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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Tube line extension back on track
Bishopsgate Goods Yard
Inside the goods yard is the historic Braithwaite Viaduct

A multi-million pound extension to London Underground's (LU) East London Line has effectively been given the go-ahead.

On Friday a High Court judge ruled that Hackney and Tower Hamlets councils were right in not opposing LU's proposal to demolish much of the historic Bishopsgate Goods Yard, even though its planning consent had expired.

But Mr Justice Collins said the authorities should have made conditions for the preservation of the Braithwaite Viaduct - one of the earliest examples of railway engineering in the world - which is inside the yard.

London Underground plan to extend the East London Line to the north and south to build an "M25" on the railway.

The judge, who had allowed an objection by a local resident, recommended the councils should revise their environmental plans.

'One step closer'

He also said they would not be acting unlawfully in allowing the demolition of the goods yard to proceed once the preservation conditions were in place.

LU hopes that once this is done it will open the way for the building of the line which is part of a 10bn regeneration scheme for north and east London.

Andy Prokopp, the local objector, had argued the councils were obliged to carry out a fresh environmental impact assessment because the planning permissions based on an earlier one had expired.

But the judge said a further assessment was not necessary as long as all other conditions were complied with.

After the judgment, Mr Prokopp claimed he was "one step closer" to saving the goods yard and said he would consider an appeal.

Hackney mayor Jules Pipe said: "For too long the borough has suffered as a consequence of not having a Tube line. Hackney needs jobs and access to jobs.

"The best way to achieve this is to bring the Tube to Hackney and I'm absolutely delighted that Mr Justice Collins has agreed."

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