Thursday 16 April 2015 8.28am
Hi I haven't seen anything reported on here about the latest April 2015 appeal against the Shell redevelopment. George Turner alone is appealing reasons below (if the link to article doesn't work)
From George Turner April 2015
Why I am appealing
This week I filed papers seeking permission to take my case to the Court of Appeal. I have not taken this decision lightly, but after much thought I am convinced that it is the right thing to do.
The entire purpose of judicial review is to allow the public to hold politicians and officials to account for their decisions. It is there to ensure that decisions are made following due process and that the views of the public are properly taken into account.
The judgement of the High Court that was handed down in February does little to reinforce public confidence in the planning process. The judgement accepts that a key part of the planning application can be kept secret, unseen even by decision makers. The judgement accepts that major decisions that will shape the future of our city can be made by officials who are openly hostile to the views of the public. The judgement allows serious harm to our nationís culture and heritage without that harm being justified.
That simply cannot be right. In the interests of proper democratic decision-making I feel duty bound to ask the Court of Appeal to review that decision. I think I have a strong case that the Court of Appeal will need to take seriously.
I do this aware of the fact that there will be some who think it unreasonable for one person to hold up such a large development. The developers are no doubt anxious to start building.
The reality is that the Shell decision will affect millions of people, and will set a precedent for many other buildings throughout the country. The public interest in having a well functioning planning system is much greater than any private interest on an individual development, no matter how large.
It must also be remembered that Shell, Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar put themselves in this position.
It was the developerís choice to bring forward proposals that destroy large amounts of open space.
It was the developerís choice to build exclusive luxury housing, instead of the affordable housing demanded by the development plan.
It was the developerís choice to withhold the evidence that they said proved they could not build more appropriate, affordable housing.
It was the developerís representatives that asked the planning inspector to dispense with the rules for running an inquiry that are set out in law, and in doing so reduced the ability of the public to scrutinise their proposals.
The planning process was designed precisely to prevent speculators from destroying our environment. It is there to make sure that buildings stand the test of time and meet the real needs of society rather than simply maximising the short term profits of developers.
If Shell and their partners had instead proposed a building that followed the development plan for the local area, they would be well on the way to building. I have no doubt that a plan compliant scheme would have provided ample profit for Shell - a company which some might argue makes plenty of profit already.
Instead, the developers rejected the planning process. They sought to squeeze as much cash as possible out of London, regardless of the impact on Londoners. In doing so, they set themselves up for this long and lengthy battle.