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Small businesses take Olympic organisers to court

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East London business leaders who claim their companies could collapse due to restrictions put in place during the Olympic Games are launching a legal challenge.

Scores of small businesses have got together to take the organisers of the Games to court over the security restrictions and planned road closures which they believe will put hundreds of jobs in jeopardy.

Approximately 40 businesses with a total of 550 employees are believed to be affected and include cafes, garages, retailers and printers.

Test cases will be launched at the High Court in London on Friday, just days after residents of the 17-storey Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone lost a legal fight to prevent the roof of their block being used a missile base to counter any terrorist threat to the Olympic Park.

A judge backed the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to house the defence missile system elsewhere or to put up frightened residents in a hotel.

But lawyers for the companies in the Hackney area will hope to win their case when they ask Mr Justice Singh for permission to get a judicial review against the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

The business leaders want to challenge the legality of the Olympic Route Network which restricts the movement of vehicles. They are expected to say the restrictions unlawfully affect their right of access to their own premises, while it also impacts on the access rights of their customers and suppliers.

Businesses will be severely damaged or forced to shut down unless there is a change of attitude, the judge will be told.

The group believes they have an arguable case that the ODA does not have the authority in all the circumstances to put in place the restrictions under the relevant traffic management order.

The authority has not assessed their need for reasonable access to their premises or made appropriate exemptions, they claim.

Affected businesses have neither been relocated or compensated, they argue.

All the companies fall outside a compulsory purchase zone, inside which 193 businesses were awarded compensation and new homes.

Phelps Transport boss Graham Phelps is leading the challenge group and says local traders fear the disruption could deter customers and cripple deliveries.




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