Thursday, January 15, 2009
Future of Mycenae Gardens
After much delay, the Council has indicated that the application to register the grounds of Woodlands/Mycenae House as a town or village green will be decided in February by the Council's General Purposes Committee. The meeting, which will be open to the public and at which local residents can (if they request in advance) express their views, is provisionally set to begin at 6.00pm on Wednesday 11th February. Further details of the arrangements will be posted on http://westcombe.blogspot.com/
Contrary to the advice of the courts, the Government, and legal advisers of other local authorities in similar cases, that "no man shall be the judge in his own case”, the Council has decided not to follow the procedures to avoid such conflicts of interest that Parliament set up in the 2006 Act. Instead, the dispute between the Council (as landowner) and the applicant on the facts of the case will be decided by a small committee of the Council itself, against which there is no appeal.
The Council has stated that it reserves the right to appeal to the House of Lords and to the European Court of Human Rights for compensation if it loses the right for further property development on the rest of the gardens (which would be protected from such development if registered as a town or village green).
The Council used most of the £1.6 million proceeds of an earlier sale of part of the Gardens to finance new Council developments in Woolwich, notwithstanding its public statement that the proceeds would be used to "support the refurbishment and long-term preservation of Woodlands, Mycenae House and the grounds"