Barnet Council will face a probe into the lawfulness of key planning guidance as it faces ongoing opposition to its Hendon Hub scheme.

A High Court judge has granted permission for a judicial review of The Burroughs and Middlesex University Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which supports the redevelopment of Hendon.

The document, drawn up by the council in 2020, contains principles designed to guide and shape future development on sites surrounding the University of Middlesex campus in The Burroughs.

Hendon resident Richard Lecoat, who brought the judicial review case against the council, alleges that the document is in fact a development plan, which requires a much greater level of public consultation, oversight and scrutiny than an SPD.

Richard claims the SPD should either be treated as a development plan or be deemed unlawful. 

Campaign group Hendon Residents said the judge, Mr Justice Kerr, declared the matter to be ‘significant’, meaning that it will now be expedited through the courts and will be heard by a senior planning judge in the High Court. 

The Hendon Hub scheme, a plan to build hundreds of student homes and university facilities on council-owned sites in Hendon, was approved in January, despite significant opposition from residents.

It includes a plan to turn the Grade 2-listed Hendon Public Library building into a business school for the university.

Reports presented to the strategic planning committee prior to the scheme’s approval acknowledged the legal challenge to the SPD and said it had not been given any weight in the determination of the applications.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is aware that the proceedings have been given permission to proceed by the judge on the basis that the pleaded grounds are ‘arguable’ and that submissions raised by the council should be heard at the substantive hearing.  

“The council is defending the proceedings and currently working to meet the judge’s case management directions.”