A solictor acting on the behalf of Mansfield residents opposing 1,700 homes being built on the town’s outskirts has called on Mansfield District Council to reverse its decision.
The letter states that if the move, which the firm’s clients feel was unlawful, is not quashed then they will seek to challenge it by judicial review.
The 160-hectare Lindhurst development, located on greenbelt land near the A617 Marr Road, has been subject to controversy ever since it was given the green light by the council’s planning committee in July 2012.
Coun Steve Garner, Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Mansfield South, claims the district council’s planning committee was not fully informed about Natural England’s concerns about the scheme and should call it back in.
He added: “This should come as no surprise. We warned the council that if they did not do the right thing and bring the Lindhurst proposal back to the planning committee then they would face legal action.
“This is their last chance to avoid the courts.”
Protestors believe the environmental impact of the scheme will kill off local wildlife and the green views once enjoyed from their homes will be lost.
Nearby resident Neil Smith said: “The lawyer’s letter suggests that MDC’s enthusiasm to push this scheme through was greater than their commitment to honouring their duty of care to the residents of Mansfield.”
The development would effectively be a new township with shops, healthcare, schools, leisure centres, a cemetery and a community park.
But residents fear the project would be a major threat to the woodlark and nightjar - two protected bird species which inhabit part of the land.
Solicitor Richard Buxton has asked for a response from Mansfield District Council by 4th July. If the council refuses to reverse its decision it will be referred to London’s Administrative Court, where the lawfulness of the move will be examined and, if appropriate, overturned.
Mr Buxton’s letter states the application also failed to properly address the risk of pollution from the development’s sewer system.
Martyn Saxton, head of planning at Mansfield District Council, said: “We can confirm that Mansfield District Council has received the letter, which is now in the hands of our legal department. As it is a legal matter, we are unable to comment any further.”