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Christian Kitchen has been ordered by Waltham Forest council to move on from its Walthamstow home
Lawyers have won permission to take the decision to evict a soup kitchen from its long-standing home to a full judicial review hearing.
Christian Kitchen has offered hot meals to the needy every night for the past 20 years, but the council has ordered it out of its Mission Grove home in Walthamstow, claiming it attracts crime and anti-social behaviour.
Yesterday, specialist lawyers from one of the largest law firms in the UK, Irwin Mitchell, won the permission at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Alex Rook, representing the soup kitchen, said: “We are pleased that the judge agrees there are elements of the decision that need to be considered at a full judicial review hearing.
“As austerity bites and the demand for the soup kitchen rises, the last thing the vulnerable homeless people in this region need is to be asked to move along to another part of the road network which is difficult for them to access.”
He added that suggestions the kitchen was responsible for anti-social behaviour were unfounded.
“A Freedom of Information request proves that the council has had no direct complaints about the soup kitchen in the last 12 months,” he said.
The organisers of Christian Kitchen say the council’s decision to stop their use of the site and evict them to an unsafe and unsuitable out-of-town site would lead to the service closing.
Norman Coe, Christian Kitchen trustee, said: “I’m very relieved. We feel we’ve got a chance to survive now. It’s like a heavy weight has been lifted off us.”
The council has offered the service a new home off the North Circular Road but kitchen organisers say the location is unsafe.
A council spokesman said four of the five claims brought by the soup kitchen's legal team were thrown out and that the council was awarded half its legal fees by the judge.
The council is expecting to make a full statement early next week.
It is not yet known when the hearing will take place.
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