At the Veolia appeal the Long Leys community faces a public inquiry at which expert witnesses will give evidence and be cross-examined by barristers. To protect our interests, we need legal advice and representation at different stages from a solicitor or a barrister. We (LLRA & Stop Veolia) are asking the community to donate either via the JustGiving page: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stopveoliainlincoln or by cheque payable to Long Leys Residents Association (with Stop Veolia marked on the back. If you want your donation to be anonymous then mark “anonymous” on the back of the cheque). Please give what you can afford. If one hundred homes gave £50 or two hundred homes gave £25 then this would add £5,000 towards our target. The fund has just broken £3,000 so far (8th September) with donations from 44 magnificent members of our community.
This money will be used for:
1. Legal/technical advice before LLRA/Stop Veolia submits responses to the Planning Inspectorate
Responses need to be in by latest 4th October. We need technical/legal arguments to ensure we are making the right points that can help us defeat Veolia’s appeal. A lot of work has been done but we need a solicitor/barrister to make sure it is legally watertight before submission. The sort of material they will need to help us with can be viewed at long-leys.org/odour. Not best seller reading material maybe but the level of detail we need on our arguments against the development. Once these are submitted, Veolia will have a team of legal experts trying to discredit and undermine our arguments.
Cost of this: £3,000 needed NOW
2. Preparing Public Inquiry Submissions as a Rule 6 Participant
Some 4 months before the public hearing – (Update 25 Sept: now set for 27 February 2018) we need to submit our final arguments in a form that can be used by the Planning Inspector, Veolia’s team of barristers and the County Council’s legal team. Again, this finalised argument needs to be put in a technical/legal way that makes sense in the hearing.
Cost of this: £3,000 needed by (estimate) end September
3. Barrister Representation at the Public Hearing
We need a barrister supported by expert witnesses to fight the top legal team that Veolia will field at the public hearing. It’s not a court of law but no place for enthusiastic amateurs. A barrister costs upwards of £1,500 per day. We don’t yet know how long the public hearing will be. Our guess is 4 to 5 days.
Cost of this: £4,000 needed prior to public hearing dates but ideally by 1st November
We have estimated that £10,000 for these legal/technical costs gives us a fighting chance of defeating Veolia. A small amount will go towards paying for communication costs – hall hire, printing costs etc. We will be negotiating for the best rates on what we are doing so no community money will be wasted.
What happens if we don’t raise enough?
Then what we have raised will still be spent defending our community. Spend items 1 + 2 are essential – if we don’t submit proper papers then even the most brilliant barrister has no material to fight with. If we can’t raise the full £10,000 target then we will spend what we have on 1+2 and have to hope that the paper arguments are strong enough not to be ripped to bits by Veolia’s hot shot lawyer at the hearing. If we have limited money then we may employ a barrister for one day to present the community’s material; not ideal but vastly better than doing nothing.
We intend to donate any small residual sum to community activities. It’s just not realistic to ask a volunteer to return maybe £2.47 to each of two hundred people, some of whom donated anonymously and all of whom gave differing amounts!
Shouldn’t the council be doing this?
Simply put – NO. Lincolnshire County Council planning were there to ensure the original planning process was fair and followed correctly for all parties. At the appeal heard by the Planning Inspector, Lincolnshire County Council will defend their original refusal grounds. They will not be there to fight tooth and nail on other grounds to stop this on behalf of the community. Although it would be considered very unreasonable behaviour, Veolia could still offer to reduce the hours of their existing operation to coincide with the hours proposed for the new development and the council’s reason for refusal disappear. We need our own legal representation to ensure that the Planning Inspector gets to assess all our concerns about the way the development will impact on the community, not just those from the original planning decision.
How do I give money to the Stop Veolia Legal & Campaign Fund?
You will find the JustGiving fundraising page online at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stopveoliainlincoln or you can write a cheque with your donation to Long Leys Residents Association, email LLRA@long-leys.org and one of the committee will pick it up to bank it. Please write Stop Veolia on the back of the cheque and let us know if you want either your name or the amount you gave to be anonymous (not published on the website).
WE KNOW YOU CARE, AND WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW.