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Campaigners celebrate court ruling allowing them to continue their occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford

27 September 2018

James Bowen

James Bowen from Garden Court Chambers acted pro bono on behalf of the campaigners.

Save Reginald! Save Tidemill! campaigners are celebrating today after securing at least another month of community use of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, a much-loved garden in Deptford. They have been occupying the garden since August 29th, to prevent the council from boarding it up prior to its planned destruction as part of a housing project.

Lewisham Council was seeking eviction of the campaigners at Bromley County Court, but although the judge confirmed the council’s right to possession of the garden, he ruled that it cannot take place until seven days after a High Court judge holds an oral hearing at which campaigners will seek permission to proceed to a judicial review of the legality of the council’s plans. This oral hearing will take place on October 17th.

Campaigners and garden volunteers can now continue preparing for the weekend of events as part of Deptford X, an internationally renowned art festival, without the fear of imminent eviction hanging over them.

Andrea Carey, Save Reginald! Save Tidemill campaign member, said:

“This is great news, as it was clearly unacceptable for the council to seek possession of the garden while a legal challenge to the legality of its plans was in progress.

“We urge the council, and the developers Peabody, to take this opportunity to do what they have persistently failed to do: to go back to the drawing board, and to work with the community to come up with new plans for the old Tidemill school site that spare the garden and the 16 structurally sound council flats next door, in Reginald House, and that deliver new homes at social rent.”

James Bowen is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team.

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