Campaigners hoping to overturn an approved housing development they say will be detrimental to their estate have thanked the public for their support as their day in court approaches.  

Friends of Mais House has been fighting City of London’s plans for Sydenham Hill Estate since they were approved by a Lewisham planning committee last August.  

The development involves 110 new social homes on the estate.  

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

However, people living on the estate say the plans are too dense, will put pressure on amenities, do not have appropriate disabled access, and will negatively impact the Grade II listed Lammas Green and the conservation area.      

Residents have also said they were not consulted properly.  

Mature trees are set to be cut down if the development goes ahead, but planning officers and committee members felt “on balance” the need for social housing was too important.        

FoMH secured a Judicial Review from the High Court in February to challenge the development.

The group, which has been crowdfunding for legal fees, applied for it 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 argued 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”.      

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”.   

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

The case is set to be heard on April 27 – 28. 

A spokesperson for FoMH said: “We would like to thank everyone who has spread the word or donated to our legal fund; the response has been amazing.  

“We have campaigned for over two years for a more sensitive development, which we strongly believe is achievable.  

“Thanks to your generous donations, the latest tranche of documents was [...] filed at court by our excellent and caring legal team. Please continue to support our cause.” 

FoMH says total court costs are expected to be £35,000 – they are close to their target but need to raise just under £2,000 further.  

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.”