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7 September 2016

Finsbury Park raises more questions than it answers about the legality of the closure of public open spaces by local authorities, write David Matthias QC and Katherine Barnes

It is no secret that cash-strapped local authorities are increasingly looking for innovative ways of raising additional income from their assets. One typical example involves the temporary closure of public open spaces to hold private events in return for a fee. Unsurprisingly, local residents are often unhappy about their parks and commons being used in this manner and have challenged the legality of such conduct in a number of cases, very few of which have actually gone to a full hearing.

One recent case which did go to a full hearing was the High Court decision of R (Friends of Finsbury Park) v Haringey LBC [2016] EWHC 1454 (Admin), although it is unlikely that this will be the last. We think...

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