The High Court has dismissed BA London Eye's case against the Board of the South Bank Centre, in the latest development in a dispute over the terms of a new commercial lease for the attraction.
The court refused the London Eye Company permission to apply for Judicial Review of the South Bank Board's decisions and conduct during the negotiations. Both sides are attempting to conclude a new 25-year lease for the London Eye which would achieve both a fair commercial rent for the South Bank Centre – a charity that runs a world-class arts centre – and allow the Eye to refinance its operations and provide for its long-term future on its present site.
The court concluded that the dispute should be resolved by commercial negotiation, and not in the Administrative court. Costs were awarded to the Board of the South Bank Centre.
In a statement, a spokesman for the South Bank Centre said: "The Centre has throughout remained committed to the negotiating process, and believes that an agreement is very close. Both parties have an enormous contribution to make to the revitalised South Bank and to London as a whole."
The South Bank Centre and the London Borough of Bromley (representing the 33 London boroughs) who have a joint interest in the site occupied by the London Eye, put in a proposal for a fair rent – based on advice from independent valuers – as a joint request. SBC sources say that the rent the arts centre is is seeking is nowhere near as much as the £2.5 million reported in the media.