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Alliance Spring Co. Ltd v First Secretary of State [2005] EWHC (Arsenal Stadium CPO challenge)

DATE: 01 Jan 2005

The Alliance Spring Co Ltd v The First Secretary of State [2005] EWHC 18 (Admin).


Collins J. rejected the challenge to the CPO for the development including the new Arsenal FC stadium which had been confirmed by the First Secretary of State.


Collins J. rejected the submissions that the FSS’ decision was unlawful. He held:


“15. The Secretary of State's letter of 19 May 2004 by which he notified his decision to confirm the CPO is lengthy and detailed. His key conclusions were that the main justification for the use of compulsory purchase powers, namely to achieve a comprehensive regeneration scheme, had been met, that there was a compelling case in the public interest that the CPO should be confirmed, that all the land was required and that the acquisition of the properties was proportionate. He assessed the scheme on the basis of the complete package of proposals.


16. He recognised that the Inspector could properly have regard to the planning aspects: indeed, s.226(2)(c) of the 1990 Act makes it clear that he should. But he noted that those matters were taken into account in the grant of planning permission. In those circumstances, it is not in my view appropriate for an Inspector to take a different view on planning considerations which have already been considered unless there is fresh material or a change of circumstances. Clearly if there is evidence to show that particular matters were not taken into account or were not fully considered, a fresh view can properly be taken…


20. I understand and have considerable sympathy with the claimants' concerns that their businesses are to be at best disrupted by a scheme which benefits AFC. But the Council was entitled to make use of AFC's desire to have a new stadium to produce and promote a scheme which it regarded as a comprehensive redevelopment of the area in the public interest. And the Secretary of State was entitled, in his judgment, to conclude that the main purpose, and certainly the main effect, was indeed to achieve a comprehensive and desirable redevelopment of a deprived area…


23. Although considerable time was taken in presenting this claim, in reality it has no substance. The Secretary of State was entitled to form his own judgment and this he did. He had regard to all relevant matters. The fact that the scheme was led by and to a large extent dependent on a private developer is no reason why it should be rejected. Section 226(4) of the 1990 Act itself recognises that the Council which has determined that there should be a CPO does not itself have to carry out the purpose for which it is required.”

Christopher Katkowski QC represented Islington LBC, the acquiring authority, and John Litton represented the First Secretary of State.