The Friends of Finsbury Park have launched a London-wide fundraising campaign to protect London’s most historic parks by challenging the legal basis on which councils say they have the power to hire out large parts of their public parks for an unlimited period of time for commercial events.
We brought judicial review proceedings to challenge the continued over-use of the Park for private and commercial events, but Mr Justice Supperstone in the High Court refused our challenge in June last year.
We have now been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of Mr Justice Supperstone and our hearing has been fixed for 2nd November 2017; this will be heard by the Court of Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, have also been given permission to intervene on our behalf during the court proceedings.
The Friends of Finsbury Park legal action is not about banning events in the Park outright. If we win the appeal, the ruling will not ban commercial events, but it will restrict the number of days of events, and the size of events, to a level that is sustainable and continues to preserve London parks as areas of tranquillity and natural beauty, free and open to all.
This is not just about protecting Finsbury Park and safeguarding it for future generations. The outcome of this appeal will have legal ramifications for every local authority managed public park across our capital: it will decide whether parks will be protected for local communities against commercial over-exploitation, or given away indefinitely for local authorities to hire out to whoever they want, for however long, regardless of its condition or the customer.
That’s why, more than ever, we need your help to fight this legal case. We must send out a message to local authorities that parks are there for everyone, not just for the commercial interests of a few large businesses.
Please help us out by sharing this information with your friends and supporters and giving us what you can towards our £15,000 legal fees when we launch our fundraising campaign.
Please click this link to donate www.crowdjustice.com/case/protectlondonsparks
We would like to thank all of the hundreds of people who have supported our cause thus far – without your help, we would not have got as far as we have with our campaign.