A legal challenge to Croydon Council’s approval of a Brick by Brick (BxB) development at a planning committee earlier this year has been dismissed by two High Court judges.
The application for a Judicial Review was lodged by a resident in South Norwood after the planning committee approved in March 2018 a proposal to demolish garages and build a three-storey building consisting of 12 new predominantly affordable homes off Avenue Road.
It was alleged the decision to approve the development, by five members to four, was undermined by the relationship between BxB as the applicant, the council and the chairman of the planning committee creating the appearance of bias.
The initial application, on 21 June, was refused on paper by Mr Justice Holgate, which was challenged by the claimant. On 24 July at a review hearing, a second High Court judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, upheld the initial decision and dismissed the case.
Mr Justice Ouseley confirmed there was nothing, in principle, unlawful in BxB being owned and funded by Croydon Council to bring forward sites for residential development, particularly affordable homes.
It was also confirmed that there was nothing unlawful in council members being in favour of the activities of BxB. Any claims in relation to bias in the decision-making process as a result of personal relationships between councillors were dismissed.
In 2016 the council established the development company Brick by Brick (BxB), which has begun to deliver more than 2,000 new homes throughout Croydon, with around half being affordable housing.
Notes to editors
In February 2018, the Local Government Ombudsman ruled that there was no reason why Croydon Council could not decide applications made by BxB.