Following a hearing at the High Court in London that lasted a whole day on 9th June 2022, Mr Justice Fordham has dismissed a legal challenge against the decision of Lewisham Council to grant planning permission for the development of Mais House, a former sheltered housing block for the elderly on the top of Sydenham Hill, London.

Lewisham Council’s lawyers

Lewisham Council is quoted as saying that it is pleased with the outcome whilst the local residents are studying the lengthy and complex Judgment. The Judgment appeared on the website of Lewisham Council’s lawyers Saira Kabir Sheikh QC and Charles Merrett on Monday, 11 July, 2022.

It is interesting to note that this is the second judicial review into the scheme. The first was successful where Mrs Justice Lang in R (Kinsey) v London Borough of Lewisham [2021] EWHC 1286 (Admin) quashed the Council’s decision declaring it was unlawful after a conservation officer’s advice was withheld from the planning committee when it approved the redevelopment.

A meeting lasting 2 hours 18 minutes of the strategic planning committee meeting at Lewisham Council subsequently granted permission for a second time on 29th June 2021, by five votes to one. The full papers, many released shortly before the meeting was held can be read here and the webcast is here

During the last High Court hearing it was revealed a letter by email, from the London Wildlife Trust who managed the important ancient woodland at Sydenham Hill was not opened by Lewisham Council.

Susan Ring of Harrison Grant Solicitors and Richard Harwood QC of 39 Essex Chambers and the members of the Friends of Mais House will be issuing a statement shortly.

The lengthy full Judgment of Mr J Fordham in R (Kinsey) vs London Borough of Lewisham No2 can be read below.


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