High Court quashes decision to transfer land to community council in skate park dispute

Plans to build a new skatepark in Swansea have been delayed after the High Court quashed Swansea Council's (CCSC's) decision to transfer land earmarked for the £360,000 development to Mumbles Community Council.

In a cabinet meeting last week (15 July), leader of the council, Cllr Rob Stewart, said Swansea chose to concede the decision in order to avoid a "lengthy and costly legal process".

The judicial review was brought against the council in May 2021 after Swansea's cabinet decided to transfer land at Llwynderw, Swansea, to Mumbles Community Council for the skate park to replace one that already existed on the site.

The claimants, who are residents of Mumbles Road, which borders the site, brought the judicial review on the following three grounds:

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  1. The decision was based on CCSC's conclusion that the site was the best available location for a new skate park. That conclusion was based on an irrelevant consideration, was irrational, and was reached in breach of the claimants' legitimate expectations.
  2. CCSC reached the decision without complying with its Community Asset Transfer Policy and/or with the Land Transaction Procedure Rules contained in Part 4.7 of CCSC's constitution, with the consequence that the decision was unlawful.
  3. CCSC reached the decision without considering objections to the proposed lease that had been received by CCSC, with the consequence that the decision (or alternatively the grant of the lease which is approved by the decision) was unlawful pursuant to section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972.

A spokesman for Swansea said the local authority now intends to bring a further report to the cabinet, which will consider the court's decision and what steps may be needed to bring another land transfer proposal before the cabinet should it request one.

Martin O'Neill, Chairman of Mumbles Community Council, said: "We are disappointed by the outcome of the judicial review as it will result in further delays, through no fault of our own, on a project that we have put a lot of time, effort and resources into and which we know is eagerly anticipated and wanted by many in Mumbles and surrounding areas.

"However, we fully recognise that the judicial review process is an element of public scrutiny. Now that the review has been completed and its results are known we will reflect on the findings and outcomes and we will then explore with City and County of Swansea and other relevant stakeholders how we can take this project forward."

Adam Carey

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