A senior government minister will decide the appeal against Lambeth council’s rejection of a highly unpopular plan for a scrap metal yard in a residential area.
Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, has told Lambeth council that he, rather than the Planning Inspectorate, will decide if construction of the yard in West Norwood will go ahead.
Plans to build 100-plus homes at the Brixton end of Shakespeare Road – on another scrap yard site – depend on the West Norwood yard at Windsor Grove getting a green light.
Opponents of the yard have warned that it would see an increase in very large lorries on roads all over the borough. They include local MP Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) who has said that Windsor Grove is “simply the wrong site” for the metal processing yard.
The Planning Inspectorate, which decides on most appeals against local authority planning decisions, told Lambeth council that the reason for the minister’s decision “is that the appeal involves proposals which raise important or novel issues of development control, and/or legal difficulties”.
Instead of a planning inspector making the decision, he or she will write a report that will make a recommendation on how the appeal should be determined.
This will then be passed to the secretary of state to make the decision, taking into account the inspector’s recommendation.
The appeal is due to be heard over six days, beginning 1 March this year.