with its scheme, which is the cornerstone of its £30m plans for a cultural quarter at Old River Lane.

A spokesperson for the authority said: "We are disappointed with the court's decision to grant the claimant permission to proceed with their claim for judicial review at the oral consideration hearing in relation to the grant of planning permission for the Northgate End development in Bishop's Stortford. The substantive hearing has been listed for the end of October 2019. The council continues to robustly defend its decision.

"The aim of the multi-storey car park at Northgate End is to move parking away from the Old River Lane site so that we can make way for a new development, which includes an arts centre with theatre and cinema, retail, offices, new homes and a public square for events."

EHC had hoped to have started construction by spring this year, with the project being completed in 15 to 18 months, but the legal action has prevented any physical progress.

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