Breaking news – This morning the Royal Courts of Justice in London have ruled that the decision by Waverley Council to grant planning permission to turn Undershaw into houses ‘must be quashed’ due to ‘legal reasons.’
This is fantastic news and a testament to the tireless hard work by the Undershaw Preservation Trust to protect the former home of Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes fans from around the world have got behind the campaign along with high-profile celebrities such as Mark Gatiss (the charity’s patron) and Stephen Fry.
The case was heard in court last week but the final decision was postponed. I’m so delighted that a decision has now been made – and that it’s the right one.
The legal reasons for withdrawing the planning permission from would-be developers, Fossway, make me wonder how things were ever allowed to get this far.
The council did not consult with English Heritage prior to granting permission, which is a legal requirement with a grade II listed building such as Undershaw. They also failed to reconsider the development plans despite receiving a second application which would keep the property as a single dwelling.
It is shocking that Waverley council so carelessly signed away the future of such an historic building. What a relief that this error has now been rectified, but how sad that it occurred in the first place.
A massive “well done” to the Undershaw team and all those who supported them. I look forward to seeing what the future now holds for this amazing building. At least it now has a future…