DEVON County Council (DCC) could face a legal challenge against its ‘pedestrian enhancement’ scheme for Newton Abbot’s high street as a group of residents and businesses lawyer up in a bid to save the street from the scheme, which they say will kill the street.

Feeling as though they have been left with no other option, the Queen Street Traders and Residents Association (QSTAR) has instructed solicitors.

This comes ahead of a possible legal challenge to thwart the joint Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council (TDC) venture.

QSTAR is being represented by Lodders, a leading legal practise from the Midlands.

Lodders represented the Totnes traders in their successful challenge to reverse the DCC plans for the town’s high street, which cost the council more than £200,000.

QSTAR was hopeful that letters from Newton Abbot Town Council and the Federation of Small Businesses, as well as representations from numerous other bodies and persons, calling for the scheme to be paused and for renewed dialogue between concerned parties took place would be actioned.

This did not happen, however, and the letters fell on deaf eyes say QSTAR; the South Devon Alliance similarly feel as though they representations made at council have been largely ignored.

At the present time, Lodders have issued QSTAR with advice, as well as outlining the four areas open to legal challenge - a letter will be sent to DCC clarifying this position.

QSTAR hope this will prompt DCC and TDC to halt proceedings and engage with the group.

Any legal challenge will, of course, carry a cost.

Ashley Dawes of Dawes Accountants has been appointed as the treasurer of QSTAR.

The association will be opening a bank account in anticipation of a crowdfunding campaign to support the legal challenge.

In the meantime, QSTAR continue to lobby DCC and TDC to pause the scheme.

‘A scheme altered to satisfy traders and residents could avoid unnecessary disruption and expense to everyone involved’ a spokesperson for QSTAR said.

‘We aim to have an update in the coming weeks, including the details of the failures that Lodders have outlined and the next steps we can take’ the spokesperson added.