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LONDON-The High Court has allowed a legal challenge to plans for a multi-million pound station and mixed use scheme on the Bishopsgate Goods Yard site in east London.

The successful judicial review by a local resident means plans by London Underground to demolish the goods yard as part of its proposed extension of the East London line could face further delays, putting at risk the future of the project.

The court last year, in a separate ruling, held that it would be a breach of planning permission for London Underground to demolish the Goods yard, one of the earliest examples of railway architecture still standing in the world. Following that decision the relevant councils, Tower Hamlets and Hackney, said they would not take action against London Underground if it went ahead with the work without planning consent. The court last week held that the councils could not make such a decision before the developer had met all the relevant environmental conditions.

But the judge did add, that provided London Underground complied with the conditions, it would not be unlawful if the councils reached the same decision. The risk to the project now, though, is the rising costs caused by the delays. These have already cost the developer £1 million ($1.6 million) and are rising at rate of more than £30,000 ($48,000) a day. The court heard during the taking of evidence, that further delay to the project could lead to a “gloomy picture” of the project.

Rising costs could make the scheme unviable and jeopardise the extension to the line, a key part of transport strategy for London and for the £10 billion ($16 billion) regeneration of north and east London.

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