Mr Justice Hidden said the traders' rents had been the subject of 'lengthy, intricate and and persistent negotiations' with the City whose stance could not be described as irrational or perverse.
There was no suggestion that the City was attemptin to close the market 'by stealth' or had any 'improper motive' in seeking to raise the tenants' rents. The tenants' claim that they could not afford to pay the new rents - said to be four or five times higher than what they currently pay - was not supported by any hard evidence, said the judge.
Consultation between the City and the Smithfield tenants had been 'full and complete' and the judge ruled: 'there is I conclude no question of the City having actedperversely in this case'. The City was under no obligation to 'subsidise' the tenants any more than it already did and was not obliged to run the market at a loss, said the judge.
The judge also rejected claims that the the City was seeking to recover from tenants the cost of un-related commercial office development and the cost of maintaining Smithfield's listed buildings.
The Judicial Review application brought by Smithfield Tenants' Association Chairman, Mr John William Brewster OBE, was dismissed. And Mr Brewster was ordered to pay the City's legal costs of the action.