No smoke without fire: Campaign group intends to take legal action

Campaigners last month confirmed they intended to launch legal action against a local authority following a long-running dispute over the use of a popular open space.

Concerns have been raised about high levels of air pollution at Highbury Fields, in Islington, and residents have laid the blame on the fact that a large number of visitors have barbecues on the land.

There are fears that prolonged exposure to the particles in the atmosphere could lead to serious health problems and a local pressure group – Save Highbury Fields – wants local councillors to take action.

Michael Kuhn, of Save Highbury Fields, said: “Despite years of campaigning and independent investigations showing the dangers to health emitted by these barbecues on Highbury Fields the council refuses to change or modify their position at all.

“So far over 50 people have committed via CrowdJustice to fund legal action against the council. That is the only way forward now. The action will be in the Magistrates Court alleging statutory nuisance and demanding the council abate it. The papers will be filed in the next seven to 10 days.”

Islington Council, which has allowed barbecues on the green for the past six years, said it stood by its current policy.

Councillor Claudia Webbe, the executive member for environment, said: “Most people living in Islington don’t have a garden, and this gives everyone a chance to enjoy a barbecue with friends and family in our open spaces.

“We believe our policy is right, and we stand by it and are happy to explain and defend it.”

For advice as to your options if you find yourself involved in a dispute, please contact our head of Dispute Resolution Stephen Silverman or visit our website.

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