CHRISTCHURCH council has been refused permission to appeal the judgement against its judicial review of local government reorganisation (LGR).

High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston, who presided over the judicial review hearing in London last week, said a further hearing at the Court of Appeal had "no prospect of success".

The borough may still decide to take its bid for an appeal to the court directly, although it must do so by August 21.

On Twitter, those backing LGR were pleased with the decision.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns said: "Now that Christchurch council have been denied permission to appeal I urge our friends in Christchurch to get fully involved in shaping the agenda of the new council and work with all other Dorset MPs in exploiting to the full the opportunities it presents us."

And North Dorset MP Simon Hoare said: "Amen to that! All due process has been followed. We need to move on and deliver the services our constituents need and want."

It was Sir Ross who turned down the council's bid for a judicial review, arguing that it "did not act promptly" to issue its legal challenge, and that there was "no compelling reason" to support its case that the Secretary of State acted illegally, on a technicality, by approving the merger.

Cllr David Flagg, Leader of Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Whilst we are disappointed with the decision of the judge to refuse leave to appeal the council has fought to represent the wishes of our residents throughout this process.

"The result of our local poll showed that 84% of residents who took part did not support local government reorganisation and it was important we pursued every avenue possible to prevent the abolition of the Council.

“We will now consider the advice of counsel and officers before making a decision about the best way forward.”