Abney Park & Judicial Review

A couple of quick news items:

Abney Park
Abney Park had a success FUN-draising afternoon, organized by the Abney Park User Group (APUG), Abney Park Trust and Stokey Local. All of the proceeds – over £700 on the day – went to the Stokey Local Fund

The Abney Park Users Group hold regular meetings and are always looking for volunteers to help the Trust with some litter-picking or tidying up and horticulture. Email abneyparkusergroup@live.com for more details.

Judicial Review over Wilmer Place Development

The main Judicial Review hearing for the Wilmer Place/Sainsbury’s Development is listed for 14-16 October 2014. If the case is heard in full, we’d expect to hear the Court’s decision around six weeks later.

In the meantime Stokey Local Have been in court on preliminary and procedural matters. Most recently last Friday 19 September in the Court of Appeal to ask to see the secret viability documents that the developer used to say he could only afford to build 9 “affordable” homes (2 of which are “social rent”) out of the 53 he’s building. Hackney Policy, like many councils seeks 50% affordable homes but only 17% are on offer because otherwise, the developer claims, the scheme would be unviable. It a trick that is routinely repeated across the country. And because the documents are self-certified as confidential, we don’t get to scrutinise them.

You can read Nick Perry’s blog post on our day in Court on the Stokey Local website. And for more on what’s wrong with the system of viability read Olly Wainwright’s excellent piece in The Guardian

Sadly, the Court of Appeal didn’t give the campaigners permission to see those documents ahead of the JR. The campaign have to pay some of the costs of the other sides in mounting that Appeal, but they will be relatively modest (and certainly no more than £5,000) as we didn’t go ahead with a full hearing. The appeal was still useful though. It raised some important points and brought some interesting legal arguments forward which will be useful at the Judicial Review.

Stokey Local is also entirely a volunteer run organisation; if you’d like to help out do get in touch. They also need donations. They say:

With almost £17,000 raised already we’ve done very well as a campaign. But even though our team of barristers are working at no cost to us, we need to raise at least £4,000 more to cover a portion of the other sides’ costs if we lose, as well as our incidental court and administrative costs to date.

If you haven’t already donated to the fund or know of others who might want to contribute to our campaign, donations can be made direct in to our bank account (details below). You can email them at info@stokeylocal.org.uk to let them know if you make a direct donation.

Account: Stokey Local Community Fund
Sort code: 08-60-01
Account: 20316473



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