Yesterday the Judge, Mr Justice Supperstone, granted permission for judicial review on all grounds but then dismissed the claim for reasons that he is to provide in his judgment, which is to follow.
The Friends believe that the judge was wrong to dismiss the claim. In holding that the Haringey Council had the power to exclude the public from more than 10% of the Park and for more than 12 days in a year or 6 consecutive days in a year, this decision has set a terrible precedent for the nation’s parks. The Council submitted to the Court that it can essentially do what it likes with the Park – it could in theory exclude the public from as much of the park and for as many days as it saw fit.
After the ruling Haringey Council stated that ‘live music events in public parks are no longer under threat.’ But instead the very parks that these events are to be hosted in are to become the victims, unprotected and free to be abused, and local residents will have to suffer.
If Haringey Council go through with all of their planned events for next year, huge areas of Finsbury Park will be closed to the public for over four months in the summer.
Should such a Council be the guardian of such an important and necessary public open space?
We’ve had tremendous support and encouragement from all over the UK as our case has generated nationwide interest. This is only the beginning and going forward, our fight will be joined by many more.
We are now considering an appeal.