A campaign to raise funds for a legal challenge against Croydon Council has hit its first target.

The CrowdJustice page, set up by Alex Toogood from South Norwood last month, has raised £5,000. Ms Toogood wants to see a planning decision overturned and says a group of her neighbours feel the same.

In March, a three-storey block of 12 flats in Avenue Road, South Norwood was approved by the council. The crowdfunding page aims to raise a total of £30,000 to fund legal action against Croydon Council and its developer Brick by Brick.

Before starting the page Alex said that she and husband Rob spent about £2,000 getting legal advice from independent planning consultants. The 39-year-old was one of 35 people to object to the development in Avenue Road, which will back onto her garden, in the consultation process.

The initial £5,000 will be used to pay for a ‘pre-action letter’ which was sent to the council at the end of April calling for planning permission to be revoked. Ms Toogood, a civil servant, has lived in Warminster Road for four years with children Jack, five and Harry, three.

She claims that the development would be ‘overbearing’ and block light into her garden and home. It will now be up to a legal team to decide whether legal action would be successful.

Ms Toogood hopes that the page will be able to raise a total of £30,000 to fund any possible action. “We wouldn’t have gone ahead with it if we didn’t think we had a chance,” she said. “We have had some really good support – I was anxious about raising it because otherwise it would have meant we would have to put quite a lot of money in ourselves.”

The group expects to know by the end of the month whether they will proceed with legal action.

The CrowdJustice page, named, ‘Stop Croydon Council’s planning bias destroying our community,’ also makes claims there is a ‘conflict of interest’ in the process. “We are concerned that the council is driving through decisions without the usual democratic safeguards because the council is simultaneously the land owner, developer and planning authority,” it said.

A spokeswoman for Croydon Council said that all applications are subject to a rigorous process ‘irrespective of the nature of the applicant’. The fundraising page can be found at www.crowdjustice.com/case/croydon-planning-bias