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Councillor Raven Declared an interest in Item 3 as she is a member of CLASH (Campaign in Lewisham for Autism Spectrum Housing). Item 3 relates to housing provision for those on the Autism spectrum, for which CLASH are a stakeholder. Cllr Raven dismissed herself from the committee table for the duration of that item and sat in the stalls.
Members approved the minutes for Committee A, which was held on 01st March 2018.
3. 30-32 Stanstead Road, SE23 1BW (DC/17/103186) (Item 3 on the agenda)
The presenting Planning Officer Richard McEllistrum explained the details the existing site which is currently a vacant open grassed area corner plot fronting Stanstead Road and Rojack Road.
He outlined the details of the proposal which would comprise the construction of a part 2, part 3 storey building providing 4 x 1 bedroom self-contained flats together with associated landscaping, cycle and refuse storage. It was noted that the proposal is for an unrestricted C3 residential usage, but that the immediate intended occupants would be those on the autism spectrum, with no live in carers.
He went on to mention that the Council had received 52 letters of support, and 29 letters of objection to the proposal.
The presenting officer stated that on a balance, the benefits of the scheme were considered to outweigh the loss of open space, and that the proposal had been recommended for approval, subject to 10 conditions.
Questions from Councillors followed:
Cllr Paschoud asked whether any of the letters of support came from local residents who wanted the land built on, or if they were just supporters of the scheme due to the need for housing for those on the autism spectrum. The presenting officer stated that he could not answer, as the information was not in front of him, but explained that specific weight is not given to the quantity of letters in support of a scheme by officers, and as such the number of letters received did not influence officers recommendation.
Cllr Walsh asked if any traffic control/calming measures had been proposed, as they know the road well and it is used as a ‘rat-run’, and there could be safety issues for future residents. The presenting officer stated that he wasn’t aware of any proposed measures, and that the Council’s highways officer had raised no objections to the scheme.
Cllr Adefiranye noted that one of the main objections to the scheme was that the proposal is incongruous with the area, particularly due to its height, and asked whether the planning department saw this as an issue. The presenting officer noted that the proposal is not in a conservation area, so there is a different type of consideration applied in regard to the character of the area and thus a different approach to design. He also explained that there is a range of context existing in the surrounding area, particularly on Stanstead Road, with examples of contemporary and three storey buildings further along the street. It was also noted that larger buildings can often be more appropriate on corner plots, as is the case with this proposal.
The applicant was next invited to speak in support of the application. Representing the applicant was John Silverman of Birnbeck Housing Association, and Irene Craik the architect of the scheme.
John Silverman outlined that the occupiers of the proposed housing would be individuals with autism spectrum disorders who are not eligible for care. He ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
4. 54 Avonley Road, SE14 5EW (DC/17/103958) (item 4 on the agenda)
Richard McEllistrum, the presenting officer, outlined the facts of the proposal and reminded members that they had previously deferred the decision for this application when the case was heard at the Committee A held on 16th of January 2018, pending submission of further details in respect of emergency vehicle access to the site, the proposed lighting, management of car parking on site. He stated that this information had now been submitted, including consultation responses from the London Fire Brigade, tracking/swept paths for fire trucks, the addition of sprinklers to properties, proposals for parking management (1 space for each property), and a lighting schedule.
He stated that this information was considered acceptable and officers were recommending the scheme for approval.
Councillor Walsh raised concern over the management of parking, and asked what physical barriers had been proposed to manage illegal parking which may impede access during an emergency situation, as was requested at the last committee where this was heard. The presenting officer stated that he did not have the specific additions in front of him, but that a hard landscaping condition would form part of the permission, which would ensure these were added if not already.
The committee then received verbal representation from the applicants’ representative Johnny Horne, who was supported by the agent, Barry Cansfield, and their transport consultant Peter Caneparo.
He argued that the concerns from the previous committee had been addressed: sprinklers had been installed and the Fire Brigade had been consulted, and were satisfied that the properties could be serviced in an emergency.
With regard to parking, he stated a survey had been carried out at 2am on a Wednesday and a Thursday and the results showed there is capacity. Further to this double yellow lines would be added close to the site entrance to ensure access would not be impeded in an emergency.
He stated that the parking management, access signage and lighting schedule would be implemented as shown on the plans and secured by way of condition.
He added that the proposed refuse storage capacity exceeded the recommended volume. He concluded by stating he hoped the committee was satisfied with the additional information.
Questions from members followed:
Councillor Paschoud asked which properties had sprinklers, and the applicant replied all of them would. She then asked whether these would be set of by normal cooking, to which it was replied that they were specifically designed for residential properties so this would be unlikely. Chair Amrani sought further confirmation that the sprinklers would be installed, and the applicant confirmed they would be.
Bill Randle, an adjoining neighbour who spoke in objection at the last committee, spoke on behalf of the scheme’s objectors. He stated that the proposal had many flaws with regard to its design, overlooking issues, parking management, refuse storage arrangements and emergency vehicle access. He stated that a similar proposal with a larger access to this was recently refused by the ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
5. Unit 3 Ashby Mews, SE4 1TB (DC/17/104640) (item 5 on the agenda)
The presenting officer outlined the facts of the case as a change of use of a Gallery (Use Class B1) to a Live/Work unit (sui generis). He stated that there were several examples of live/work units in the immediate vicinity, and that the development was acceptable in planning terms and had in numerous instances recently been considered to be acceptable in the local area. The proposal had been recommended for approval by officers.
Councillor Adefiranye sought clarification on the existing and proposed uses and asked whether a site visit had been carried out and when. The presenting officer clarified the proposed use would be live/work ancillary to each other, and the existing approved use was as an artist gallery/studio and that a site visit had been carried out – he also stated that the property was the subject of an enforcement case, and an enforcement officer had also visited.
Councillor Paschoud raised concern that the introduction of a residential dwelling to a generally industrial area may have a negative impact on the continued functioning of the area as industrial because residents may complain about disturbance from the industrial units, which could lead to their loss. The presenting officer stated that other units within the immediate area have permission for residential usage already. Furthermore the area is of generally light industrial usage, which is not as noisy as other heavy industrial uses.
Councillor Till asked whether there were restrictions to the proposed working hours and whether this could be conditioned. The presenting officer stated that it could potentially be conditioned.
Christina Brandenburg, the agent for the application then spoke in support of the scheme. She started by reminding the committee that there are existing live/work units on Ashby Mews.
stated that the applicant and current owner had owned the unit for
7 years, and is looking to move on, but all interested parties
desire a live/work unit, as the existing gallery usage is very
specific to the current owner.
They stated that the Council’s enforcement team had confirmed the unit is not currently in residential usage and that a Non Material Amendment permission had been granted for external alterations in 2015. She concluded by stating the proposal exceeds all minimum standards of internal accommodation for a residential dwelling.
Councillor Adefiranye asked whether the existing usage of the gallery was for 24 hours a day. The applicant’s response was that the hours of use had never been restricted at the unit. The Councillor then asked if the unit was currently used as a dwelling, as he suspected it was, to which the applicant replied it was not.
Councillor Walsh stated that there would be a legal obligation based on the 1996 Noise Act to limit ... view the full minutes text for item 5.