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Official statement: Our Lady and St Philip Neri School (17 November 2021)
Officers of the Archdiocese of Southwark were surprised and disappointed that Mrs Justice Lang DBE yesterday refused permission to appeal the inspector’s refusal of planning permission for Our Lady and St Philip Neri and that she further refused permission to appeal the inspector’s decision upholding and varying the Enforcement Notice that hangs over the school. They do not agree with the rationale behind these decisions, nor the evidence upon which they were based.
The decision to seek permission to appeal the inspector’s decisions was carefully considered by officers of the Diocese having taken legal advice from specialist leading and junior counsel. Clearly, the implications of these decisions need to be worked through, not least, because the Local Authority has served the same Enforcement Notice on its own senior officer – the Head of Valuation -and its position on the matter is not clear.
Officers and advisers to the Diocese were already working with the Local Planning Authority to explore possible solutions for the site and will continue to do so. Our conversations with the Council officers have been positive; we all agree that no-one wants to demolish the school and that the priority is to achieve a planning permission that means that school can continue in the new modern building for many years to come.
We recognise that this news may be of concern to staff, parents and pupils and we will update you as soon as we have determined what are the next most appropriate steps.
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