Petition update

Support legal action to save the tree after council wins injunction to stop campaigners

Happy Man Tree
London, ENG, United Kingdom

Jul 4, 2020 — 


Last week, an application for an injunction against us was granted to Hackney Council and Berkeley Homes in the High Court. People from the local community who are maintaining a presence at the Happy Man Tree day and night have been threatened with heavy penalties.

Demolition of the pub next to the Happy Man Tree has started and the legal notice for us to leave the tree and stop protecting it could be served any day now.

However, we are now pursuing our own legal action

We have instructed our solicitors to challenge Hackney Council on two grounds:

  • Parts of the planning decision which includes the destruction of the Happy Man Tree have been identified as unlawful. A similar legal challenge was recently won by Holborn Studios and acts as a strong precedent.
  • Demolition of The Happy Man pub next to the tree has already started and this is likely to damage the tree. However, full planning permission has not yet been granted – only a resolution to grant planning permission – so this work is proceeding unlawfully.

Our only way forward is to challenge the unlawful actions of Hackney Council and seek a Judicial Review.

The cost of the initial phase of legal action could be upwards of  £10,000. Please help us get to our first target of £6,000.

We have already incurred costs for legal advice to protect local people who were singled out in the injunction proceedings so we are asking supporters of the Happy Man Tree to contribute towards the costs of this new challenge.


Donate here


With your support we can save the Happy Man Tree and stand up for the genuine involvement of local people in the development of their communities.

Thank you!!


From an open letter to the Mayor and Hackney Council, 29/06/2020:

You can't mitigate for the emotional impact on local people if the Happy Man Tree is felled.

There will be a lasting emotional impact on the community if the tree is felled. A huge Happy Man Tree void will be left starkly on the pavement.

For those many thousands of people who cherish the Happy Man Tree, this void will give them not just a sense of loss but will be a constant reminder of the oppression and silencing that they experienced when their local council bent to the will of corporate might and profit-making, and chose to ignore what local people wanted and needed – to save the Happy Man Tree.


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