A date has been set for a Judicial Review into a Lewisham Council planning decision, brought by a community group trying to overturn it.   

In August 2020 a Lewisham planning committee approved an application from City of London Corporation to build 110 new social homes on the Sydenham Hill Estate, with the decision officially published in November. 

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The plans

See more: Decision for Sydenham Hill Estate 'unlawful', say locals

See more: Lewisham to go to court over Sydenham Hill Estate decision

As per an agreement with the council, half of the homes will be let to Lewisham residents.      

Residents spoke against the scheme at the planning meeting, concerned about density, pressure on amenities, disabled access, lack of proper consultation, and the impact the development would have on Grade II listed Lammas Green and the conservation area.     

Mature trees are also set to be cut down if the development goes ahead.  

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But planning officers and committee members felt “on balance” the need for social housing was too important.       

Since then, Friends of Mais House has been raising funds and mounting a legal challenge to the decision.    

The group applied to the High Court for a Judicial Review on various grounds – they say the council failed to take into account the harm the development would do to Lammas Green and the conservation area.     

They argue that the council failed to take into account that its own conservation and urban design officer objected to the scheme and “omitted significant parts of her advice”.     

The group wants the approval to be quashed and for City of London to “sit down and work on a co-design with the estate residents”.   

Mrs Justice Lang issued permission for the review on February 11, stating in her order that the claimant’s grounds are “arguable and merit consideration”.  

The case will now move to a full hearing on April 27 – 28.  

FoMH says total court costs are expected to be £35,000, so they need to raise £22,000 by the end of April. 

A spokesperson for FoMH: “Obtaining permission for a Judicial Review was huge.  

“We know we have a really strong case, vindicated by the Judge’s words. It all comes down to funding now.” 

The group are fundraising for legal fees here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/friendsofmaishouse/ 

Responding to the planned legal action previously, Cllr Paul Bell, cabinet member for housing and planning, said the development will provide new social housing for Lewisham residents.      

He said: “It will mean a change in the local area and we recognise that.  

“Homelessness, severe overcrowding and a lack of secure, decent and genuinely affordable housing means we need new homes as soon as possible.”