City Corporation wins Heath dam safety judicial review

The City of London Corporation has won a legal challenge to dam safety works to some of Hampstead Heath's ponds by the Heath & Hampstead Society.

The Society sought a judicial review of the decision by the Corporation in June to approve reservoir safety works to the ponds on Hampstead Heath, which are classed as large raised reservoirs under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

The case was heard in the High Court on 13 and 14 November.

Judge Mrs Justice Lang gave permission for the case to be heard under a judicial review but she rejected the Society’s case that the City of London Corporation’s decision was unlawful and irrational, and refused the Society permission to appeal.

Bob Warnock, Superintendent of Hampstead Heath, said:
“This decision shows that our interpretation of the law and guidance is correct – and it means that the Heath’s landscape can remain at the heart of the scheme. We are protecting the Heath, improving its ecology and water quality, whilst ensuring that the earth dams are strong enough to meet modern safety standards. We have a legal duty to make sure the dams on the Heath do not fail, an event which would have serious consequences to the residential community downstream.”

The full decision can be found here: