On Thursday 15 June Mr Justice Barling sat in the High Court to hear the Application by TW Logistics Limited (TWL) for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against his judgement, delivered in February this year, upholding the registration of the Village Green on Mistley Quay.
In his judgement in February Mr Justice Barling, after a 7-day hearing, confirmed the decision of the Inspector who conducted a 10-day Inquiry in Mistley in 2014 as a result of which Essex County Council registered Mistley Quay as a Village Green.
TWL based their Application for permission to appeal against the judgement on 24 separate grounds. Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was given on some of the grounds, all of which related to legal arguments rather than findings of fact which Mr Justice Barling specifically confirmed should not be disturbed. It is expected that any Appeal now to be brought by TWL will be heard towards the end of this year.
Ian Tucker, who has lived and worked on the Quay for more than 30 years and who made the Application for registration of Mistley Quay as a Village Green said: “These proceedings have gone on for much too long. Everyone is happy to co-exist on the Quay as they have always done in the past and we cannot understand why TWL has consistently rejected our offer to agree on an acceptable form of barrier on the edge of the Quay without any apparent commercial reason”.
The 9-year battle to register the Quay as a Village Green, following the erection of the fence along the edge of the Quay, has been supported throughout by the residents of Mistley. Nancy Bell, who lives with her family on the Quay said: “My daughter could barely walk when all this started and she is now about to go to secondary school. The existence of the fence and the battle to preserve the Quay for the enjoyment of the whole community has been a financial and emotional burden on everyone who has supported us.”
Free the Quay, the campaign group founded by Mistley residents to co-ordinate the campaign to restore the Quay to its historic use will continue to fight for the preservation of the Village Green. Simon Bullimore, Chairman of FTQ said: “We never thought that a simple request to discuss the removal of the fence and its replacement with a barrier acceptable to all concerned would lead us into proceedings in the Court of Appeal. The whole community is resolute in the continued search for a solution and if necessary a determined defence of its position in the Courts.”
Ian Tucker has been represented throughout the High Court proceedings by Richard Eaton of Birketts, Ipswich.
The cost of the opposition to the fence on the Quay has been borne by local residents and supporters far and wide. On 4 June 17 gardens in Mistley were open to the public and more than £2750 was raised for FTQ. Further events are planned for the summer. The next is a Jazz picnic on 30 July, details of which are available here