Legal Update – Sainsbury’s Out
Sadly, the court battle against the Wilmer Place development has come to an end. On Tuesday 21 April the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Terence Etherton, decided Stokey Local’s appeal against a previous High Court judgement would be unlikely to succeed. So the legal process ends here.
Obviously it’s disappointing, and Stokey Local’s legal team were shocked that their solid arguments, although praised by the judge, were rejected.
But this isn’t a time to be downhearted. Even though we’ve lost this specific battle, our continued tenacity and vigilance could still win the war. Things have changed a lot in the four years since the campaign started, and supermarkets are no longer quite as enthusiastic about opening big stores as they used to be. Today Sainsbury’s confirmed it no longer has a lease on the site – which could mean the development is shelved after all. If we’ve waited our opponents out until they change their minds, that’s a massive victory. And the campaign has achieved a lot anyway, by bringing the community together, revealing the injustices of the planning process and giving local people, businesses and wildlife vital extra years without this harmful development on their doorstep.
For more details of the legal wrangling, including yet another shocking revelation of Hackney Council’s culture of secrecy, obfuscation, defensiveness, digging-in and capitulation with the developer, read Nick Perry’s blog on the Stokey Local website.
So what next?
If Sainsbury’s are no longer be interested in the site, the developer may be looking to sell it on – which may mean another planning application. Let’s hope our campaign has persuaded the next developer to genuinely engage the local community in their plans next time. If not, watch this space!
Time for a meeting!
The campaign raised nearly £34,000 and as a result of court orders limiting Stokey Local’s costs and their lawyers working for free or reduced cost, there should be a few hundred pounds left in the bank account, once the bills are in. No doubt they’ll need this for the next round in the battle.
Stokey Local will be holding a public meeting at 7pm on Monday 11 May 2015 at St Paul’s West Hackney Church, on the High Street, at the junctions of Evering and Amhurst Roads. All are welcome.
Hackney Unites Community Newspaper
Hackney Unites, of whom Hackney Planning Watch is associated, has its latest edition community newspaper now in print ready to be delivered.
You can preview the whole paper here
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6EOu3raR1WbdTQ3MFVEOUMzTEU/view?usp=sharing (it leads on the communities response to a proposed anti-Semitic protest in Stamford Hill).
It is important that we show how our communities can and do work together which is why we would appreciate your support in getting the newspaper out door to door.
There is a piece in the paper about the last Hackney Planning Watch meeting about the proposed area action plan, and a report on the Stokey Local campaign.
If you would like to help with distribution of these (perhaps taking a couple of hundred to do your own and a neighbouring street) that would be very much appreciated. We could do with more volunteers.
Just drop an email to Jane Holgate at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, how many you can take and which streets (or community outlets) you can distribute them in.