(l) THE LONDON BOROUGH OF BROMLEY
(2) LONDON AND REGlONAL PROPERTIES LIMITED
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE HOUSE OF LORDS
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF (l) Crystal Palace Campaign c/o 62 Whiteley
London SEI9 1JT, (2) Philip Alan Kolvin of the same address, and (3) others.
A picture of the original Crystal Place is attached as "A".
(1) The record of proceedings before the Crystal Palace Bill Select Committee shows that: (a) the purpose of section 4 was to "safeguard the historical importance of this site" in relation to "all future developments" on the site; (b) the drafters regarded the 1990 proposal ("B") as satisfying the condition, but underlined the requirement as to the future; (c) they retained the section 4 wording in addition to an undertaking requiring "a predominance of glass and metal or similar materials and that the building should reflect the spirit of the original Crystal Palace"; and (d) they did so in the face of objections that it was a significant constraint.
(2) Moreover, all four members of the then Select Committee have written letters (available herewith as an Annex) which show that a development such as that of the Second Respondent is contrary to their intentions.
(l) First, because, even as a matter of normal language and common sense, section 4 should be construed as involving (a) overall visual resemblance or reminiscence, (b) approached from the point of view of ordinary people.
(2) Secondly, because the Act should be construed purposively and in accordance with the known intentions of the drafters. See eg. In re C (A Minor)  AC 489, 501F per Lord Browne-Wilkinson:
As to the legislative purpose, note paragraph 4 above.
(3) Thirdly, because of the general principle preventing action which serves to frustrate the statutory purpose: Padfield v Minister of Agriculture Fisheries & Food  AC 997. That principle is in play here because (a) the Second Respondent (as a private body acting under constraints in a Private Act) is so acting and/or (b) the First Respondent (as a public body) is consenting to such action.
(4) Fourthly, because this is a private Act which should be construed in a special manner, restrictively against the developer. See Bennion, Statutory Interpretation at p.832, quoting Scrutton LJ in Harper v Hedges (1924) 93 LJKB 116 117:
In Stourbridge Canal Company v Wheeler (1831) 2 B & AD 792 per Lord Tenterden CJ said at 793-794:
Lord Tenterden CJ referred again at 797 to:
(5) Fifthly, because the Court has a primary role in deciding whether section 4 is infringed.
(a) Section 4 is a direct, express statutory prohibition. Parliament did not use a formula such as "the Council is satisfied that the development (etc)". In R v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ex p World Development Movement Ltd  1 WLR 386 it was held to be:
(b) Were these private law proceedings between Your Petitioners and The Second Respondent, for example for declaratory relief, the Court would be entitled to decide whether the Second Respondent is proposing to act unlawfully (cf. Wheeler, above: "we are to decide"). The Courts have long since abandoned a technical approach to the choice of private or public law proceedings (see, most recently, Dennis Rye  1 WLR 840). There is no procedural deficiency or impediment here: the Second Respondent is a respondent and the relief sought includes:
Your Petitioners respectfully suggest that Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC put the matter correctly in a letter to Ian Bruce MP on 11 December 1997 when he pointed out in the present context that:
(l) BECAUSE the Court of Appeal adopted a fundamentally erroneous approach to an express statutory prohibition.
(2) BECAUSE the case involves important questions as to the approach to a private Act of Parliament, including: (a) whether a purposive approach should be adopted, (b) what constraints there are on the use of Parliamentary materials, (c) whether the Padfleld rule applies, and (d) whether the approach of strict construction against the developer applies.
And Your Petitioners will ever pray.
[RICHARD GORDON QC]
18 January 1999
Leigh Day & Co.
25 St John's Lane
London EClM 4LB
Ref Richard Stein
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Last updated: 6/4/99