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Government pressured to call in Greenside demolition permission

The Twentieth Century Society is pushing the government to call in the planning permission issued for the demolition of Greenside, despite the fact its owners have already illegally knocked down the building.

The Modernist conservation group is anxious that the ruling by Runnymede District Council - which immediately became subject to a holding order - will set a precedent for the rest of Britain's planning system.

The society's demands are set against the success of the owners of the Connell, Ward and Lucas house who persuaded the council's planning committee that the building's listing contravened the Human Rights Act.

The society's director, Catherine Croft, persuaded cross-bench peer Lord Freyberg to ask questions on the subject in the House of Lords last week.

Freyberg asked former planning minister Lord Rooker four questions: whether the application for the Greenside case will be called in for a planning inquiry;

whether the Human Rights Act 1998 overrides both planning law and national planning policy;

what measures they intend to take to ensure council officers and planning committee members are adequately informed of the merits of 20th-century buildings;

and whether the Greenside case has set a precedent in planning law and national planning policy that other applicants would be able to follow.

Lord Rooker responded that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was 'currently considering whether to call in the decision', while law courts 'would have to decide whether the Human Rights Act impacts on the planning system'.

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