The end: Council’s appeal rejected and judgement confirmed they acted unlawfully

1 min read

Wandsworth Council appeal against the High Court’s judgement on Neal’s Lodge has been unanimously rejected by the three Court of Appeal judges. Further appeal to the Supreme Court has been refused.

The judgement said:

“Given the conclusion I have reached, the question of whether the proposed nursery school is wholly or mainly for recreation is, in my judgement, only capable of being answered in the negative. […] Accordingly, the proposed nursery would not fall within [a recreational character] either, and the judge was correct to hold that the judicial review should succeed.”

Last year, a High Court judge ruled that Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) acted unlawfully in offering a long lease for the use of Neal’s Lodge as a private fee-paying nursery on Wandsworth Common –  in breach of the 1967 ‘Long Act’..  Such use would effectively restrict its availability to all but the more privileged local residents. We previously reported the case in our article HERE.

Now it would be interesting to find out how much money was spent on the case by the Council, and to get an estimate of officer time wasted. Regarding the total cost of the full judicial procedure that the local resident supporting the case needed to pay, that is close the £60,000 (including judicial advice, PCs, etc) and only half should be finally reimbursed as they won!

You can download the full judgement HERE.

UPDATE 3/08/2018: Extract from the Battersea Park Action Group’s newsletter (July 15th, 2018) regarding the cost of this Judicial Review

Alexander Muir and his colleague on the Neal’s Lodge campaign were left considerably out of pocket, to the tune of £35,000. Sandy has never asked for money, but when asked why they were left in the red, he said:

“The total cost of the JR in the first instance ended up at c £65,000. I had been granted a Protective Cost Order which limited my exposure to WBC’s costs to £5,000. The quid pro quo was that WBC’s exposure to my costs was limited to £35,000. I was ultimately awarded £30,000 because a second (procedural) ground failed which resulted in £5000 being netted off the £35,000.

The PCO was subsequently extended to also cover the costs of the WBC appeal. I was represented pro bono at the appeal so incurred no further costs at that stage. WBC’s failure to win the appeal meant they then had to pay a balance of £5000 to the Access to Justice fund.

Net my unrecovered costs were £35,000 which was split 50:50 with one other party.”

Did you like reading this article? Help us write more!

Clapham Junction Insider (formerly known as the CJAG website) has been publishing local news for over 14 years and remains committed to providing information about the local community and engaging in public interest journalism.

Our goal is to feature a wide range of community campaigns and initiatives, local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, and provide assistance to residents.

We have always been dedicated to these endeavours and have no intention of changing. In fact, we would like to expand our efforts further.

Until recently, all the stories, analyses, and reports published have been made possible with the invaluable help of many volunteers. However, it requires a significant amount of time and effort, and we are frustrated that we cannot do more. There are numerous topics we would like to cover, but we require financial resources to provide regular information.

Therefore, we kindly ask our readers to consider offering financial support to sustain these efforts. Any contributions made will help support community and public interest news, as well as the expansion of our coverage in this area.

2 ways of supporting our project

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more? We have set up two ways of supporting our project:

  1. Paypal: For one-off contributions, you can just use your bank card. However if you wish to encourage and support us regularly with a small amount, you will need a Paypal account to set up a monthly subscription. Click here to donate.
  2. Patreon: this is a well-known membership platform that connects content creators with supporters. Mainly, it offers financial tools that let supporters subscribe to projects that give creators a predictable income stream as they continue to create content. Click here to subscribe and support us regularly.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.