On Thursday 27th June Mr Justice Supperstone refused permission for a judicial review of this case. SAVE Britain’s Heritage and The Victorian Society have been granted 7 days, that is, until Thursday 4th July to lodge an appeal. Until then an agreement is in place that Sheffield University can do no harm to the building.
We’re disappointed – but we are NOT giving up. However SAVE and Vic Soc had to agree to pay costs of £10,000. These are voluntary organisations running on very small funds. SAVE Britain’s Heritage for example have two paid staff working in a shared office. Their trustees have to consider the prospect that another loss such as this is equivalent to a part time members of staff for a year.
This scheme is unusually stark in terms of the planning laws it seeks to exploit on points of interpretation. It is vital that the we can press on with this rare opportunity to challenge the type of interpretation of laws citing ‘public benefit’ which in the next few years, if left unbridled could see many Grade II listed buildings demolished. We have two of the most respected organisations behind this but they are proceeding on very limited funds. Sheffield University on the other hand are simply throwing money at the situation, as always. There were 4 QCs and a junior barrister there for the other side yesterday, harping on about anything they could think of apart from the very issue at stake. Their tactics, yesterday at least, did seem to work
Please watch this space – we plan to be announcing details later today of how the public can support this campaign with now very urgently needed donations.