Legal bid to overturn Canada Water Masterplan thrown out by High Court judge

Josh Salisbury (04 November, 2020)

Residents are considering appeal options

40118A protest held by residents about the nature impacts of the development

A bid legally to challenge the Canada Water Masterplan has been thrown out by a High Court judge.

The masterplan, which covers a vast area of Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays, is among the largest planning projects granted in Southwark.

Residents had raised more than £25,000 for a judicial review of the approval for the controversial masterplan, over its impact on the environment and transport among other areas.

But last Thursday, a High Court judge refused permission for the challenge to proceed to a full judicial review.

“Unfortunately, the Judge agreed with the barristers for the council and for British Land that the council’s consideration of the impacts of the masterplan development was legally sufficient,” said the claimants in an update.

“Specifically, she agreed with the Council that the protections for open spaces designated as ‘Metropolitan Open Land’ including Stave Hill Ecology Park and Russia Dock Woodland, do not take account of harm from developments that are bordering the land, only from development on the land itself.”

Leading campaigner, Steve Cornish, said: “You have to be in the ring to win a fight.

“The Rotherhithe Community have definitely been in the ring. We’re proud of every single one of them that backed our campaign.”

Campaigners are considering a possible application to the Court of Appeal. The project, by developer British Land, was unanimously approved by a panel of councillors last year.

Former leader of the council, Cllr Peter John, welcomed the move. “It means we can focus on bringing more homes, more jobs and more leisure opportunities to Southwark,” he said.

The developer British Land has also said it welcomes the finding.

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