Monday, 28 January 2013

West Ken: Council cry victory, residents defiant

Much crowing was in evidence at Hammersmith Town Hall last week as the Council bucked the trend of repeated court defeats with a victory over the residents of West Ken & Gibbs Green, who had applied for a judicial review.

West Kensington Estate resident Harold Greatwood, applied to court to launch a judicial review of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council's decision to enter into a Conditional Land Sale Agreement with EC Properties to include the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in the wider regeneration of Earls Court. He challenged the decision on four grounds.

But on Monday, January 21 The Honourable Mr Justice John Mitting sitting in the Administrative Court refused permission for the application for a Judicial Review, ruling against Mr Greatwood on all four grounds.Finding that the challenge to the Council's consultation was “not reasonably arguable”, Mr Justice Mitting said:
“The analysis of the consultation responses put to cabinet on 23 April 2012 and 3 September 2012 was balanced and fair. The suggestion that the results of the consultation were hidden is unwarranted". 
He went on to say that
"The time for the consultation - nine weeks - was adequate"
and that
"The suggestion that because the defendant did not address the consultation documents to tenants by name or to the ‘tenant’, the process was flawed, is absurd.”
Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said:
“The redevelopment of Earls Court is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the local residents to benefit from a multi-billion pound investment in their own neighbourhood.”
But Mr Greatwood had this to say:
"Having had regard for the Judge’s reasons for refusing permission, I feel obliged to renew my application for permission because there is real and significant evidence that the decisions to sign the CLSA were unlawful. The consultation process was flawed and Defendant has not addressed the full facts. The involvement of the Metropolitan Police and the serious complaint that was referred to the IPCC by the Greater London Authority suggest that political impropriety is a substantial and material issue, which, if true taints all the bases for the decisions.”
Community Organiser, Jonathan Rosenberg, said:
“The more the Council and developer prosecute their scheme, the more they harden residents’ resolve to defend their community and save their neighbourhood."
Keith Drew, Chair of West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes and fellow resident on the West Kensington estate, added:
“Harold Greatwood’s heroic action held back the signing of the sell-off agreement (an 800 page document) with the developer for five weeks. We are so proud of what he has achieved on behalf of his 2,000 neighbours. He is undaunted, and so are we. We wish him God speed and we pray that the Court should hear our case and deliver us from this unlawful oppression.”

1 comment:

  1. A poor elderly gentleman was run over by a 4x4 this afternoon on Uxbridge road at the end of Devonport road.