Another planning inquiry

By Emma Montlake

1 Crown Office Row has a team of young barristers who have now taken 3 public inquiries from ELF and we would like to acknowledge the contribution that they have made to ELF, over the last 2 years. Last year saw the almighty success of Isleworth Society successfully supporting a refusal to allow development on historic London allotments with the aid of Charlotte Gilmartin as featured in our last newsletter. This year has seen the team accept another forthcoming public inquiry and we would like to thank Rajkiran Barhey for accepting this pro-bono instruction. It begins next week and we wish Kiran great success.

ELF is used to approaches from those objecting to planning proposals that would affect the environment but from time to time we are approached by a community looking for assistance in defending their own planning proposals. In January we were put in touch with a social enterprise consultancy, who have been running a community woodland project since 2010. A pine plantation, they have been working to restructure the wood, to make it more natural, including heathland re-creation, with good sustainable harvesting in the process.  They are improving the natural environment. They work a lot with the local community, including disadvantaged groups and forest school groups; they provide an important intersection of engagement between the public and nature education and learning. However local wealthy objectors have campaigned against the consultancy and their activities following the refusal of planning applications and surprisingly, enforcement action taken against them, they have found themselves having to appeal all three. With few resources to properly defend their position, they were put in touch with ELF. The Planning Inquiry is due to start soon and ELF wishes the team every success.

Shelter built by craftsmen at the Conservancy for a nearby community group for use by local schools