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Case update 01 March 2023

Supreme Court rules in favour of our landmark park sell-off case

William Barton / Shutterstock

The Supreme Court today ruled in favour of a Good Law Project-funded case about whether planning permission should have been granted for a piece of sold-off parkland. The ruling will help set a new precedent for how public green spaces are sold by local authorities in years to come.

Greenfields Community Group – a local residents’ campaign group in Shropshire – had been fighting for nearly six years over the land, arguing that Shrewsbury Town council should have consulted residents on the ownership of the land before the sale was made, as it has significant public value.  

We are thrilled to have backed this important piece of litigation. Nearly 4,000 public spaces and buildings are being sold off every year in England alone, and we believe this judgment could have far reaching consequences for how public land and green spaces are managed by local authorities in the future. 

Last June Shrewsbury Town Council apologised “unreservedly” over the sale of part of Greenfields Recreation Ground and promised to buy the land back. They were instructed by their lawyers not to buy it back until the Supreme Court judgment, and we now hope they honour their pledge so that the local community can once again use the space for recreation.

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This is our first Supreme Court case since our successful challenge to Boris Johnson’s unlawful suspension of Parliament. We have a number of further Supreme Court hearings lined up for this year, including one next week on sewage dumping.

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