Pounds pile up to fund legal battle

Standish residents
Standish residents

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a Government inspector’s housing plan for their village have now reached the cash target to begin a legal battle.

Save Standish said today that the fact it has largely achieved its £2,000 appeal total from individual single pound coin donations per household demonstrates the level of support across the community.

It will be used to fund an opinion from expert counsel about the viability of a High Court challenge to the controversial Core Strategy which has recommended a further 1,000 homes be built across Standish.

The campaign has not only reached the target for the funds and instructed the barrister, but it is nearly at its target of 1,000 petition signatures.

With more than 500 households now signed up online and a couple of hundred on hard copies, it is thought that the petition will hit the mark in the coming days, buoyed by the legal fight announcement.

Residents can still sign online at the website savestandish.org.uk with the petition destined eventually for the doorstep of Number 10 Downing Street.

The group is now preparing for another public meeting at a date and time to be announced.

Spokesman for the group, the Independent councillor Gareth Fairhurst, described reaching the milestone today as “great news for the campaign and great news for the residents of Standish.”

He said: “We set out to collect from doorsteps and ask residents for donations and this has now been achieved and I have taken great pleasure in instructing our legal team.

“This has been a hard campaign but the residents have come out in force and helped out, as no-one wants this ridiculous proposal.

“Our aim is to get some direction in a couple of weeks on where we can go and see if there is a legal challenge that we could use to fight this proposal.”

His Standish ward colleague and father, fellow Indepenedent Coun George Fairhurst, said the speed with which the cash had been collected door-to-door demonstrated that the issue was close to so many residents’ hearts in Standish.

And believes that the controversial issue of new house building is helping to unite the community.

He said: “The community have come together again and voiced their concern.

“It is now up to the Government and their planning inspector to listen.

“At no point have either said how Standish can cope with the extra burden and this is the main reason why we believe that the 1,000 houses should not go ahead.”