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Lambeth Successfully Defend Two Applications for Permission for Judicial Review

Gregory Jones QC
Charles Merrett

Deputy Judge Ockelton has refused two applications for permission to judicially review decisions taken by Lambeth Council as part of the Westminster Bridge Road Regeneration Project.

The Westminster Bridge Road Regeneration Project is a large multimillion pound regenerative scheme of works designed to improve highways safety and use in central London. Consultation on this scheme started over 5 years ago. As part of the scheme of works, Lambeth had decided in September 2018 to install a crossing outside of Lambeth North tube station. The location of this crossing was directly in line with an access point, which does not benefit from planning permission, used by the Claimant.

The Claimant, the owner of the landmark Lincoln Tower, initially sought to judicially review this decision alongside a number of letters sent by Lambeth Council relating to the legality and future use of the access point. Furthermore, the Claimant obtained an ex parte injunction which prevented the crossing being installed. Permission was refused on the papers and the injunction discharged.

At the oral permission hearing, which was for permission for both the first judicial review above and a second judicial review issued on identical grounds but solely against letters sent by the Defendant in the course of pre-litigation correspondence to the Claimant, Deputy Judge Ockelton found that, whilst one letter arguably amounted to an unlawful decision, there were no grounds on which permission to judicial review could be granted. Furthermore, there could be no challenge to the decision to implement the scheme. The works are now installed and completed.

Gregory Jones QC and Charles Merrett represented the successful defenant, Lambeth Council.