3.280 Rose Theatre update (95)

Sat, 22 Jul 89 15:52:08 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 280. Saturday, 22 Jul 1989.

Date: Thu, 20 JUL 89 14:17:44 GMT
Subject: Rose Theatre Update

The latest on the Rose theatre site, as reported by
King's College London's correspondent, Steve Miller ...

Susan Kruse


17 July 1989 As promised Mr Justice Schiemann delivered
this morning his verdict on the request by the Rose Theatre
trust for a Judicial Review of the decision of Nicholas
Ridley, Secretary of State for the Environment, not to list
the Rose Theatre as a National Monument. He said that the
Trust were wrong to suggest that Mr Ridley had misapplied
any law. The law as it is written does not require
Ridley to schedule the site, it only says he "may" schedule
a monument based on the advice of English Heritage.
But the judge went further and said that the Trust had
no right in law to bring the Secretary of State into court
in the first place. He strongly hinted that the respondants
(the Secretary of State and the property developers) should
have asked to have the request for a judicial review by
the Trust thrown out of court. The Trust had no more right
to challenge in law a decision of the Secretary of State for
the Environment than any ordinary citizen which was none
since they had no legal "interest" in the matter.
In addition, he ruled that the Rose Theatre Trust must
pay the costs not only of the lawyers defending the Secretary
of State but also the lawyers of the property developers,
Imry Merchant, who came into the case to argue their side.
As to an appeal, since they have no right to bring such
a case the Trust would apparently have to ask for someone to
rule that they did have such a right before they could ask
for an appeal against the judge's legal ruling on the question
of scheduling. (Is this getting a little complicated?
I am sorry, I am no legal expert despite my recent hours in
court hearing all of this argued.) In any event, the judge
limited the Rose Theatre Trust to three days to take further
Judging as an outsider I do not know how the decision
could have been more negative. Certainly it seems agreed
that on the question of the right of the Trust to bring the
Secretary into court, the judge took a narrow view of what
the law allows. On the other hand, he did suggest that the
legal argument as to how the Heritage law should be interpreted
which was made by the Trust's lawyer, might be the basis for
a very good law. The judge stated that his own opinion of
the Rose Theatre had nothing to do with the matter of the law.
* * *
On a different matter, Nicholas Ridley has also
refused the request of Southwark Planning Committee to
"call in" Imry's Revised plans (those putting a low museum
for the Rose remains in the basement of their office building).
This would have meant a public inquiry into the plans as I
understand it. I believe the Planning Committee need to decide
on the plans before 27 July.
Over the weekend Imry had the temporary roof covering
the Rose site removed so that they can begin work as soon
as they wish.
I think that this is enough for the moment. While it
appears that the plan to preserve a part of the remains
of the Rose theatre in a museum in the basement of a new
office block will go ahead, the hopes that a general
archaeological investigation of the rest of the site will
be allowed before drilling begins for foundations for the
office block, or that the block might be avoided altogether
do not look good. If any readers have better information
than mine on this matter or more, could I ask that they let
everyone know?
It might amuse those readers who have not seen the British
press over the past day or two to note that rumours are
circulating that Mr. Ridley may be on his way out of his
cabinet post and that the Prime Minister will reshuffle her
Cabinet in a week or so. I offer no opinion as to what
importance to attach to such rumours. Can we presume
that any new appointee, if there were one, would be strongly
advised not to produce any surprises in this matter?
Sincerely, Stephen Miller
c/o Dept of English, King's College London, The Strand, London
WC2R 2LS England