Court puts children out of the swim

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The Independent Online
Seven children yesterday failed to make legal history and take their council to court over a broken promise to build a leisure centre and swimming-pool.

A High Court judge ruled the seven, from Colliers Wood, south-west London, could not seek judicial review as their case was "bound to fail". Acting through their parents, the children, aged three to 14, argued that planners erred in law when they struck a shopping-development deal with Sainsbury's which dropped the leisure-centre project. The alternative amenities included a restaurant, bingo hall and fitness centre but not the pool they wanted.

The original deal between Merton Council and the supermarket firm in 1986 included the leisure centre as part of a Savacentre project at Colliers Wood.

Richard Gordon QC, for the children, accused the council of creating an unlawful "hotchpotch" involving planning rules and regulations.