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Victory For Green Campaigners In County Durham

Irwin Mitchell’s specialised Public Law & Human Rights team has helped the Consett Green Spaces Group (“CGSG”) reverse a decision that was wrongly made by their local council in April 2011.

CGSG, a group of residents in the Belle Vue area of Consett, County Durham, had made an application to the County Council of Durham to register an area of land known as Belle Vue Playing Fields as a town or village green. The council decided to reject this application.

CGSG contacted Irwin Mitchell’s specialised Public Law & Human Rights team and one of our experienced solicitors, Stephen Williams, was able to deal with the case. Stephen was able to successfully challenge the Council’s decision by way of Judicial Review, on the grounds that the council’s decision was an error of law. In July 2012, the court agreed and ruled that the council’s decision was flawed sufficient to justify quashing it.

Stephen Williams commented: “This case involved a unique point of law, as the challenge was based on the interpretation of an obscure deed and on the reliance on obiter remarks made by Lord Scott in a previous case on town and village green registrations. To my knowledge, the Lord Scott principle had never previously been argued in court. This required detailed and complicated argument by counsel and consideration of complicated and unique issues by this firm.”

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