Challenge To Lack Of Consultation Successful

An important new case has clarified the law on consultation where changes have been made to an original planning application, thanks to ELF support.

Last year ELF was approached by Del Brenner (DB), secretary of the Regent Network (RN), over the redevelopment of Eagle Wharf on the Regents Canal. A timeless canal side area, where old industrial buildings, locally listed including an artists photographic studio had existed since the 1960s providing low rent space for the creative industries.

RN campaigns for London’s waterways, to bring them back to life, with a focus on the protection of London’s canals and inland waterways. RN, over many years has received substantial support from ELF with various matters concerning development impacts on the Regents Canal and other inland waterways. A planning application was made in July 2015 for the redevelopment of Eagle Wharf, demolition of much of the site and a 50-unit development. DB objected. However, 10 months later following substantial changes to the application, the council approved the application without further public consultation.

Instructing Hannah Noyce, then at 1COR, ELF sent a pre-action protocol letter in December 2016 regarding this failure to re-consult, amongst other matters. A decision was quickly made to judicially review the council. We were also aware that Holborn Studios Ltd, were also challenging the decision. Permission was granted and as we moved towards a hearing date in October 2017, ELF instructed Ian Graves at Shakespeare Martineau, a new and most welcome ELF member, to handle the case alongside a newly appointed barrister, Jessica Elliott of 1 COR.

The court held that the failure to re-consult the public had been unfair and the planning permission was quashed. ELF is delighted with the success of the challenge. This is a good decision and clarifies the law on when re-consultation should take place. ELF would like to say a very big thanks to our ELF members, all of whom acted pro-bono. R (on the application of Holborn Studios Ltd) v Hackney LBC; .R (on the application of Del Brenner) v Hackney LBC [2017] EWHC 2823 (Admin), John Howell QC sitting as a High Court Judge

You can read more analysis here on the 1COR Human Rights Blog.