A conservation group has been awarded legal costs after a judge declared that Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council's demolition of more than 100 homes under Labour's axed housing renewal scheme had been unlawful.
SAVE Britain’s Heritage had obtained interim injunctions to halt the demolitions of around 118 housing market renewal pathfinder homes, but these were ultimately discharged by the courts in November 2010 and the council began demolition work.
However, following the landmark Lancaster brewery case in March, SAVE went back to court and, following a hearing last week, a judge declared that the demolition was unlawful and awarded SAVE costs.
Richard Harwood, barrister of Thirty Nine Essex Street Chambers, who acted for SAVE said: "Gateshead Council unlawfully demolished 118 homes as they failed to have planning permission or carry out an environmental impact assessment.
My comment: Many councils think the law doesn't apply to them. £100,000 in court costs should change Gateshead Council's mind. Pity that taxpayers rather than councillors and council staff have to pick up the bill.
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