Saturday, 10 March 2012

Guest Blog - Mill Hill Action Group continue to oppose Etz Chaim School

By Zoe Samuelson,

Thank you to all those who attended the meeting on Sunday and for those of you who sent your vote by proxy. As many of you are aware, our first Judicial Review against the granting of planning permission to the school was successful, but the school used up another application and applied again and the council approved their second application.

Our legal advice is that there is again a legal argument against the school as a replacement for the Garden Centre in Daws Lane. We invited the community to advise us whether we should continue the fight and issue legal action once more and ask the court to once again overturn the council's decision.
The vote from the community was an overwhelming yes to continue to rebuild the Garden Centre. Rebuilding a place where the elderly, the young, the disabled and able-bodied all mixed naturally together. A place where the community met so that the teenagers & children of our neighbourhood knew those who've lived here for over 40 years. A place where those with physical and mental health issues were naturally included as an essentail part of the community and were not seperated into special classes or isolated into special facilities.

It is clear in the Dep of Education's Funding Agreement to the school (confirmed in letters) that if planning permission cannot be obtained by the school, the land will revert to the Dep of Education and our view is that they will sell it to one of our available buyers who will replace the Garden Centre, even better than before (para 91A of the Funding Agreement for those of you who like knowing the detail).
The Mayor of London has now decided he cannot intervene with Barnet's decision. So we await the formal process for Barnet council to approve the school's planning application. After that we propose to issue legal action by sending a pre-action letter to Barnet and issuing legal proceedings, preventing any work on the site by the school.

In order to proceed now though we require further funds. The first JR is awaiting the final stamp by the court before we can claim back our costs. Last time we raised over £13,000 in just 25 days. Once we get most of our costs back for the first JR, all the money will form a pot from which to challenge the council until they listen to the court that has already told them once that the elderly and disabled of the community are entitled to be given their due regard and should not be ignored (The Equality Act 2010). If we ultimately succeed, the funds from the court will be returned to you.

You may be interested to know that our successful legal challenge supporting the elderly and disabled of Mill Hill will, we are informed, makes legal history as the first successful legal challenge under the Equality Act 2010. We are setting the standard for how councils across the country should treat those who are the most vulnerable in our society and in any formal council decision, across the UK, you will begin to see their consideration of the Equality Act 2010 because of Mill Hill. 
Zoe & the Team
The Mill Hill Action Group are fighting to reinstate a Garden Centre on the site of the closed Wyevale Garden Centre in Daws Lane. Their email is The Barnet Eye has published this blog as it is a matter of local public interest. We welcome guest blogs from anyone with an interest in local issues. Publication of a guest blog does not necessarily indicate agreement with the views expressed.

1 comment:

Action Mill Hill said...

For more information you are welcome to email

Zoe Samuelson