ONE East Finchley resident could be made to pay huge court fees if a legal bid to stop a hike in parking permit costs fails following a High Court ruling.

On Friday, Barnet Council won a ruling in the ongoing judicial review of controlled parking zone (CPZ) fees, meaning lawyer David Attfield who launched the legal action could be shouldering the whole cost if unsuccessful.

Mr Attfield, along with the Barnet CPZ Action campaign he set up following 150 per cent hikes approved in March, had asked for a cap on the amount of costs he would have to pay to Barnet Council should the legal action fail.

These costs could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and he said Barnet Council could also end up paying increased bills if it lost.

He said: “What Barnet Council has done is unfortunate as it leaves both sides facing greater legal costs.

“The options we now have are to take out insurance against losing the claim and going to no win no fee lawyers, who charge higher premiums if they win.

“All Barnet has done is to increase the amount it could pay out if we win, as the courts may well order it to pay my insurance premium as well.”

The row centres around claims the increased charges, which the council says would be used to improve roads, unfairly penalises a small percentage of residents in favour of the majority.

Only around ten per cent of residents live in a CPZ in Barnet. Since the price increases in March, they now have to pay £4 for each visitor voucher, up from £1.

Mr Attfield said Barnet has also hired an expensive barrister to help it fight the review, which could cost millions in lost revenue if overturned.

Mr Attfield’s group, which is relying on public donations, has organised a meeting tonight, Thursday, at 8pm in the New Local Cafe in High Road, East Finchley High Road to discuss its next steps.

A Barnet Council spokesman said it was unable to comment because of the ongoing legal process.