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Legal setback for anti-Garden Bridge campaigners

Garden Bridge, south landing site
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Campaigners vow to continue their legal fight after their initial application for a judicial review of a related land deal proposed by Lambeth Council is rejected

Jenny O’Neill, a member of pressure group Thames Central Open Spaces (TCOS), claims that Lambeth Council is breaking the law in attempting to change the terms of a lease on land it owns earmarked for the £175million bridge’s southern landing site.

A judge this week turned down an initial request for a judicial review, but campaigners say they will now move to have the case reopened at an oral hearing.

Fellow anti-bridge campaigner Michael Ball, said: ‘This is just the first stage and it is quite normal for this to happen. It is a setback of sorts, but not a big one.’

Following the decision, which was based on a review of written submissions, O’Neill now has seven days in which to submit an application for an oral hearing.

Her case rests on the decision of Lambeth to vary a lease granted to Coin Street Community Builders to allow commercial activity and development on the patch of land on the south bank of the Thames.

She claims that this is effectively a disposal of the land, which should have triggered a mechanism whereby the community would have a chance to buy the land.

A statement from Lambeth Council said: ‘We welcome the judge’s ruling that shows Lambeth’s processes in this matter have been robust and fair.’

A spokesperson for the Garden Bridge Trust said the judge’s decision was ‘an encouraging step in the right direction’.

Garden Bridge planting in Spring

Garden Bridge planting in Spring

Garden Bridge planting in Spring

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