Following the handing down of a High Court Judgment by Mr Justice Fordham on Monday, 11th June, in the long running, planning application by the City of London Corporation to Lewisham Council concerning a site on Sydenham Hill, London, Mais House, the Friends of Mais House have issued a statement. They say:

“The Friends of Mais House are naturally disappointed in the latest Judgment from the High Court. The Judgment is a complex and lengthy document that required careful consideration.”

“The Friends can now announce that the claimant has taken further legal advice and her lawyers are proceeding to Appeal this decision via the Court of Appeal.”

They go on to say:

“It recently came to our attention that the London Wildlife Trust had serious concerns about the application. These had been expressed not only in pre application correspondence with the Applicant’s agents but also in a formal letter of objection emailed by London Wildlife Trust to Lewisham Council’s Planning Department. Friends of Mais House were not aware of the existence of this correspondence.”

During the course of the second judicial review it was revealed that Lewisham Council admitted that it does not read any emails that have been carbon copied, cc’d, to its planning department’s advertised email address.

The Friends of Mais House call this “a staggering development” and that they will test the lawfulness of this in the Court of Appeal now.

It is the second judicial review into the scheme that will head to the Court of Appeal now. 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

Lewisham Council describe the scheme as part of their own Building for Lewisham programme.

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