Tuesday, 17 December 2013

High Court hearing –first day – points advantage for CATI.

Pauline’s lawyer, Alex Goodman, laid out his case for much of today, explaining why Cardiff Council’s repeated delay to enforce against Viridor’s unlawful building work and failing to require retrospective permission was unique in British law.  Then Cardiff Council’s lawyer took 80 minutes, making brash assertions, some obviously in error, and was unable to grapple with the detailed legal points of our side.  The Cardiff Council ethos - assert authority with confidence - to steamroller criticisms.  Tomorrow comes Viridor’s lawyer, rumoured to be costing over £200 000.  
     The Court starts at 10am and is expected to complete the case in the morning – if you can, do call in and support Pauline’s team!

Cardiff council attacked over city incinerator

Authority should 'quash' decisions that allowed to work to start as they were taken unlawfully, hears High Court

The Trident Park Energy from Waste Facility development
The Trident Park Energy from Waste Facility development
Cardiff council must “quash” decisions that allowed work to construct an incinerator to begin because they were taken unlawfully, Cardiff High Court heard today.
In an action brought by Cardiff Against The Incinerator campaigner Pauline Ellaway, barrister Alex Goodman told Judge Wyn Williams the authority had flouted regulations and allowed waste management firm Viridor to build in Splott when it should not have done so.
Dubbing the council’s actions “procedurally inept” he claimed the authority’s reports and consultation process were flawed and that it failed to stop work when it should have.
Mr Goodman insisted CATI’s “submissions fell on deaf ears because work was allowed to proceed.”
“No robust action was being taken in respect of development that was continuning apace,” Mr Goodman said.
Construction of the £185m plant started in July 2012 before planning conditions had been met.
Developers must “obtain consent and then commence works,” Mr Goodman insisted. “It is a simple sequence,” he said.
CATI’s solicitors repeatedly sent letters requesting enforcement be taken.
“Throughout the claimant has taken considerable action to encourage the council to take action,” Mr Goodman said.
“The council has always acknowledged it was unlawful and that the development was at risk.”
Despite this Mr Goodman said the authority allowed work to go ahead.
He claimed Viridor was allowed to report whether anything of archaeological import was discovered during building work – rather than this being the responsibility of an independent body.
And this was done after building work started.
“It is appropriate for the court to quash these decisions, Mr Goodman said.
But Simon Bird QC, for Cardiff Council, insisted the authority had done nothing wrong.
“All substantive information was supplied to the council prior to commencement,” he said.
He dismissed arguments public notices had not been formulated properly.
“There is no suggestion CATI were labouring under any misapprehension over what adverts meant or had any difficulty in responding,” he said.
Outside court Pauline Ellaway said: “The council cannot get away with flouting the law for a mega-company.”
The hearing continues tomorrow.

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