High Court reviews ‘profoundly unfair’ Cressingham Gardens plan

Protest against Lambeth council
Protest against Lambeth council

A judicial review of Lambeth council’s plan to demolish the Cressingham Gardens Estate was heard in the High Court in November. Judgement was reserved until a later date.

The legal challenge has been brought by Cressingham resident Andy Plant, who was represented by the law firm Leigh Day.

The grounds for judicial review include: a failure by the council to follow its own criteria as to the financial viability of demolition; a failure to carry out a fair consultation; and a breach of Mr Plant’s right to property.

This is the second judicial review relating to the estate.

In the first review a year ago, the High Court ruled that Lambeth council had acted unlawfully when it removed options for refurbishment – which it claimed was not financially viable – from its public consultation on the future of the estate.

This prompted another consultation earlier this year, which resulted in the decision in March 2016 to continue with demolition.

Permission for the latest judicial review was granted at the High Court in August this year.

A court order is currently in place preventing Lambeth council from demolishing the estate until the conclusion of the legal challenge. The order also prohibits the council from beginning possession proceedings and compulsory purchases. The council agreed the order and says it does not affect its intended timetable in any way.

Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith said: “We believe that the council’s latest decision to demolish the Cressingham Gardens Estate is unlawful for a number of reasons, including failures to follow its own policy and carry out a fair consultation. We also believe the demolition would breach Mr Plant’s right to property.

“Mr Plant and the other residents of the estate have fought hard for their homes and community, in the face of questionable decision making processes, and they feel that the council’s decision to demolish the estate is profoundly unfair.”

More details from the Cressingham Gardens campaign.