62 Sunderland Road / Gaynesford Road housing development



Looks hideous. Is there a particular reason this isn’t a conservation area? Looks like a well preserved street.


To me it looks like a 60’s design gone wrong with thoughts of - lets just cover it up with greenery type of approach.

I might be very wrong though as I’m not up on architecture.


I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. I like the combination of what looks to be wood shingling combined with terraced greenery. Though architects efforts to incorporate green spaces often don’t work out.

Frankly, I don’t see why new buildings need to match old architecture. Yes, the Christmas Houses are quaint, but they are by no means representative of a fundamental shift in architectural style. While materials used may have been good, these homes are notorious bad performers and hardly deliver a good indoor environment for occupants. We should embrace the new as much as we cherish the old. Its not as if they are tearing down the neighbourhood.

Bravo I say.


At least height-wise it doesn’t tower over the existing buildings. The buildings covered by greenery and roof-lawns etc is interesting, but I imagine it will need a lot of maintenance otherwise it will be a mess and deteriorate quickly. No gardens per se, a couple of terraces, but I think in the coming decades new developments will have fewer gardens. Even new build houses that look similar to existing stock (e.g. round back of Honor Oak Park / Grierson Rd / Ballina St) have tiny gardens. Which is probably inevitable given property shortage


Simple answer is that the residents don’t want it. If there was a desire for it to be a conservation area I’m sure that it would be possible to persuade Lewisham that it should be a conservation area, but Lewisham do not have the resources to pro-actively create conservation areas, so we would need to write the character assessment for them (not a particularly difficult piece of work). But I have no intension of pushing ahead with a conservation area here if that is not what residents desire.

But since it isn’t a conservation area, there is little protection for existing buildings, and people are relatively free to do what they want to their properties.

Two aspects that look particularly bad from the drawings:

  1. Ground floor windows with vertical railings less than a metre in front. Perfect for prisoner storage.
  2. Round the corner windows which appear to face directly onto the pavement, ensuring that everybody can see what is going on, or curtains closed throughout the day.

It looks like poorly designed over-development of the site.


“Frankly, I don’t see why new buildings need to match old architecture.”

I agree and certainly don’t think there should be some ersatz copy of the Christmas houses, which would look awful (and ersatz copies are all too common in this country and to some extent in this area). But this proposal in particular looks nasty, over bulky with dreary facades, not relating at all well to the street. I’m not sure what the style is supposed to be but it looks all too reminiscent of some of the bricky rubbish that was built around London in the 1980s.


Awful. Stick a child in front of some basic design software and ask them to come up with a space age house and they would come up with something as good as that. No symmetry with random sized windows dotted here and there. Looks like a 70s new town municipal library. If I lived in that road I’d be objecting strongly.


In terms of “in character with the local area”, the houses on both Gaynesford Road and Sunderland Road have a wide diversity of architecture.




Planning application: DC/16/099620


Looking at the pictures of the proposed building with all the odd angles etc, it reminds me of a “stealth” bomber or navy ship, designed so that it won’t show up on radar. Can’t help wondering who will be keeping the ivy and the grass roofs nice and trimmed; the happy residents?


There is nothing sadder than a dead ‘living wall’


From the application:

Through our site strategy sketches we strongly feel that the existing building does not form a strong relationship with the site, street scene and wider context.


In our earlier building description we highlight that the existing building
on the development site is not in keeping with the heritage assets of the
surrounding Christmas houses. The existing building forms a loose end to
the north side of Gaynesford Road, rather than creating a strong building
line and built environment to a the corner plot situation.

Instead the proposed building strongly references the existing building
context, creating a strong edge to Gaynesford Road and Sunderland Road.
The contemporary design draws upon references to its context, whilst
presenting a new building with a strong connection to the Gaynesford
Road and Sunderland Road sense of space.

I disagree with both of these statements. Does anybody feel there is any truth to them?


I am not sure how the existing building could form a stronger relationship with the site, street scene and wider context. The photo from street view in 62 Sunderland Road / Gaynesford Road housing development makes this very clear.

I don’t see how the new building makes any reference to the existing build context - I see no similarities of colour, structure or anything else.


The current building doesn’t look great from Gaynesford Road aspect, but perfectly fine from the Sunderland Road side. It used to be bordered by a magnificent hedge which provided a green foil for the street corner. That was ripped out. Requests to Lewisham to continue the line of rowan and birch trees that run along Gaynesford Rd were ignored. I’m not anti new-build or denser much needed housing, but the proposed development just looks c**p.


Technically I believe the building would be defined as Fugly!


Instead the proposed building strongly references the existing building
context, creating a strong edge to Gaynesford Road and Sunderland Road.
The contemporary design draws upon references to its context, whilst
presenting a new building with a strong connection to the Gaynesford
Road and Sunderland Road sense of space.

I have read the above statement several times and cannot decide if the writer has tongue firmly in cheek or is a script writer for Kim Jong Un…let’s be honest it’s the largest density/profit model with token green, bike storage etc to satisfy the planners, surprised there is no mention of rain water storage or solar panels. I know I am just an old cynic🤔


Hopefully it wont get built. When buildings have been demolished on Church Rise they have been replaced by something with an almost identical frontage, though I dont know whether this was the good sense of the developer or a planning requirement. But the proposed building has plenty of planning reasons for not going forward, it doesnt use materials appropriate to its context, projects forward of the other properties either side on Sunderland Road, doesnt provide adequate parking, and must be an overdevelopment of the space as it fills most of the plot.

I have snipped a picture from google maps which illustrates the uniformity of the street. If you want to object the closing date is Wednesday 1 February so not much time left.


It does not affect me directly, it is an ill conceived design and whilst trying to copy the existing housing stock is not to be recommended the artists impression adds nothing to the street scene.
Objections are difficult because they have ticked a lot of boxes green roof bike storage etc. My experience with planners in the past suggests the only way to challenge would be by another architect who can produce a report using the double speak that planners understand. The site as it stands does not impinge on neighbouring houses save the incongruity.
So unless a petition from all residents can be raised and the local mp engaged I am afraid it will be built as part of LBC 500 homes target.


Just come across this site/thread. The planning application is DC/16/099620 and the deadline is supposedly 1st Feb.
It was snuck in on 23rd Dec when no-one was looking and even immediate neighbours were not formally notified apart from a much belated notice on a nearby tree.!
Nevertheless, feel free to send comments late as I can’t see it not having to be put to Planning Committee at a much later date…
The pitchforks are coming out locally over this one…!
Just want to nail the thought that residents weren’t in favour of a Conservation Area for the Christmas Houses. It was surveyed and was being prepared for consultation back in 2014 but it never actually happened, presumably due to the budget/staffing cuts. Most residents I know are certainly in favour, and its a shame that this isn’t already the case. Most of the other Christmas houses locally are protected in some way and the Perry Vale/Gaynesford/Sunderland houses were certainly his ‘signature’ development.
If anyone is unsure why they are special to our heritage, please feel free to ask.