Warning shot sent to City of London over Hampstead Heath ponds project
17:33 30 June 2014
Conservationists battling the Hampstead Heath ponds project have sent a warning shot to the City of London Corporation over a proposed legal challenge.
Lawyers acting for the Heath and Hampstead Society today sent a legal letter to the Corporation outlining the society’s case that the proposed dam works are unlawful.
The “letter before action” is the first step towards a judicial review of the City’s plans.
The society, which is leading the Dam Nonsense campaign against the works, says it has three main legal grounds for challenging the decision.
– That the City’s decision is based on an erroneous interpretation of the words “in the interests of safety” in the Reservoirs Act 1975.
– That it is based on an irrational and/or unlawful approach to risk.
– That the decision is the result of a process which should have been, but was not, subject to a “strategic environmental assessment” in accordance with European law.
Marc Hutchinson, chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society, said: “The society has challenged the City to rescind its decision, and to take any further decisions regarding the works at the ponds on the correct legal basis.”