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today following a High Court ruling to overturn a decision of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to adopt a Supplementary Development Plan (SDP) for the regeneration of the Shepherd’s Bush Market in West London. The 13 successful claimants are freehold or leasehold owners of various trading premises between 30-52 Goldhawk Road which is a terrace of shops, cafes and restaurants fronting onto the Goldhawk Road in Shepherd’s Bush. Although the Goldhawk Road shops were not part of the market they were set to be demolished as part of the regeneration of the area which included the building of over 200 flats by the property developer, Orion. Mr Justice Wilkie quashed the decision of the Council to adopt the SDP on the grounds of: (i) That its decision was procedurally flawed in that it failed to follow the proper procedure for adopting a Development Planning Document (DPD). (ii) It is procedurally flawed in that adopting a document that was a DPD failed to conduct a sustainability assessment. (iii) Whether or not the document was a DPD or an SPD the decision to adopt it on 27 October 2010 was procedurally flawed because it failed to apply its mind to whether an environmental assessment was required before adopting it, pursuant to the 2004 Environmental Assessment Regulations. The High Court decision now leaves the Council’s regeneration policy in disarray as their Core Strategy document for regeneration, published in October 2011, specifically makes reference to implementing the now defunct SDP policy. In addition, despite warnings from the shopkeepers and other interested parties the Council has granted outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the market and surrounding areas including the Goldhawk Road Shops, notwithstanding the ongoing Court case. A claimant, Aniza Meghani, the owner of Classic Textiles Limited stated “Our victory is a

vindication of our objections to the Council’s plans to incorporate our shops into a redevelopment that is disproportionate, ill conceived and that has not been subject to

proper public scrutiny. The High Court has ruled decisively in our favour that the Council has acted unlawfully in trying to push through their plans without the proper scrutiny required for a development that would undoubtedly be of significant change to the area and involve the demolition of our shops. Many of our businesses have been established for decades and it has never been our wish to be part of the regeneration scheme as we are not part on the market. It is our intention to continue with our fight to retain our shops and we will seek to challenge the existing planning permission and also to have that quashed or otherwise withdrawn. This Council has a reputation for not listening to the people that it serves and clearly had its own agenda in seeking avoid full public scrutiny of its redevelopment plans.”
Another claimant, Michael Boughton, the owner of the famous of Cooke’s Pie and Mash shop, stated “The court’s decision is a clear message to the council that small independent

shopkeepers should not be ignored when they have genuine concerns about regeneration plans that directly impact their business. The irony is that our parade of shops does not form part of the market yet the council felt the need to demolish buildings without considering any viable alternatives. The pie and mash shop been located on the same site for 113 years and is part of the historical fabric of Goldhawk Road. We are not against regeneration where it is appropriate but the council’s plans were never about the redevelopment of the market, but the building of 200 flats with their preferred developer Orion. Let’s hope my shop will continue to exist for the next 100 years.”
Michael Webster, a Partner in the firm of Webster Dixon representing the Claimants states “the decision of Mr Justice Wilkie is a damning indictment

of the Council’s planning

practices and procedures; even one of the grounds would have been enough to quash the decision however the Judge found in our favour on three grounds. Despite several warnings the Council continued to plough on with their unlawful policy of the regeneration of the market. In our view the purpose of the regeneration was not the market itself but the development of 200 flats for which the developer Orion stands to make millions of pounds. The Council has in reality used the SPD procedure to prepare a policy which ought properly to have been subjected to a more detailed examination and public scrutiny, circumventing the more time consuming and expensive procedures attached to DPDs and its adoption is as a consequence, unlawful. The Council should now reconsider its position to ensure that it complies with its lawful obligations to allow proper public scrutiny and consultation of its regeneration policies.”

NOTES; Webster Dixon LLP is a commercial law firm based in the City of London. The solicitors with conduct of the case on behalf of the claimants were Ruhul Ayazi and Michael Webster of Webster Dixon LLP Webster Dixon LLP instructed Gregory Jones QC and Annabel Graham Paul of Francis Taylor Buildings For further information please contact Michael Webster or Ruhul Ayazi on 0207 3538300 or by email at