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Supreme Court to decide in dispute between Snowdonia national park and housing developer

26 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Aberdyfi picture by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 3.0). Supreme Court photo by David Iliff. License: CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Supreme Court will decide in a landmark case which has pitted Snowdonia National Park against a housing developer.

Hillside Parks Ltd is appealing to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal decided in Snowdonia National Park’s favour in 2020.

The details of the case go all the way back to 1967 when then Merioneth County Council granted planning permission for the development of 401 houses on a site in Snowdonia National Park in Aberdyfi.

In 2019, Hillside Parks Ltd, which now owned the Site, brought a claim against the National Park Authority in order to ascertain whether the scheme of development authorised in 1967 could still lawfully be completed.

The National Park Authority successfully argued in the High Court and Court of Appeal that it could not, as permissions granted after 1967 were inconsistent with the original plan. In particular, roads had been built in areas designated for houses, and houses had been built in areas designated for roads.

The High Court and the Court of Appeal decided in the National Park Authority’s favour, but Hillside is now appealing to the Supreme Court in the hearing which is due to start next month, on July 4.


The case concerns a site comprising 28.89 acres of land at Balkan Hill, Aberdyfi, and will be heard by Lord Reed, Lord Briggs, Lord Sales, Lord Leggatt, Lady Rose.

Their judgement could have a far-reaching impact as it raises the issue of whether developers nullify the original planning permission if they make subsequent tweaks with other planning applications.

Cornerstone Barristers, a leading London chambers which specialises in planning and housing, told the Telegraph newspaper that the case raises “troubling questions” when dealing with developments involving hundreds of houses, such as “whether a relatively minor deviation in one house should render every other house unlawful”.

If the Supreme Court decides in the National Park Authority’s favour, it would set a legal precedent for other courts below the Supreme Court which would mean that developers who use additional planning applications could risk invalidating the original plan.

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
2 years ago

ALL developers are scum.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
2 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

That’s like saying ALL scavengers are scum. But any ecosystem needs scavengers and any advanced economy needs developers. The trick is to successfully regulate them.

George Bodley
George Bodley
2 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

The truck is to deny them this is our nation not some greedy developers

Kathleen Walker
Kathleen Walker
2 years ago

Snow Dow is to be owned by the Welsh public service not!

George Bodley
George Bodley
2 years ago

We need independence now why should we be overridden by some outsiders

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