A ST ARVANS couple who challenged planning permission given by Monmouthshire councillors three times have secured their third victory against the authority.
Chris and Michelle Hatcher, who have run The Wyes Cats Hotel since 2010, have three times challenged retrospective planning permission given by the council for what Mr Hatcher said is a scrapyard opposite their land – even though sitting on the edge of the Wye Valley, it is in an Area of Natural Beauty (AONB).
Their last victory came at the High Court in Cardiff on May 12 when Judge Nicholas Cooke QC ruled Monmouthshire council should pay the couple £35,000 in costs. He had quashed the decision for planning permission in May.
Mr Hatcher, a photographer, had uploaded a video to YouTube to show how much disruption was caused by the yard. He filmed two men cutting up a car using a circular saw.
Mr Hatcher said: “The video showed how far it went - and still nothing was done (by the council).”
He said the council must have spent at least £100,000 on legal fees trying to defend their position over the three judicial reviews, since they had raised concerns about the planning permission being granted opposite them in 2012.
In quashing the council’s planning permission, the judge said the land has had “a long, contentious and unfortunate planning history”.
And earlier this week Mr Hatcher said the council had used the last day they could do to challenge paying his and his wife’s legal costs.
He added: “Three per cent of all cases are successful and for us to win three means we have been very, very successful.”
Prior to that, Mr Hatcher said he had not heard anything from the authority after his solicitor contacted them to update them on when their costs would be paid.
It had argued all of its actions had been properly evidence-based.
And a Monmouthshire council spokesman said: “Mr and Mrs Hatcher were successful in their application for judicial review to quash the planning permissions on the site adjacent to their home. The High Court gave its judgment on July 11.”