Sutton Council have been accused of vindictiveness and of trying to gag one of their fiercest critics, after their lawyers issued a demand for £5,400 for legal costs seven months after the end of a court case.
Shasha Khan received the demand for costs plus seven months’ worth of interest this week, following his attempt through a Judicial Review to stop the controversial development of an industrial scale waste incinerator at Beddington Lane, on the borough boundary between Sutton and Croydon.
Khan could face losing his family home if he fails to pay the demand from Sutton. “I am stunned by the demand,” Khan told Inside Croydon today. “I don’t have £5,400 readily available.
“As soon as Justice Sales refused permission for an Appeal back in late April, I spoke to my solicitor about the £5,000 capped costs that I was liable for. “I was advised that there was a potential that the defendant wouldn’t come after the £5,000. So we decided to wait.
“Seven months have elapsed and suddenly Sutton has decided to come after £5,000, with interest! I am wondering if they’ve done this deliberately to accrue as much additional cash as possible – far better than putting the £5,000 in the bank.
“It’s like rubbing salt in the wound. I have continued to fight the granting of planning permission despite losing the Judicial Review. Since the decision in April, a whole series of damning revelations have come to light about what went on behind the scenes, and we haven’t given up forcing Sutton and the South London Waste Partnership to come clean on their dodgy behaviour.
“Maybe this is their way of saying, ‘Don’t question us, peasant!’”
Sutton Council spent tens of thousands of pounds defending their decision to grant planning permission for the incinerator. Under the EU’s Aarhus Convention, all citizens are able to obtain access to justice on environmental issues with recoverable costs capped at £5,000.
- Anyone wishing to offer financial assistance to Khan’s legal fees can do so via the Stop the Incinerator Campaign website here
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