Thursday, 4 June 2020

Save Bridge Park Community campaigners welcome a 'powerful decision' in their favour

From Bridge Park Community Council Steering Group




Community campaigners welcome a powerful decision in their favour

Appeal Court agrees to hear Stonebridge Community Trust case for being allowed to make its Charitable Arguments:
On 30 July, Master Clarke accepted the local authority’s argument that as the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, MP, had not joined the proceedings, then the Charitable Trust argument had to be struck out from the defence.  That result would have dealt a blow to the community campaigners’ defence.
On 13th September, leave to appeal the decision was refused by Master Clarke, so the community campaigners applied for permission to appeal this legal point to a higher Judge, resulting in this latest successful outcome. 
On 6th November 2019, at the High Court Appeal Centre, the Honourable Mr. Justice Birss ruled that the community campaigners be granted permission to appeal the orders of 21st March and 13th September 2019.

At the Appeals Centre, the Honourable Mr. Justice Birss, explained that “…..the decision of the Attorney General not to join the proceedings does not prevent the community and those who represent them from maintaining a Charitable Trust argument.  He concluded by saying, “.the arguments put forward as grounds of appeal on behalf of the defendants have a real as opposed to fanciful prospect of success at trial. 

 ‘Community campaigners welcome TWO powerful decisions
 in their favour’.
1.    Feb 2020 – “Community Activist threatens Community’s Legal Defence”

In the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday Feb 6, 2020 -
Patricia Grace Guthrie a local activist based in Camden, states that she teamed up with a Daniel Galimore and Nigel Goodison, as they thought that they could fight the Save Bridge Park campaign better than BPCC (who have blocked the sale for three years and fought and won the legal case at the first key test hearing February 2019).  Grace tried to persuade the High Court to let her join on behalf of her new team and she submitted privileged BPCC evidence and made erroneous statements in support.

Her legal arguments, were in effect against BPCC, so would have helped Brent to sell Bridge Park by attempting to remove our claim that
 *1.* HPCC were promised the Freehold (Estopple by convention), and;
 *2.* of there being a Charitable Trust by the actions and method of the purchase (in 1982) demonstrated by the protective GLC covenant which Brent removed.

Fortunately, The High Court agreed with our legal position (this without making any judgement on the merits of the main case in relation to Brent and ourselves, to be heard later this hear circa July 2020). The Judge threw Grace's arguments and case out (stating amongst other things.... that it had no basis in Law)! Brent won their costs against her. Whilst she was hostile towards BPCC/ HPCC we still persuaded our lawyers to show goodwill and not to apply for their entitled similar costs. So ONLY Brent Lawyers were awarded their costs £14,000 (within 28 days) against Patricia Grace Guthrie.

We have the full backing of the Cllrs, Lawyers, Press, Public and most importantly, our Community - proof backed up by their signed and written questionnaires also a petition.

Jay Mastin, Chair, Bridge Park Community Council Steering Group (BPCC) said
“This is a very powerful decision in favour of the community.  BPCC recognises the commitment from the community to support the Save Bridge Park campaign.  We also recognize our accountability to the community.  To that end, BPCC have produced the Chair’s Report covering the start of the campaign in June 2017 to date.  (see our website:
The Current Position

We are pleased to report we have gone on to win our appeal hearing (attached) and will now go on to full Trial, with a window between July - Nov 2020. 

The Save Bridge Park campaign lost a decision in relation to the Attorney General and being able to continue our Charitable Trust arguments in our defence. We put in an application to the High Court to appeal that decision and the costs awarded A copy of the 29th April 2020 Judgement, Order and Attorney General's letter can be viewed on our website
I trust you will agree our case is unique and maybe legally exceptional, please consider supporting in our favour . Our appeal hearing was granted on 9th November 2019. This was the opening to a potentially landmark moment.    

 “This successful Appeal which was heard during the Covid-19outbreak in March 2020, is another big step in our steady fight to victory for the Community. No one believed in our arguments but we know the story, gathered our own evidence and slowly persuaded those in the know. Bridge Park Land & Complex is unique and is the largest project of its type in Europe. I feel our fight for justice may go on to create a legal precedent. Please see our story visit us on -”.
Jay Mastin, Chair, BPCC Steering Group and Director, Stonebridge Community Trust

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