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Paddington Cube judicial review fails

DATE: 30 Nov 2017

The High Court has rejected the judicial review claim brought by SAVE Britain’s Heritage in respect of the Paddington Cube. 

The scheme comprises the demolition of the existing buildings at 31 London Street, 128-142 Praed Street, London Street and the Paddington Station Arrivals ramp and the development of a mixed use commercial building providing up to 50,000 sqm (GEA) floorspace of office/commercial uses, retail and café/restaurant uses at lower levels and top floor level, a retail/restaurant building on Praed Street; a new major piazza including pedestrianisation of London Street, a new access road between Winsland Street and Praed Street, hard and soft landscaping, new underground station entrance and new Bakerloo Line Ticket Hall; and associated infrastructure and interface highway and transport works for underground connections, and ancillary works.(EIA Application accompanied by an Environmental Statement).  Click here for an image of the scheme.

SAVE sought to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision not to call in the scheme for his own determination, arguing that the Secretary of State had unlawfully failed to give reasons for his decision not to intervene. SAVE argued that it had a legitimate expectation that the Secretary of State would give reasons, alternatively that the Secretary of State was under a common law duty to do so.

SAVE also sought to argue that the Secretary of State’s decision to lift the holding direction he had issued preventing Westminster City Council from determining the application was consequently unlawful, and that the Council therefore acted unlawfully when it subsequently granted planning permission and listed building consent for the scheme.

Lang J rejected the claim. The Court held that no legitimate expectation could arise in circumstances where since 2014 the Secretary of State has not given reasons, and  that no common law duty existed, either as a matter of generality or on the facts of the case.  The Court also refused permission to appeal. 

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC and Robert Walton acted for the developers, Great Western Developments Ltd (GWD), instructed by Stephen Ashworth and Michele Vas at Dentons LLP.

The scheme remains the subject of a further judicial review scheme, brought by the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Christopher Katkowski QC and Robert Walton are acting for GWD in respect of that claim, instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP