Council loses Court Challenge. Judicial Review of Wandsworth Council planning decisions for Battersea Power Station
Planning approvals given by Wandsworth Council to Parkview International for Battersea Power Station are to be judicially reviewed following a legal challenge brought by a Battersea Power Station Community Group (BPSCG)member.
BPSCG member, June Hautot, launched the challenge in November 2002 after receiving legal advice that Wandsworth's decision to extend planning permissions that had expired in 2002 was unlawful.
The legal challenge was made on six grounds in all. In addition to questions over the legality of extending a lapsed planning application, the most significant is the fact that the Council had failed to carry out an Environmental Impact "Scoping Assessment" before allowing Parkview to omit a new railway station from the development.
At the permission hearing at the High Court on 2nd April, we were successful on three of the six grounds of the challenge. Judge, Mr Roger Henderson QC, seemed particularly concerned over the fact that Wandsworth had failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Scoping Assessment, prior to the removal of the train station, and the effect this might have on the local environment.
The full Judicial Review will take place at the High Court in October. Should we be successful at that time, it is clear that there will be serious doubts over the future of Parkview International's scheme for Battersea Power Station.
Most significantly, if the existing planning permissions are quashed, the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, will be able to intervene in new planning applications put forward for Battersea Power Station. For instance, the Mayor will be able to insist on an adequate provision of affordable housing in the scheme. (There is no affordable housing In the current scheme.)
The Water Pumping Station, Grade II listed, will also be saved because the planning permission to demolish will have expired.
The Judicial Review may even open the way to a wider review of the future of Battersea Power Station and surrounding sites, which BPSCG has been seeking for many years.
A full transcript of the permission hearing can be seen on the web site of Environmental and Public Law, the law firm representing June Hautot, at the following address:
For more information, telephone BPSCG Chair Brian Barnes on 020 7627 5821, or see our web site, www.batterseapowerstation.com
Letters from BPSCG members published in the local press can be seen on our letters page