I am seeking a judicial review of Elmbridge Council's decision of 18th June 2009 to approve the planning application by Gladedale Homes (local authority reference 2008/1600) for the development of the Hampton Court Station and Jolly Boatman sites.
I believe that Elmbridge Council has failed to take account of the special importance of Hampton Court Palace, and failed to follow the procedures in set out government guidance PPS25 on development and flood risk.
Papers were lodged in the High Court on 14th September 2009. The judicial review will take place in the High Court on 28th and 29th October 2010.
5th February 2012
Thames Online has posted an article I have written about the dilapidated state of the Jolly Boatman site in advance of the Olympic events scheduled to take place at Hampton Court in the summer. The article suggests that the site should be bought by the Olympic Delivery Authority to become public open space and an extension of Cigarette Island Park. Click here to read the article.
13th October 2011
A video calling on Business Secretary (and Twickenham MP) Vince Cable to intervene to prevent the development going ahead has been uploaded to You Tube.
6th September 2011
The Guardian has included Hampton Court Palace in its shortlist of Britain's Best Buildings. Political Editor Michael White has made this film about Hampton Court.
24th June 2011
The appeal was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday and today by Lords Justice Sullivan, Toulson and Pil. Most of the court's time over the day and a half hearing was taken up by attempting to understand the meaning of the two letters sent by English Heritage to Elmbridge Council and whether English Heritage thought the proposed development was harmful to the setting of Hampton Court. In the end, the judges concluded that English Heritage did not think the development would harm the setting of the Palace and the appeal was dismissed.
The hearing concluded at 12.30 pm on 24th June with Lord Justice Sullivan reading out the ruling at 2.45 pm. The ruling, which runs to 21 pages of closely spaced text, can be seen here.
We are now considering whether to take the case to the Supreme Court.
28th March 2011
I have today been given permission to appeal. The order granting the appeal, by the Rt. Hon.Lord Justice Carnwath, can be seen here. There appeal will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on 23rd and 24th June.
4th February 2011
The Richmond & Twickenham Times's take on the outcome of the court case is here.
3rd February 2011
The Leader of Elmbridge Council, Councillor John O'Reilly, was interviewed today on BBC Radio Surrey. The purpose of the interview was to allow a representative of Elmbridge Council to respond to the points that I made in my interview earlier this week.
In discussing the reasons for giving planning permission to the scheme, Councillor O'Reilly said that he considered it to be "Just about OK". I was given an opportunity to briefly respond to Councillor O'Reilly's comments.
2nd February 2011
The Solicitors' Journal reports today on the outcome of the judicial review. My solicitor Richard Buxton describes the outcome as: "a profoundly unsatisfactory decision”.
1st February 2011
I was interviewed today by Nick Wallis of BBC Radio Surrey, following the news that we have lost the judicial review. In the interview, I refer to Gladedale's development appraisal, recently released into the public domain, which has revealed that Gladedale and Network Rail between them stand to gain some £10million from the development.
I was also interviewed by Gaby Roslin and Paul Ross on BBC Radio London.
31st January 2011
Mr Justice Ouseley has delivered his ruling, following the High Court hearing on 28th and 29th October 2011. Unfortunately, we have not been successful at this stage.
I have made a press statement on the current situation which can be seen here.
16th January 201
Tribunal orders release of Gladedale development appraisal
The Tribunal hearing Elmbridge Council's appeal against the order of the Office of the Information Commissioner (see entry of 15th May below) has reached its decision. The Tribunal has upheld the order of the Office of the Information Commissioner requiring Elmbridge Council to release Gladedale's development appraisal for the Jolly Boatman site into the public domain. The Tribunal's decision can be seen here.
My legal team was allowed to see Gladedale's development appraisal in October 2010 prior to the judicial review hearing. At that time it we were given the development appraisal confidence. The development appraisal is now freely available and can be downloaded by clicking here.
Elmbridge Council has added the development appraisal to the 2008/1600 planning application web page. (Click here and type 2008/1600 into the box and then scroll down to the bottom.) However, the Council does not appear to have publicly announced that the document is now available.
28-29th October 2010: Legal Challenge Reaches High Court
My legal challenge took place yesterday and today in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand. The case was heard by Mr Justice Ouseley who is now considering the evidence presented to him. We do not currently know when the verdict will be delivered.
There was a write up in the Daily Telegraph today. The hearing was also covered by the BBC.
10th August 2010: The Guardian, Piece by Piece
The Guardian has today included my legal challenge in its "Piece by Piece" database of local campaigns for the protection of the UK's natural environment. Click here to go to my "Piece by Piece" entry.
4th August 2010: Private Eye update on legal challenge
Private Eye has published an update today about my legal challenge following the recent hearing in the Appeal Court, the withdrawal of the Star & Garter Home, and the continued refusal of Elmbridge Council to release the viability report, despite the recent ruling of the Information Commissioner.
Click here to read the article.
29th July 2010: Protective Costs Order Granted
I was granted a Protective Costs Order (PCO) today at a hearing in the Appeal Court in front of Lord Justice Lloyd, Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Sullivan. My cost exposure at the forthcoming judicial review (if I lose) will be limited to £5,000. Elmbridge Council's exposure will be limited to £35,000. The decision overturns the refusal of my application for a PCO by the High Court in March. Costs of £15,000 were awarded against Elmbridge Council, who had opposed my application for a PCO.
The order summarising the outcome of the appeal can be read here. The full judgement by Lords Justice Lloyd, Richards, and Sullivan can be read here.
12th July 2010: Star & Garter Home pulls out of development
The Royal Star & Garter Home has today issued a press release saying that they are pulling out of the development. The Home had planned to move into a 65 room residential care home planned for the site after it vacates the building on Richmond Hill which it has occupied since its foundation at the end of the First World War. The Home cites delays and uncertainty surrounding the project as its reason for pulling out.
1st July 2010: Evening Standard article
The Evening Standard has published a story on my legal challenge. Click here to go to the story. Not a great photograph, but a fair summary of the current situation, excepting the fact that it is Elmbridge Council and Network Rail that have been delaying the proceedings, not me.
In a related development, the judicial review has been postponed from 8th and 9th July.
10th June 2010: permission to appeal granted
Lord Justice Munby today gave me permission to appeal against the refusal of my application for a protective costs order. My legal team and the legal teams representing Elmbridge Council and Network Rail are now agreeing a timetable for the appeal hearing, and other practical matters. The judicial review itself - the so-called "rolled-up hearing" - is due to take place at the High Court on 8th and 9th July.
15th May 2010: Elmbridge instructed to release viability report
The Office of the Information Commissioner has today instructed Elmbridge Council to make public a "viability report" submitted by Gladedale Homes in support of the their planning application in 2008. The viability report was withheld on the grounds that the figures are "commercially confidential". Click here to see the decision notice by the Office of the Information Commissioner.
15th March 2010: BBC Radio interview
Click here to hear my radio interview with Nick Wallis on BBC Radio Surrey today.
3rd March 2010: preliminary hearing
A preliminary hearing took place yesterday and today at the Royal Courts of Justice. The purpose of the hearing was to consider my application for a "Protective Costs Order" to protect me from the other side's costs if the judicial review is unsuccessful.
The application for the Protective Costs Order, heard by Justice Nichol, was turned down, and will now go to the Appeal Court for further consideration.
The question of my "standing" to bring the case (see entry of 11th December below) and the "substantive merits" of the case itself, will both be dealt with at what is called a "rolled up hearing", to be held at a later date.
21st January 2010: petition posted on Downing St web site
I have posted a petition on the 10 Downing Street web site. The petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to intervene to prevent the proposed development of the Jolly Boatman and Hampton Court Station sites, and to take steps have the Jolly Boatman site acquired in the national interest to protect key views of Hampton Court Palace
Click here to see the petition. NB: the petition is now closed.
Happy Christmas - 2009
View of Hampton Court in snow based on the 1703 view by Leonard Knyff. The view shows the extremely close relationship of Cigarette Island - the proposed development site - to the Pond Garden, Privy Garden and and Wren parts of the Palace.
11th December 2009: order issued by judge
A judge, George Bartlett QC, has now read the papers and has issued an order which concludes that Elmbridge Council made a legal error in deciding to approve the planning application. The judge believes that the Council failed to take sufficient account of the importance of preserving the setting of Hampton Court Palace.
In other words, the judge thinks that I may have a case against Elmbridge Council.
However the judge has also decided that I do not have sufficient "standing" to bring the legal challenge, because I did not object to the 2008 planning application.
(I sent an objection to the - almost identical - 2007 application, and wrote a letter to the Architects' Journal criticising both the 2007 and 2008 applications.)
However the judge recognises that I have a particular interest in preserving Hampton Court Palace, and that my views are in accord with those of many local people and groups, including Historic Royal Palaces.
In view of my clear interest in this issue, which the judge acknowledges, I have asked Richard Buxton to renew the application for judicial review, so that the question of my "standing" can be considered further.
The judge also considered my legal challenge to be an appropriate one for a Protective Costs Order.
Click here to read the order in full.
30th November 2009: BBC Radio interview
Click here to hear my recent radio interview with Nick Wallis on BBC Radio Surrey.
27th November 2009: Private Eye reports on legal challenge
Private Eye has today published an article about the Hampton Court Station site and my legal challenge.
Click here to read the article.
Funding the legal challenge
The legal challenge is potentially very expensive for me, even with the Protective Costs Order. I cannot afford to keep the legal challenge going without support from members of the public.
Details of the bank account I have set up to fund the legal challenge are as follows:
Lloyds Bank Ltd, 33 King's Road, London SW3 4LX
Jolly Boatman Legal Challenge
Cheques payable to "Jolly Boatman Legal Challenge" may also be sent to Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law at 19b Victoria Street,
Cambridge CB1 1JP. (Mark the envelope "For the attention of Lisa Foster".)
This account is solely for the purpose of paying my solicitors Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law, and barristers Richard Drabble QC and David Smith of Landmark Chambers.
I have nothing personal to gain from bringing this legal challenge, which I believe is in the public interest.
Why I am interested in this issue
I was a consultant architect to Historic Royal Palaces working at Hampton Court for 10 years from 1994 to 2004. I am very grateful to the HRP for the opportunity to work at Hampton Court Palace.
When I was working at the HRP, I was involved in their attempts to prevent the development of the Hampton Court Station and Jolly Boatman sites. Like the HRP, I believe that areas of the sites surplus to railway requirements should be acquired in the public interest and landscaped.
I have posted a proposal for keeping the site free of harmful encroaching development on my web site here. In my view, Gladedale should ask their architects to design a scheme for the former Castle Hotel site opposite, rather than the Jolly Boatman site itself.
I will update this web page regularly so that members of the public can follow the progress of the legal challenge.
Keith Garner 23rd September 2009
Tel: 020 7585 0421
© Keith Garner Ltd 2011