Following the disappointing decision of the High Court, the good news is that it may not be over yet.
Urgent meeting called: 7pm, Monday 3 November, St Paulâ€™s West Hackney N16 7UY (corner of Evering Road and Stoke Newington Road, where the farmers market is held on a Saturday)
We need to decide on our next steps
As you will all know, after a three year campaign against the Wilmer Place / Sainsburyâ€™s / Newmark Propertyâ€™s development, we finally took our case to the High Court for a three day hearing.
Unfortunately Mrs Justice Patterson decided against us. She seemed to think it normal that key documents should remain secret not only from the public but even from the councillors on the Planning Sub-committee.
We now need to decide whether we will accept the judgement of Mrs Justice Patterson, or take our case to the Court of Appeal.
What does the legal team have to say?
Our barristers (who are working for the community at no cost to us) say:
'The whole system of local government is predicated upon councillors being the people who take the decisions and who are accountable for the decisions taken â€¦
So, when councillors effectively let part of their decision be taken instead by an officer â€¦ the democratic nature of the exercise breaks down. Opacity replaces transparency. Accountable decisions are taken by the unaccountable.
The fact that it has become routine only underscores the need to unmask it. [It's] an unacceptable way of conducting local government.â€™
Or put more simply: â€˜From our perspective, we see this as the kind of judgment for which the Court of Appeal exists.â€™
In other words, if we can fund it, they will fight it.
It is believed that one reason so few â€˜affordableâ€™ housing units are built is because officers are put under pressure from developers. If we win the appeal, not only will we have won over the local issues: preserving the character of Stoke Newington, protecting local independent stores, and preserving the unique biodiversity of Abney Park, but we will have also won an important precedent that will affect other development schemes that miss targets for affordable housing.
Thanks to donations over the weekend, we've now got Â£19,000 in the bank and have pledges for another Â£1,000 from Shine (natural therapies on Church Street).
But we still need to raise another Â£10,000 if we are to launch an appeal (and Â£2,000 if we are not).
This is the first time we have asked people who have already donated to consider making a second donation - and we know some of you already have.
Please give generously, if you can afford to do so. Please email us to let us know when you have made a donation.
Account: Stokey Local Community Fund Sort code: 08-60-01 Account: 20316473