Judge criticises council over student accommodation
Posted Fri, 06 Nov 2009
A High Court judge has criticised a city council for giving the green light to hundreds of new flats for students near a gas depot without consulting the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Mr Justice Collins said that Wolverhampton city council should have alerted the HSE, because the body was set up by parliament to decide if such risks were permissible.
The council proposed to permit the building of four blocks of flats for student accommodation within 100 metres of a depot storing liquid petroleum gas (LPG). The HSE refused the plans in August 2008, when it became aware of them, due to the risk of a gas explosion.
The judge also criticised the HSE for an "inexcusable" delay in beginning legal action to stop the £40 million development.
He said it was now too late to prevent construction of the fourth building or prevent occupation of the other three blocks that had already been built by developers Victoria Hall Ltd.
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