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High Court judge to give ruling on Hampstead Heath ponds project today

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 November 2014

Members of the Heath swimming associations outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Eve Featherstone from the Kendwood Ladies Pond Association. Picture: Polly Hancock

Members of the Heath swimming associations outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Eve Featherstone from the Kendwood Ladies Pond Association. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

A High Court judge is set to deliver her judicial review verdict on the Hampstead Heath ponds project today.

Opponents of the controversial £15million scheme are hoping Mrs Justice Lang will stop the City of London Corporation from going ahead with the current flood defences proposals.

If she rules in favour of the Heath and Hampstead Society, which brought the judicial review proceedings, the City will have to go back to the drawing board – although it is likely to appeal.

Mrs Justice Lang heard two days of argument earlier this month.

The society’s barrister Stephen Tromans QC argued it was irrational and legally flawed to redesign the ponds to “virtually eliminate” any risk of collapse even in an unimaginably severe storm, as the City proposes to do.

David Elvin QC, for the City, claimed the society’s case was “weak” and that the full weight of expert opinion supported the City’s approach.

“The approach of the society is simply incorrect,” he said.

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