|H&F: Putting Developers First|
Greenhalgh promised, at this public meeting in December 2010 and on behalf of H&F Council, not to do this if the shop owners did not want it to happen. I have been told by source who would have a cast iron claim to know that the day after I reported this there were frantic phone calls from the H&F press office to senior managers at Orion to try to get them to deny that he had ever said it. They knew that he had, so they didn't. But that level of stage management tells you all you need to know about this council's style - and it's a great shame that Mr Botterill seems to want to carry it on.
The council maintains that they were found to be acting illegally only on one process and that the planning permission was granted via another one. So ya-boo to you, we'll do it anyway.
The shop owners all received notices of Compulsory Purchase Order last Friday and signs have been posted on lamp-posts in and around the Market giving notice of the works going ahead. The traders, however, are not about to give in and are meeting lawyers later today.
The council's defeat in court last time cost the tax payer tens of thousands of pounds. It looks like a return to the High Court is on the cards again - and guess what, you the public are paying.