Planning permission for a new social housing development at Mais House in Lewisham has been upheld after a second judicial review.

110 new social homes are set to be built on the estate, replacing a set of garages and a block of flats that have been empty since 2018.

The empty flat block was previously used as supported living accommodation for elderly residents, but Lewisham Council described it as “no longer fit for purpose”.

In its place, a new four, six and seven storey apartment building will be constructed providing 99 homes.

On Otto Close adjacent to the apartment block, a row of 11 four bedroom terraced houses will also be built.

These new homes will be used to house families in Lewisham and City of London’s housing waiting lists.

A spokesperson for Lewisham Council said that this new development would “help tackle the housing crisis facing London”.

The original planning permission was quashed on May 18, 2021, but the application was processed again and the plans for the Mais House development were approved by Lewisham Council’s Strategic Planning Committee in June 2021.

The City of London’s plans for 110 social homes on the Sydenham Hill Estate only received one letter of support, compared to more than 200 objections.

Another application was subsequently made to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision, but this time the court found that there were no grounds to overturn the Council’s decision to grant planning permission.

A campaign group named Friends of Mais house raised over £60,000 for the second Judicial Review in order to oppose the plans put forward by Lewisham Council.

Their main concerns included insufficient transport links, the size of the development, environmental factors, a loss of green space and claims that locals weren’t sufficiently consulted on the plans.

The group says that they are “campaigning for a more sensitively designed, less dense development”.

Cllr Brenda Dacres, Cabinet Member for Lewisham Council’s Housing Development and Planning, said: “I am pleased that the High Court has upheld our original decision to grant planning permission for this important 100 per cent social housing development at Mais House.

“With 10,000 families on our housing waiting list, building new social homes is a key priority for Lewisham.

“The development at Mais House will see an empty building and garages replaced with 110 much-needed social homes, helping families on our housing waiting list.

“It will also see more trees planted and the creation of a new play space for residents, while retaining current green space on the estate.”

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