EYESORE FLATS SET TO GET GO-AHEAD
“An undistinguished block of flats of little architectural merit” is set to get the go-ahead from a Croydon council planning committee tomorrow night (Thursday).
The disparaging comment comes from Phillip Goddard, chairman of the Norwood Society’s planning sub-committee in a strongly-worded letter of objection to proposals for the flats, which would be built on the junction of Beulah Hill and Harold Road, Upper Norwood.
The Society’s objection is one of 66 made to Croydon council – with NO letters of support. The applicant is Brick by Brick, the private company set up and 100 per cent owned by Croydon council.
Mr Goddard says:
The proposed seven storey block of flats at the corner of Harold Road is excessive by reason of its size, height and massing and does not respect the height and proportion of surrounding buildings which play an important role in determining the character of the street. It is therefore contrary to Policy UD 3 of the Local Plan.
The Design and Access Statement refers to the above mentioned building as “a landmark corner block… strengthening the junction and the relationship between Beulah Spa and the proposal” and as “a strong keynote building” (D&A Statement 4.).
“This is mere empty verbiage to describe an undistinguished block of flats of little architectural merit which overwhelms the junction in question and damages the setting of the listed Decimus Burton lodge to Beulah Spa on the opposite side of the road.
“Situated as it is at the top of a rise in Harold Road, the new block though not itself within the Harold Road Conservation Area will be highly visible from the said conservation area and will consequently detract significantly from its character and appearance.
“The proposed new block does not respect the existing building line along Beulah Hill, but projects forward of it in a very unsatisfactory manner.
“The proposal envisages the demolition of 51 existing garages and their replacement by 35 new parking spaces, a net loss of 16 spaces. To this must be added the requirements of the residents in the proposed 29 new flats and houses, giving a total loss of around 45 spaces. This is not acceptable in an area with a low PTAL such as this one.
“Contrary to the policies of Croydon council, the proposed new development has no provision at all for affordable housing.
“In the case of the houses there appear to issues relating to overshadowing, loss of light and loss of privacy to adjacent occupiers. The design and access statement itself admits that “some transgressions are noted regarding daylight and overshadowing of surrounding buildings” (D &A Statement 4.3)
“The new houses are to be built not only on the site of the existing garages but in part on open green space, presently in use as amenity land for the benefit of the occupiers of adjoining properties and as a play space for their children. This will be lost.
“The very small area of the present open space to be retained as play space is wholly inadequate to serve the needs of both existing and future occupants of the enlarged estate. The calculation in the design and access Statement (6.2) that there will be no more than eight children living in Ravensdale Gardens and Rushden Close when the development is completed appears to be a gross underestimate.” Yours faithfully, Philip Goddard, chairman, planning sub-committee.
A report to the committee says that other objections raised were: 6.3 Out of keeping with area and Harold Road Conservation Area; Seven storey block too high and out of scale; Other properties in area generally three storey; Loss of visual amenity; Does not respect existing building line on Beulah Hill; Adverse impact on designated panoramas and local views; Overdevelopment and overcrowding; Tivoli Lodge is a Grade II Listed building directly opposite – will have a detrimental impact on the setting of the listed building and locally listed 39 Beulah Hill;
Loss of light to adjacent properties; Loss of privacy to adjacent properties; Overbearing and dominating; Additional noise and disturbance; Noise and disturbance during construction; New occupiers will be completely overlooked by existing properties; Drainage system unable to cope with extra pressure; Loss of green space and trees; Adverse impact on wildlife; Loss of children’s play areas; New play space outside six houses which will adversely affect the new residents; Opportunity to improve landscape on the corner of Beulah Hill/ Harold Road;
Beulah Hill/ Harold Road junction accident blackspot and very congested; Extra traffic will exacerbate existing problems; Access too close to Beulah Hill; Seven storey block limit highway visibility; Additional traffic will cause air pollution; Inadequate parking will exacerbate existing parking problems; Need more parking not less; Parking in Ravensdale Gardens is already at capacity; Parking stress survey doesn’t reference Ellery Road; Detrimental for access for existing disabled residents; Construction traffic unsafe for children; Swept path analysis drawings do not consider parked cars; Car club bay should be provided, there is not one in the area and it would benefit the development and the existing local residents;
Inhibit local access for emergency vehicles, refuse vehicles and local bus routes; Existing infrastructure already strained e.g. schools, doctors, public transport; The need locally is not for one bedroom properties; None of the units will be affordable and it is not acceptable to provide them in an alternative location; Excavation could affect stability of existing properties; Sink holes have been found; Community consultation was worthless. Only notified residents within 50m of the site and didn’t listen to their concerns.
The planning application No. 16/06374/FUL Land Adjacent to the South of 2 Harold Road and Land Adjacent to Ravensdale Gardens, SE19 is being debated Thursday 11th May 2017
6:30pm The Council Chamber, The Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX