As we announced back in January, our bid to get Runnymede Council’s decision to grant listed building consent to demolish Connell Ward and Lucas’s Greenside (1936) quashed was successful. The council admitted that they had “erred in law” and the owner of the house decided that he was not going to fight us on his own. But is has taken us six months to clear up the question of costs and the story is not yet over.
The good news is that our legal bill amounts to just under £250, but of course we’ve also invested lots of staff and volunteer time too. Now that the decision has been quashed, the original application submitted to the council has to be assessed by them all over again, and the owner can add extra information to try and strengthen his case that there is no viable future for the building. Of course, if we thought that it would be possible to put together such a justification, we would never have embarked on the judicial review, so we are confident that this time Runnymede will have to refuse consent. We are urging them to set a deadline for extra information to be provided, so that a decision can be reached.
Meanwhile we are encouraging the owner to put the house back on the market. We are confident that all the publicity the case has generated will help to find someone who can afford to buy it, renovate it and really appreciate it. Several newspapers are keen to run features on it on their property pages, so in effect the owner is being offered fabulous free publicity. We hope he will take up the opportunity.
We are delighted with the result and think that it was well worth the effort, but the perfect ending would be to see Greenside with a proud new owner and its long-term future secure.