Keyhole Bridge - Help protect our residents and our green spaces

by Keyhole Bridge Group

Keyhole Bridge - Help protect our residents and our green spaces

by Keyhole Bridge Group
Keyhole Bridge Group
Case Owner
We are a small community group trying to overturn a council decision that threatens the safety of our residents and the environment
Funded
on 15th July 2021
£12,640
pledged of £12,500 stretch target from 535 pledges
Keyhole Bridge Group
Case Owner
We are a small community group trying to overturn a council decision that threatens the safety of our residents and the environment

Latest: Oct. 4, 2021

Our hearing is on 6 October 2021

When we started this process we hoped the Council would withdraw their decision, thus avoiding the need for a judicial review.  They've chosen not to do so and our judicial review hearing is…

Read more

BCP Council ignored the views of residents and reopened Keyhole Bridge to traffic.  We are challenging this decision in a Judicial Review.

The story so far ...

In August 2020 Keyhole Bridge in Poole was closed to traffic under an experimental traffic order.  The closure made the bridge safe for non-drivers and protected Poole Park from hundreds of cars an hour. It also reduced traffic passing Whitecliff and Baiter parks.  Many people who had been unable to use the bridge were finally able to do so knowing they could do so in safety.  It was a hugely popular move, and the majority of residents asked for it to remain closed.   Yet in March 2021 the Council reopened the bridge.  

We have raised our concerns but the Council have chosen not to engage with us.  A Judicial Review is now our only option.

Our case

The Council ran a consultation about the bridge but closed it before the advertised end date.  This was in breach of the basic principles of consultation, it deprived some residents of the chance to participate, and created an expectation which the Council failed to meet.  They also failed to release traffic data until after the consultation had closed and ignored air quality data which undermined their decision.  There are many other problems with the decision but these are the key issues in our Judicial Review.  

Cllr Greene ignored the results of the consultation then justified it as follows:  "…it is important to recognise that a consultation is not a referendum, so whether the number of responses is representative is not really relevant."

Progress to date

In May 2021 we sent a pre-action letter to BCP Council.  Their response made it clear they weren’t interested in finding a compromise.  On 3 June 2021 we served them with the full claim.  The next step is for our case to be considered by a Judge.  If the Judge agrees we have a valid claim (and we are confident we have) we will get permission to go to a full hearing.  

What outcome do we want?  

We have asked the Council to withdraw their decision and close the bridge to traffic. We want to be able to cycle through the bridge with our children and grandchildren, walk through on our way to school or work, wheel through in a wheelchair, walk through with our dogs, push our pushchairs through, and for some of us just take the time needed to get through at our own pace knowing we can do so in safety. 

We want to preserve our area’s unique heritage and protect our green spaces from the damage caused by a constant stream of traffic. We believe parks should be somewhere people can be active in a healthy environment or choose to sit peacefully and enjoy the natural beauty of their surroundings. You can help us achieve this. 

How you can help us

Our legal team of Richard Buxton Solicitors and Piers Riley-Smith of Kings Chambers are in place but we need to raise at least £15,000 to take this forward to a full Judicial Review.  Our initial target is £2,000 and we need to raise that by 10 August 2021.  You can help us get there and get this decision reversed. 

To contribute click on the orange bar at the top right of this page.  You can help us raise even more money by sharing our page on Facebook.

Thank you for your support.

N.B. If there are any unused funds they will go to Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) who helped us get this far.

Get updates about this case

Subscribe to receive email updates from the case owner on the latest news about the case.

Recent contributions

Be a promoter

Your share on Facebook could raise £26 for the case

I'll share on Facebook
Update 4

Keyhole Bridge Group

Oct. 4, 2021

Our hearing is on 6 October 2021

When we started this process we hoped the Council would withdraw their decision, thus avoiding the need for a judicial review.  They've chosen not to do so and our judicial review hearing is listed for the 6 October 2021.  

We have been hugely encouraged by the number of donations we've received and also by the comments in support of what we're doing.  We've always believed that BCP Council should be held accountable for this decision, and that we need to do everything we can to protect our green spaces and make Keyhole Bridge safe for walking, cycling, wheeling and scooting. It’s impossible to predict the outcome of a judicial review and ultimately, what the judge will rule, but our legal team are well prepared and we believe we have a strong case. The outcome of the hearing is unlikely to be made public for some weeks but we will provide more information when it becomes available.

Update 3

Keyhole Bridge Group

Sept. 4, 2021

Good news!

Following a meeting with our legal team we have been able to agree a revised cost estimate of £12,500.  The saving is due to a number of factors, including being granted permission to proceed without the need for an interim hearing, and obtaining a more detailed breakdown of costs such as court fees and other charges.  Our stretch target has been updated to reflect the revised amount.   As always thank you to everyone for helping us get this far and it is really encouraging to see how close we are to reaching our final goal.

Update 2

Keyhole Bridge Group

Aug. 18, 2021

We move into the next stage of our case

Today we reached another significant marker in our case when we received BCP Council’s further response to our claim.  This was their opportunity to file detailed grounds of resistance but they have chosen not to do so and instead will rely on the summary grounds they have already submitted.  Given the strength of our case we had hoped they would concede but they appear to want to fight this all the way.  We are ready for that.  Our legal team will now prepare our response and we will be working closely with them to ensure it is as comprehensive as possible.  Once all the papers have been submitted to court a date will be set for the hearing.  We will publish the date as soon as it’s available.

We are more than a third of the way to our target and we couldn't have done it without you. Thank you!  Personal recommendation is one of the best ways of fundraising, so can you help us even more by contacting a friend today and asking that person to make a donation?

Thank you for everything you are doing to help.

Update 1

Keyhole Bridge Group

July 22, 2021

WE HAVE PERMISSION!

The Court has granted permission for a Judicial Review of BCP Council's decision to reopen Keyhole Bridge.

No date has been set for the full (substantive) hearing but BCP Council (the Defendant) has until 18 August 2021 to lodge full grounds for resisting the claim.  We look forward to seeing if their response has any more substance than their last one.

Not all applications for Judicial Review get this far but with your help we always believed we would.

We received over 80 pledges in our first week, and it's been hugely encouraging to see donations coming in and to read the comments. Thank you!    Every donation matters as each one shows support for our case.  Can you contact a friend today and ask that person to make a donation? 

Thank you for everything you are doing to help.

Get updates about this case

Subscribe to receive email updates from the case owner on the latest news about the case.

    There are no public comments on this case page.