AN ELECTION candidate has vowed to fund a £10,000 judicial review in a bid to stop or move a huge power interconnector.
The news comes as it has emerged that Fareham Borough Council has effectively ended a bid by residents to get secretary of state Sajid Javid to make a ruling on the IFA2 application.
Outline plans for the scheme at Daedalus airfield, in Lee-on-the-Solent, have been approved by the council despite objections from residents and an aviation firm.
Now Kim Rose, who previously launched a high court action against Gordon Brown’s government over the selling gold reserves, has said he will fight IFA2 in court.
The jeweller, who is standing for Ukip in the Crofton ward in county council elections, said the basis of the challenge is that Mr Javid, communities secretary, did not call in the decision.
Mr Rose, who lives in Southampton and will fund the move if he wins, told The News: ‘I’m not here to win hearts and flowers. I’m really here to do a job. I don’t think people realise the injustice that’s being done.
‘I’ve got papers ready for a judicial review that will be launched two days after the election.’
The £500m IFA2 interconnector scheme includes a huge 22m-high converter station at Daedalus, in addition to subsea cables that will connect to Chilling, Warsash.
National Grid is behind IFA2, but the proposed judicial review would be to the council as the planning authority.
Cable installation work has been approved, but a detailed reserved matters application is set to be submitted this year for the converter station.
A Fareham council spokeswoman said a legal agreement was concluded and permission granted on April 10.
She said: ‘All relevant material planning considerations were fully and thoroughly considered by Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee before the decision to grant planning permission was taken.’
She added: ‘The secretary of state did not inform Fareham Borough Council that he wanted to “call-in” the planning application.’
A National Grid spokeswoman said: ‘We believe the decision by the council to grant planning permission has been made in accordance with the planning process.’
A spokesman for the Department for Local Government and Communities said: ‘We will be discussing this with Fareham council.
‘There was a request to call it in and there was a period we were considering it, but as soon as planning permission was granted we cannot call it in.’
Fellow candidates for the Fareham Crofton seat labelled Mr Rose’s offer as a ‘political gimmick.’
Jim Forrest, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the seat – which includes Stubbington and Hill Head – said: ‘It is important for everybody who seeks to stand for them to examine the proposals for the IFA2 closely and not try to indulge in political gimmicks.’
The former councillor said he had studied the plans in some depth and added that he would prefer to see it built in Fawley.
He said: ‘I would prefer to not see it built at Daedalus and for me there are still crucial issues to be considered regarding the safety of the aircraft that will be using the airfield.’
Pal Hayre, the Conservative candidate for the seat, was unavailable for comment. However, Councillor Chris Wood, Tory ward member for Stubbington on Fareham Borough Council and the previous occupant of the seat, also criticised Mr Rose’s offer.
He said: ‘It sounds like a very elaborate promise from a candidate who is very unlikely to win.’
Labour candidate Les Ricketts said that while IFA2 is ‘a contentious issue’, he admitted that he was in favour of the proposals.
He said: ‘I understand the public’s feelings have been strongly voiced on the plans, but I believe it can still be of benefit. I am all for it.’
Green party candidate Rosemary Hobbs was unavailable for comment, but a party spokesman said: ‘The Green Party is committed to providing energy security to all residents. IFA2 represents the contempt the Conservative council has for the people they are supposed to represent. The project is a waste of taxpayers’ money and will be more trouble than it’s worth.’
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, dismissed the offer as ‘political hot air’ and said that there was nothing to judicially review as full planning consent had not yet been granted for the interconnector.