Bembridge Harbour Trust has lost its bid for a Judicial Review against the Isle of Wight Council's planning decision on the harbour.

The judge ruled there were insufficient grounds to challenge Bembridge Investments Limited’s (BIL) application for houses and new facilities around the harbour.

BHT was ordered to pay £5,796.50 in costs to BIL and £4,203.50 to the Isle of Wight Council. A cap of £10,000 had been placed on the amount of costs liability the trust would have to pay.

The trust has claimed that although it lost, the prospect of this action had prompted the strategic harbour authority (SHA) owned by Malcolm and Fiona Thorpe, to get on with piling and dredging the BHT had been pressing for.

The trustees said: "Since JRs were launched we have seen pile repairs, land-based dredging and tentative moves towards a critical groyne repair.

"If Mr Thorpe is true to his word, we can expect much more, as he has always said that so much could progress if only BIL got its planning permission. We watch with interest."

The SHA says it was doing this work anyway.

Read more: Harbour trust launches second legal challenge

Now BHT is preparing for a second bid for a judicial review, against the SHA itself, in respect of loans of the SHA’s own money to other Thorpe-owned companies.

BHT says its forensic accountants support its claim in that the loans appear to be approximately £630,000.

Amongst its aims are the immediate repayment of this sum to the SHA.

Mr Thorpe refutes BHT's claims, which he says are based on guesswork.

In a statement to the County Press, Mr Thorpe said: "The judge considered the ten claims made by BHT, all of which were dismissed.

"Having requested and been granted by the court a cap on legal costs if they lost their case, BHT have been instructed by the judge to pay a proportion of the costs incurred by both the IW Council and BIL.

"This is a huge step forward which will now allow the Harbour to plan for the future with positivity and confidence.

"The harbour desperately needs this ability to evolve and improve, enabling it to be considered favourably alongside harbours and marinas throughout the Solent.

"The harbour will robustly defend its position in the second judicial review."