ELEMENTARY MY DEAR READERS! Is more of our money about to go down the pan?

Conan Doyle house battle to return to High Court So, presumably WBC will be shelling out more of OUR money!

Whilst we were all away in August sunning ourselves on beaches at home and  abroad – the Silly Season was in full swing at Waverley. Safe in the knowledge that they had bounced back into power, hanging on the coat tails of a General Election, all was well.  Whilst they topped up their tans, back at the ranch, they heard the following:

Campaigners seeking to protect the former home of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from redevelopment, have been granted permission for a judicial review of the council’s planning approval for its conversion into a school.

Conan Doyle wrote many of his best-loved Sherlock Holmes stories whilst living at the  Victorian house, Undershaw, in Hindhead, Surrey. Plans to redevelop the building have had a long planning history. Waverley Borough Council’s planning consent to convert it into eight homes was struck down by the High Court three years ago.Click here to Read more.

In March, the council granted planning approval to allow its conversion into a school for children with special needs.

But now, High Court judge Mr Justice Singh, has granted John Gibson – an author who has written books on Conan Doyle’s life and is director of the Undershaw Preservation Trust – permission to mount a full judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission.

Paul Stinchcombe QC, for Gibson, claimed the council had shown a “cavalier disregard” for Undershaw’s “irreplaceable” status.

The school development would involve a “hugely damaging extension” to the house which would destroy its character, he argued.The Victorian Society, English Heritage and others had objected to the DFN Charitable Foundation’s plans.

John Hobson QC, for Waverley Council, said the council had approved DFN’s proposals after “thorough and exemplary” consultation with heritage bodies.

Just because English Heritage and others disagreed did not mean that the council’s decision was wrong, he added.

Describing Waverley Council’s handling of the issue as “impeccable”, he said the harm caused to Undershaw would be “less than substantial.

” Well that’s alight then! says WW.

Work on converting it into a school was already well underway and the council had rightly taken into account the “conspicuous public benefits” of the scheme. Opening the way for a full judicial review, however, Justice Singh said Gibson’s complaints were “at least arguable”.Planning law in relation to listed buildings was in need of clarification and the case raised “issues of general importance”, he added.

Gibson’s challenge will now go ahead to a full High Court hearing on a date which has yet to be set.R on the Application of Gibson v Waverley Borough Council. Case Number: CO/2154/2015

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