Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: legal | Tags: access to land, activism, court, justice, occupy, sipson, Squatting | No Comments »
After all these years Grow Heathrow have finally come to the end of our legal battle!!
We were not able to take the appeal to the supreme court, as the case was not awarded legal aid, by a body that is being cut heavily by this government. Read more about cuts to legal aid here: http://www.savelegalaid.co.uk/
However, the case has set a positive precedent in housing law that will be able to be used in future cases on evictions for both squatters and exploited tenants. The last appeal heard at the High Court was the first case of it’s type where article 8, the Human Rights Act, was ever deemed to be relevant. Big news in a time where squatting is being criminalized in the middle of a housing crises.
Where does that leave us?
Basically in a similar place to where we were before. Grow Heathrow is still under possible threat, much like the last 4 years, but business as usual continues. The Wind Turbine is still soaring, the Chard is still growing and the compost loo’s are still being stirred!
Mainly we are still trying to create negotiations with the land owners to ultimately and ideally secure the site. With the 3rd runway back on the cards, we are not going anywhere. Watch this space…
Posted: July 3rd, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Events, legal, Media | Tags: access to land, activism, community, court, sipson, Squatting | 1 Comment »
Update on the Court of Appeal verdict:
The judges failed to reach a unanimous decision on the case but by majority, our appeal was dismissed and permission was granted for the owners to seek a warrant for an eviction.
On the plus side, one of the judges found that squatters as well as tenants are entitled to respect for their home under article 8 of The European Convention on Human Rights and that the court should consider the individual circumstances of those affected when deciding how soon to make an eviction.
We are now working with our lawyers on a further appeal to the Supreme Court to define the arguments about whether article 8 is relavent to private land owners.
In the meantime, there is a low risk of imminent eviction and we’re asking for support on site over the next few weeks. Come along today for dinner and help us make plans for securing our future.
See here for directions to site. If you plan to stay the night, please bring a sleeping bag and tent if you can.
Grow Heathrow campaigner Joe Rake said:
“We think it’s important to challenge a law that protects the right of irresponsible landlords to trash the heart of a community. We are still following up options to appeal to the Supreme court and hope we can come to an agreement so that we can carry on working with the local resident’s association and our MP to make sure ‘Grow Heathrow’ exists as a community resource in the long-term.”
Sipson resident Tracey Howard commented:
“At a time when harsh austerity cuts are effecting people across the country, ‘Grow Heathrow’ is a great example of what can be done when a community takes back control of its land to meet its own needs.
Spread the word and thanks for your support!
Posted: July 3rd, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Action, legal, Residents | Tags: court, Squatting | No Comments »
We will give more updates as soon as we can tomorrow once we’ve been able to talk about it. We’ve just heard that we lost our appeal in the UK’s second-highest court so the landowner now has a live possession order.
We are continuing to try to negotiate with the landowner to buy the land, and there is no real threat until at least Monday. We expect to hear in a few weeks whether our application to appeal to the Supreme Court is granted. If we can appeal, then at that point we expect the possession order to be shelved (so no threat); if we’re not allowed to appeal, then we continue to be at risk. The first thing we will do is to talk with local residents in Sipson to organise next steps.
We don’t know the landowner’s plans, so we don’t know whether or when he will apply for a warrant from the County Court for bailiffs, and beyond then whether or when he might hire bailiffs, which could take months.
We need people here to help us plan what we can do now. There is travel info to get here. Please bring a tent, roll mat and sleeping bag. There is lots of indoor space, so you’re unlikely to need a tent, but it’s useful just in case.
If you can’t come to site, please consider donating any cash you can spare – we need money now more than ever and even £10 makes a huge difference for us. The orange ‘donate’ button is to the right.
occupy, create, resist
Posted: June 28th, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Events, legal | Tags: access to land, court, resistance, Squatting | No Comments »
We’ll find out the long-awaited verdict from the Court of Appeal at 9.30am on Wednesday 3 July.
Please support us:
We’d love you to join us at the Royal Courts of Justice (courtroom 70) at 9.30 on Wed. Better yet, come show your solidarity where it’s most important – at Grow Heathrow!
Join us on site during the day and into the evening. The bike workshop will be running all afternoon, we’ll be cooking up a delicious dinner and there’ll probably be a campfire and music. You’re also welcome to stay over on Wednesday night, ready for our community workday on Thursday.
You can find directions to Grow Heathrow here. And the Royal Courts of Justice are on The Strand, WC2A 2LL.
Please spread the news far and wide, and for more info call us on 07890751568. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @transheathrow.
Love from the greenhouses xx
Posted: February 28th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: legal | Tags: access to land, court, Squatting | 1 Comment »
We have just found out that our court judgement is in a list of four or five judgements that are yet decided. Our case could result in a change of human rights case law after Grow Heathrow forced the UK’s second highest court to weigh up the principle of private property (article 1, ECHR) against the right to a home (article 8, ECHR).
Although the judgement was expected by 28 February, the latest update is that the judgement could be given any time in the next few months. It’s impossible to guess exactly when that’ll be.
In the mean time, we’re asking the landowner, Imran Malik, to come back to the table to talk about our longstanding offer to buy the land. We have been formally advised by one of the UK’s leading experts in community land trusts (CLTs) on finalising the specific legal structures, processes and documents for the land to be owned by the local community. As a community land trust, it can continue to thrive and be used for the good of Sipson and the Heathrow villages, and this be secured for the long term.
Imran Malik’s legal team insisted in the Royal Courts of Justice on 15 January: “If the landowner wants to leave the land vacant, they’re entitled to.”
Threats of eviction come amid a desperate government crackdown on squatting. 24 MPs signed a parliamentary petition in January that would criminalise Grow Heathrow. It threatens to criminalise all homeless people who are forced to live in empty abandoned commercial buildings amid housing and economic crises, by making it illegal to squat commercial buildings. Recent research found that 40% of all single homeless people have depended on squatting to have a roof over their head.
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: legal | Tags: access to land, activism, court | No Comments »
Our friends are the best people in the world. Thanks for sharing bike-powered banana smoothies with us outside the UK’s second-highest court today, showing your support, and a big thanks to all of the people who couldn’t make it but had their fingers crossed for us.
Check out our twitter @transheathrow for the live-tweeting from Court.
And come to visit – wild food workshops making chickweed salads on Mondays, arty crafternoons making papier mache strawberries and swirly wirly signs on Tuesdays, and bike workshops on Thursdays, to make your steel steed the fastest on the street. All for free!
See you at ours! (or is it yours?)
Posted: October 18th, 2012 | Author: Joe | Filed under: legal | Tags: court | No Comments »
We have just received news that our latest court case, scheduled for next Tuesday October 23rd in the Court of Appeal has been adjourned.
Our solicitors have argued that valuable time for preparing the case was taken up by discussion of the complexities around where funding would come from, and so an extension has been granted to bring the case together. We should be given a new date soon which could be anytime from November 19th. This must mean it’s time to get planting some winter veg.
Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: Theo | Filed under: Events, legal | Tags: court | 1 Comment »
So it’s been a beautiful summer here at Grow Heathrow, and a plentiful harvest. But now it’s back to the serious stuff. We’ve just been informed that the next round in the Grow Heathrow legal battle will take place on Tuesday 23rd October 2012, at the Court of Appeal in Central London. We’ll send out more info closer to the time, and hopefully see lots of your lovely faces there!
With the Third Runway seemingly back on the agenda, there couldn’t be a worse time to boot Grow Heathrow out. Yet again, the Heathrow villages see dark clouds amassing on the horizon, and it’s more important than ever that people across the country make clear that we will not allow this community, the environment, or the future to be destroyed for short-term profit by a small group of aviation lobbyists and their pals in the House of Commons. To allow a Third Runway at Heathrow is to surrender to runaway climate change.
The case also has important ramifications beyond us or the villages, as it has the potential to significantly strengthen the protection for private tenants and licensees up and down the country. We’re really lucky to have some great lawyers on side, who will be pushing these points strongly.
As ever, we are keen to find a solution to the case that is good for everyone. It would be wrong to destroy all the work that’s been done by local people and members of Transition Heathrow over the last two and a half years, to transform this previously derelict and abused piece of land into a positive community hub, growing project, and home. We will do everything we can to make sure that Grow Heathrow can continue, supporting the villages as they gather themselves for yet another fight for survival.
Posted: August 13th, 2012 | Author: Joe | Filed under: legal, Media | Tags: court | 1 Comment »
Good news on the court case front. Grow Heathrow now has one of the best legal firms in the country representing us in what is described as a “ground-breaking case” on the Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors website.
Assisting Lindsay Johnson of Doughty Street Chambers who has put in a tireless amount of work and effort on the case so far off his own back, Jayesh Kunwardia, partner in the Housing team at Hodge Jones & Allen and who specialises in Housing Law said:
“This is a ground breaking case which will define whether every single possession claim in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy or on a mandatory ground for possession will require a proportionality assessment.”
Although the owner’s possession claim has been accepted, Grow Heathrow, whose case was heard at the Central London County Court on 18th July, has been granted a stay of eviction and leave to appeal under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act by Judge Karen Walden-Smith, which guarantees the right to a home and family life. Walden-Smith stated that “the Supreme Court has so far shied away from reaching a determination as to whether Article 8 applies to private as well as public landlords”.
More information on the case can be found on The Guardian website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/18/heathrow-squatters-ruling-housing-law
Posted: July 17th, 2012 | Author: Joe | Filed under: legal | Tags: court | 2 Comments »
We have finally received our court judgement! We’ve lost but we live to fight another day as the judge has granted us permission to appeal on our arguments around human rights.
Handing down the judgement this morning, Judge Karen Walden-Smith took on board our arguments around the right to respect for the home, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. She upheld this right in the case describing the project as “much loved and well used” by the local community, despite arguments from the claimants that this right did not apply to squatters. While she ruled in favour of the owners, she agreed that we should not be evicted without our human rights case being heard in the Court of Appeal.
Grow Heathrow are asking for donations to support the costs of lodging an appeal to be made via paypal through the website.