Camden Council quashes planning consent after claim to high court

Camden Council has agreed to quash the planning permission it gave for the redevelopment of a site in Fitzrovia after the decision was challenged in the high court.

Front of buildings.

1 Colville Place (centre) is a Grade II listed building described as “an immaculately detailed, minimal house, a rare example of a modernist infill scheme of sophistication and careful taste”.

Camden’s planning committee gave permission in the summer for a roof extension and other alterations to Cyclone House, 27- 29 Whitfield Street which stands on the corner of Colville Place.

However, local resident Max Neufeld successfully challenged by judicial review the legality of the decision in the high court after he claimed that officers in Camden’s planning department had failed to take into consideration the impact the development would have on his neighbouring Grade II listed building at 1 Colville Place.

The heritage listing describes the building as “an immaculately detailed, minimal house, a rare example of a modernist infill scheme of sophistication and careful taste”.

Neufeld argued that Camden’s officers had given incorrect advice to members of the planning committee with regard to national policy on the protection of heritage assets.

Camden Council offered no defence to the legal challenge and came to a settlement out of court and agreed to pay claimant’s costs of £5,000.

Councillor Danny Beales, cabinet member for Investing in Communities said: “Whilst the Council considers that it made a lawful decision, we recognise there could have been more detail in the report.

“Therefore we ‘submitted to judgement’ — this is a simple legal process which allows the courts to quash the decision so the case can be reconsidered by our planning committee. The Council had no wish to waste public money battling a long standing resident in court when a less costly and time consuming course of action was available.”

Neufeld was not impressed by the response from Camden’s cabinet member and felt the Council had not taken the matter seriously.

“It is shameful that the Council should now seek to trivialise the serious failures identified by my legal challenge conceded by the Council.

“The claim clearly demonstrated that officers had failed to correctly apply national policy in assessing the damage of the proposed development to the setting of the listed buildings and as a consequence fundamentally misdirected members as to the application of law and policy,” he said.

The application will now have to be redetermined and planning committee members will be made aware of the outcome of the judicial review in deciding on any future application

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