Council faces new legal challenge over second grant of planning permission for 110 residential unit scheme

A High Court judge this month ordered a shackled hearing in a second judicial review challenge over Lewisham council’s grant of planning permission for the redevelopment of part of the estate of Sydenham Hill from the City of London Corporation.


In May 2021, in Kinsey, R (at the request of) v London Borough Of Lewisham [2021] EWHC 1286 (Admin), Madam Justice Lang revoked planning permission for the demolition of the Mais House and Otto Close garages, and for the redevelopment to provide 110 residential units in a four-, six-, and seven-storey building and a terrace two and three stories. building and associated development on the site.

The High Court judge ruled among other things that advice from a conservation officer should not have been withheld from the planning committee when it approved the redevelopment.

Lewisham Council’s planning committee then granted permission for the second time in June 2021, by five votes to one.

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Community group Friends of Mais House said the summary grounds for the new judicial review are as follows:

  1. Lewisham misunderstood the policy, had no evidence, and acted unreasonably in asserting that the program was “best viable use”, or more accurately, that a smaller program was not viable.
  2. The Board acted unfairly, in violation of the Community Commitment Statement, and in breach of disclosure requirements by releasing a large volume of materials shortly before the committee meeting and proceeding with the meeting.
  3. The council did not publish the responses to the third-party consultations at all, in violation of the disclosure document requirements.

Friends of Mais House have so far raised £43,769 to reach a goal of £48,000 through mob justice.

He said the ‘coiled hearing’ ordered by Sir Duncan Ouseley could take place as early as April.

Susan Ring of Harrison Grant Solicitors and Richard Harwood QC of 39 Essex Chambers are acting on behalf of a member of the Friends of Mais House.

Cllr Paul Bell, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, said: “The Mais House scheme is a 100% social housing development and will provide 110 much needed social housing, helping to tackle the housing crisis London is facing. is confronted.

“Council will defend its decision at the hearing and look forward to concluding this matter so that the project can move forward.”