Tag Archives: planning

Foxtons lies

Foxtons non illuminated fascia sign
Here’s a wonderful thing. Above is a photo of Foxtons in Blackheath. Does that look like “non-illuminated fascia” to you? No, didn’t think so.

Which is interesting, as their planning consent clearly states that their signage doesn’t light up.

Advertisement consent was approved in September 2010, in
respect of the installation of non illuminated fascia and projecting sign.

It also states that they must not open on Sundays. And yet every Sunday, there they openly selling overpriced flats to the good residents of Blackheath. Because council planning rules don’t apply to people who can afford to flaunt them.

They’ve currently got a planning request in with the council to adjust the opening hours to include Sundays. I’m sure it will be approved. Maybe they could put a children’s library in the basement at the same time?

The council should either enforce planning rules or just not bother and go home. I’m sure there are other useful services they could spend the money on.

(thanks to 853blog for the tip-off).

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Filed under blackheath, estate agents, planning

More Betting Shops!


Deptford wants more betting shops.  Like Blackheath needs more estate agents.  Lewisham council recently refused planning permission for “Done Brothers (Cash Betting)” to build another betting shop in Deptford.  There’s a lot of history here – check Deptford Dame for details.
The company are appealing against the decision, on the grounds that:

…there is nothing to suggest the use of the premises as a betting shop would cause harm in terms of anti-social behaviour, crime or disturbance to neighbouring residents and other users of the town centre. This reason for refusal is based on a subjective view of the type of people that use betting shops. There is no evidence that customers visiting betting shops are any more likely to cause harm in terms of anti­social behaviour, crime or disturbance than any other use present along Deptford High Street.

Full document is here. Anyway, if you disgree, then email teamp6@pins.gsi.gov.uk quoting reference APP/C5690/A/11/2151228/NWF.

If you can find case studies, examples, or good evidence explaining why you think another betting shop would be a bad idea, please add them in the comments below, so that other people can use them in their emails.

UPDATED: Above is a Google Map, showing all the betting shops in Deptford. Made by Crossfields.

11 Comments

Filed under Not Blackheath but nearby, planning

What’s going on with The Crown Pub rebuild?

Detail from the Crown Pub Blackheath planning documents sent to Lewisham council
I’ve been a bit lax in not mentioning the redesign of The Crown Pub, as noted in the comments to an unrelated ovine-post:

I always read this excellent blog with great interest, but I can’t believe that one thing has gone without comment on these pages. I went into the village last night for a pint only to find that my regular watering hole The Crown was a building site. It looks very much as if they have ripped out the lovely bay windows (with the two big leather seats) and are replacing them with a flat wall and french doors. How can they be allowed to change the face of such an old and surely protected building so much!?
Yours,
Shocked of Charlton on the 380 bus route

Above is a detail from the planning permission documents at Lewisham Council. Interestingly the original plans for two “jumbobrellas” at the front were withdrawn after 21 complaints were made (I’ve no idea if these two events are related). See the a drawing from the original submission below:

Crown Pub planning drawing from a previous withdrawn request

The Crown Pub Blackheath in its current state

Above is a photo from today, where you can see that the bay windows have been removed to make way for wider openable doors. Which I can’t help feeling might make it feel brighter and more appealing, particularly in the summer.

Neil Rhind in his excellent book Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 1 dates it back to at least 1773 (the first record of a licensee), with a building having been present on the same site during the John Rocque survey of 1741-1746. I had a look at the map here, but couldn’t see it. If anyone with better eyes can, please send me the details! UPDATE: Found it.

Neil points out that it has undergone many renovations during its lifetime, starting out as a building “only three doors wide, with a round-headed door at the entrance”. (page 99).

It’s never been my favourite pub in the area though… Who knows, maybe the improvements will change that… If they re-instate the pole climbing competition of 1892, where a leg of mutton was attached to the top of the pub sign post, I’d definitely come along to watch!

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Filed under blackheath, planning, pubs

Access for All, eventually…


So it begins. If you want go into London from Blackheath station, you’ll have to get onto the wrong platform, then cross over the rickety bridge… This work is to improve the station (junk food machines count as an improvement apparently), and to allow disabled access. The work was originally planned to be completed back in 2008. I think it was funded by the previous government’s Access for All policy, but I’m having trouble locating the planning documents… Anyway, according to Network Rail, the work should be finished by spring. That’s right. If spring means April, it will have taken 4-5 months to improve the station.

£1300 for a zone 1-3 ticket, and still no seats on the trains…

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Filed under blackheath, transport

Meeting about Huntsman’s Field Property Development

There’s a meeting to discuss the plans to build on the Huntsman’s Field, at 8pm on Thursday 4th November. It’s being held at St Michael & All Angel’s Church Hall, Pond Road, Blackheath. Apparently it is for Cator Estate shareholders only, although I’m not sure how they’ll check, and indeed whether that’s really fair. Anyone trying to get the train in the morning will be affected by the building of hundreds of new flats in Blackheath.

The residents association are opposing the development on the grounds that it:

  • will provide an unsafe and dangerous junction at the corner of Manor Way/Brooklands Park will generate additional motor traffic
  • could very easily provide a ‘cut through link’ for all traffic from the KDA to the Cator Estate, vastly increasing (and introducing third party) traffic movement and volumes on the Cator Estate
  • will detrimentally affect the character of the Conservation Area and amenity of the Cator Estate
  • will detrimentally affect the character and amenity of the Cator Estate by virtue of the height and scale of certain buildings on the north boundary (being some 3-3.5 storeys) and the western boundary (3-5 storeys)

Don’t forget, the wonderful thing about our planning laws is that the developers only have to win once. See Foxtons, for example.

More details in their newsletter (PDF).

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Filed under blackheath, planning

Blackheath Standard Time

Completely London by Flickr user Garry Knight
This photo of an estate agency in Blackheath is brilliant. And how often do you get to say that?

The new Foxtons, which is replacing the army centre, (see here and here previously), will have a hard time living up to that… Especially given that 135 people didn’t think it was appropriate to build another bloody estate agents in Blackheath – from the council’s planning page:
Foxtons planning permission on the Greenwich planning site
Incidentally, I emailed the council asking them why they approved it, given that it was 135 against and 1 in facour. They replied, informing me that they had approved it. So I asked why again. Still waiting for a definitive answer. Planning laws seems so opaque in this country.

Clocks photo by Garry Knight on Flickr.

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Filed under blackheath

Pagoda Planning Proposals – Garden Grabbing?

UPDATE: Image removed due to rights issues – originally from this PDF file.

The current owners of the awesomely beautiful, and historically fascinating Pagoda in Blackheath have put in a planning request to Lewisham Council, to turn part of their back garden into an “eco-house”. The full details are here, and the documents submitted are here.

I highly recommend a look through the plans. Whatever your opinion on the site, it is a well put together document, full of historical photos and paintings of the Pagoda, the area around, and a spectacular Tithe Map from 1762:

UPDATE: Image removed due to rights issues. Original can be found here.

It could be argued that this is an example of garden grabbing, dressed up with a fig-leaf of eco green-washing. The primary definition of an eco-house in my mind is one that reduces dependency on resources, such as fuel, electricity and water, through innovative uses of alternative technologies, such as heat pumps, solar panels, wind farms etc. From what I can understand of the plans, this appears to be a retirement flat with some turf on the roof.

From the planning documents:

Although The Pagoda was originally designed as pavilion for taking tea, entertaining and enjoying the distant views it was later extended and adapted into a house over a period. It was listed when a house and it will continue to be so. The viability of this in social and economic terms is not compromised by this application.

The planning document includes a letter from John Payne Estate Agents, confirming that in their opinion, the remaining garden attached to the Pagoda would still be “sufficient” for a house of that size. (Page 17 of 25).

The proposal also quotes Blackheath Historian Neil Rhind (who was not referring to the specific plans for the Pagoda’s garden), when justifying the addition of a new architectural style to the area (page 11 of 25):

‘…it is not just the architectural set-pieces, listed buildings or formal uniform terraces that set Blackheath’s overall character. It is the juxtaposition of these with a rich and varied mixture of buildings of different periods; unexpected corners, strange historic survivals, and stylish new additions – all these give Blackheath its distinctive and pleasing character.’

I wonder if Mr Rhind feels like a film critic misquoted on a movie poster! The Blackheath Society felt that they could not endorse the plans (page 17 of 25):

The wooden pergola running the length of the pond, erected by the present owners, combine to provide a most attractive outlook from the house and undoubtedly enhance its current setting. In our view, their loss would be detrimental to that setting. If the current plans were to be approved, the long pergola (which we accept is modern and in need of restoration) would be lost, while the 1920s pergola would be taken out of the Pagoda garden and become a prominent feature outside the main living room of the new building.

We accept that the essential character of the Pagoda’s setting is a walled garden and that your proposals seek to retain that character. Nevertheless, the proposed new building would be very close indeed to the principal garden elevation of the house and would occupy more than half the present garden area: its very high wall would result in the Pagoda finding itself in a heavily reduced setting. A slightly smaller footprint of the new structure, moved slightly further South, and retaining the pergola, would change this significantly.

Lewisham’s Conservation Area Policy specifically mentions safeguarding larger gardens of listed buildings: the planning authorities will need to be persuaded that the planting proposed in the scheme, on the boundary wall and for the roof element, will result in a permanently acceptable replacement for the lost planting and greenery.

Taking all the above into account, and with considerable sympathy for your proposals, as matters stand the consensus of the committee is that we should not support the scheme in its present form.

Following this, the plans were modified to move the boundary wall slightly to the south.

The proposals were originally submitted back in February. The planning department have not yet reached a verdict.

(The images shown above are from the planning documents, which are publicly held by Lewisham Council. I will take them down if they are subject to copyright).

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Filed under blackheath, history, maps, planning