Day two of the Judicial Review hearing against the Haringey development Vehicle at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand.
Once again supporters turned out at the High Court to demonstrate support for Gordon Peters and HDV. There were colourful banners and slogans making plain that residents did not support the”Heinous Deceitful Villains” (Or “hungry Demolition vultures” – take your pick!). Inside the courtroom David Wolfe QC finished putting the case clearly against the HDV decision (See skeleton argument here ).
Counsel for Haringey Council is reported to have argued (among other things):
- It is OK for the Council to give up their duties under the Human Rights Act because the Secretary of State can step in.
- the Council's key purpose of making profit from the HDV was not meaningful (The judge pointed out he was confusing the word 'primary' with 'only' as if the Council's secondary purposes (ie making money) were incidental - when they are not)
- That the scrutiny committee's input was "an important factor in the cabinet's decision-making" - to hoots of laughter from the StopHDV supporters in the gallery. (After all, on the last occasion they gave the scrutiny committee's recommendations all of 15 minutes' consideration!)
The Council argues that it is not exceeding its powers and has made the decision properly, including consulting tenants (some of whom were outside the court saying clearly that they were not consulted)
There was horror at the size of the Council's and Lend Lease's legal team (ay least 9 barristers). And that the Council has used public money to pay for that excess.
Counsel for Lendlease backed the Council's arguments.
The judge will now make his decision. This may take some weeks. We and the Council (& Lendlease) must now wait for the decision to be handed down.
But whatever the outcome (and we are hopeful of winning) - the campaign will continue. Increasingly residents of Northumberland Park Estate (the first to be threatened by the HDV), local businesses and other Haringey residents are joining the campaign. And a battle is being waged within the Labour Party to deselect pro-HDV Councillors before next May's elections.