See You In Court

High Court challenge to protect Putney Common from 'unlawful road building'

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Solicitors representing the community group (FofPC) established by residents to prevent inappropriate development at the Putney Hospital site, have today
(18th of February, 2013) sent a 'letter before action’ in accordance with the pre-action protocol for judicial review.

The letter sets out the reasons for maintaining that the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) do not have the power to grant the proposed deed of easement allowing Wandsworth Borough Council to built private access roads on common land which facilitates the inappropriate development of a 2FE primary school for 420 pupils and 24 luxury flats. FofPC have invited WPCC to agree to terminate the unlawful agreement, and unless they do so will seek a declaration in the High Court. WPCC have a standard 14 days in
which to respond.

The full letter sent by Richard Buxton Environmental and Planning to WPCC’s
Solicitors Gregsons can be seen in full on the FofPC’s website.

A spokesman for FofPC said today:
“We are very disappointed that through their actions WPCC have forced residents to take this legal route to protect the common, a duty of conservation laid out in the 1871 Act that they should be carrying out. We have sent a series of legal opinions demonstrating that the proposed easement is not lawful and expected the WPCC to react accordingly. They have not done so.

It is also a matter for regret that our elected representatives, both locally and nationally, have also remained silent. They are prepared to talk up the need for a new school in Thamesfield, but to ignore the many downsides to the Council’s inappropriate scheme at Putney Hospital. These include a playground forced onto the roof because the building uses up all the available space, massive impact on local transport and parking, unlawful use of common land designated for leisure and recreation for private access roads, as well as environmental threats and much else. The Council never mentions the fact that 60% of the site in the unlawful planning application is common land.”

The planning consent granted by Wandsworth on the 29th of October 2012 and the earlier screening opinion giving permission not to undertake a necessary Environmental Impact Assessment are currently in the process of being quashed by the High Court. The flats to be built on the site have no provision for social housing.

Map showing the hospital site in 1871

Map showing the hospital site with proposed roads paths etc

February 22, 2013