Leah, with respect to your previous post, no one is debating the need for housing in London particularly for social care. I am sure everyone on this forum feels the same. The good news is that Lewisham do have 100’s of 1000’s of sq. feet allocated for housing development, which is listed publicly in their Site Allocation lists which forms part of the council’s strategic plan for the borough across many unused brownfield sites. But this isn’t about who the 4 flats will be for, this is about where they want to build it – on a local green amenity space in a densely populated area that is listed as already being ‘deficient in open space.’ This green space is used by the local community - in particular families who live in the social housing flats approx. 150m away – who have no gardens - so bring their dogs to exercise here. Children play here and the local community even held an event on this green for the Jo Cox memorial Great Get Together. If you walk past in the daytime in fair weather you’ll even see people sat here from the Malham business estate eating their lunch. While I appreciate you might not be directly affected by this, many people will be, and the loss will have a great impact on local residents. If there were no other land options for this development – fair enough. But there are many options to build on identified unused land in this area. However, there are no options for local people to find more green amenity space.
It’s far too small a space to exercise dogs on. I’ve never seen anyone on it when I’ve gone past. I think saying it will have a ‘great’ impact is an exaggeration. I’ve had a look online at brownfield sites and there is nothing like this that I can see & certainly nothing in SE23. I think providing housing for vulnerable people is more important than maintaining a patch of grass.
Also, it seems locals are more upset that it’s not going to be a faux-Victorian house than anything else.
Leah, I am sure the couple in the social housing flats who own a lovely black staffie and the older lady with a cute white toy breed would disagree with you. The space is 280sqms more than enough space for a dog to have a roam and sniff about particularly when you have no garden. There aren’t exactly many options in close proximity for local people without a car, not enough time or suitable fitness to walk to Blythe Hill Fields or Mayow Park.
I am very surprised you couldn’t find details of Lewisham’s Site Allocations list online. It’s very easy to find on their website. It details no less than 70 sites which have been allocated for 3670-3710 homes. Attaching the link here for your perusal.
You might also want to read this in conjunction with Lewisham’s Core Strategy and their Local Development Plan also to be found on their website. Happy to send you the links if you can’t find them.
Two things. Firstly I have looked through this quickly. Of the minority of sites allocated to housing (rather than business or mixed use, which are automatically ruled out) none are suitable for a single purpose built unit comprising four flats.
Secondly, while I’m a huge fan of dogs, and own one myself, I’m afraid I still think the right of vulnerable, disabled human beings to the dignity of a home tops the rights of dogs to sniff around. I can’t quite believe this is being raised as an equivalent need.
So Leah just to be clear, it’s far too small a site to exercise dogs on, but plenty big enough for FOUR flats to be built on? That seems a little unlikely.
Not one complaint on this thread has been about the building of social housing. The complaints have been (i) the site is not large enough to squeeze four homes on, (ii) the site is a green area which is used by the local community, (iii) the design of the new building is not in keeping with the existing terraced housing, (iv) the access to the site by the machinery needed to build it will cause considerable disruption and/or be dangerous to local residents, and (v) the consultation process to date was bordering on non-existent and feels underhand and deliberately deceptive.
I’m assuming you don’t live in the immediate area and so won’t be directly affected by any of these issues. I think those who will be are entitled to express concerns that have nothing to do with the intended purpose of the flats. No one is disputing that there is a need for social housing.
You can see the plans for the flats. And yes, they are on top of each other, which dogs aren’t. It’s not a dog exercise area. A terraced house is not suitable to provide homes for four people living independently. I expect the residents will survive, even if they think dogs are more important than people. I’m so disappointed by these nimbyist attitudes. I’ll leave you to it, but I have emailed the housing association to express my approval of the plan.
To be fair, taking a snapshot at one moment in the day may not be representative.
I personally don’t understand the objection about the disruption caused by building works as that is a finite problem. And as a dog owner, I’d say that piece of land is of limited value to dogs themselves, as it’s not really suitable for full off-leash excercise. A dog will enjoy a sniff around walking along a street more than mooching around a square of grass.
Perhaps we can put aside the use by dogs and look again at how it is currently used by the wider community. Maybe at weekends and on summer evenings, to be more representative?
(With my mod hat on, can we keep comments to debating the various opinions expressed and try not to use language that suggests disparaging people for having said opinions?)
Yes it’s pathetic. If you oppose some sort of social housing or disabled housing development you must hate disabled people!
At the end of the day, you could build social housing on every single piece of green space and on every park in London and it still wouldn’t be enough. Our current social housing model in London is not sustainable. You can only push the people who actually pay their taxes and rates so far before they’ve had enough. Of course they are entitled to object.
Look at Davids Rd. Someone approved God knows how many 1 bed flats in the old gym. Crammed them in there. Now the residents have to live with 10 bins sitting on the street all day because the developer didn’t create enough space for bin storage.
So residents are quite entitled to question the density of the development and anything else they feel like.
I think both sides make good points in this debate. There was obviously a house here once and now it is only used by dogs, wildlife, and children in an area of poor levels of green space (not that this little patch makes up for a lack of local park). This point is actually about the furthest from a local park in SE23 (0.8 miles on foot to Horniman, Blythe Hill, or Mayow).
If this site is to be built on then why not also build across part of the entrance to Rojack Road, allowing for walking/cycle access only?
And the drawing does suggest that the rear garden would be rather small. While there are minimum guidelines for size of outside amenity space for families, no such requirements are needed for autistic adults (although it is generally recommended by other organisations)
Building on this small patch of publicly accessible green space will help preserve local car parks in the immediate vicinity which could otherwise be under threat from development.
There are loads of other sites in SE23 owned by Housing Associations that could easily fit a few flats with suitable amenity space, rather than trying to squeeze them into this spot. Fortunately we have a planning process that will look at the merits of the application when more details are provided. But it is worth considering the merits of this specific development rather than making it a general competition between dogs and people with autism. And it is worth consider which sites could be best to develop in a variety of ways, rather than assuming nothing can be changed from the street planning devised by Nazi bombing (I assume that’s why the house is missing).
What a lovely ‘green space’ - laughable. Build the flats that are clearly needed.
I have literally never seen anyone on this patch of grass. It’s ridiculous. And it’s not me saying that disabled people can’t have a home because someone’s toy poodle likes to wee on it.
I’ve looked through the link to Lewisham sites and there’s not a single site like this. The top image shows the car park for the dialysis centre. I hardly think that could be built over! Everyone keeps saying there are other spaces which belong to the council without being able to identify a single one.
A small garden is not really a problem.It’s a space to be outside, not to play football - this is providing homes for adults, not kids. It’s amazing to me to people say ‘oh yes, desperately need new housing’ yet when housing is planned it’s always the wrong place for someone. I’d be extremely happy if this was happening in my road.
I get that living in Rojack road is very nice. It’s closed off at the end so is practically a private road. It’s all being gentrified fast - loft conversions & plantation shutters everywhere! - so house prices going up. But you know, tough.
General debates about gentrification belong in Politicos
Let’s keep things constructive and civil here, and allow everyone to have their say.
Lastly, I looked there this morning, at lunchtime and at 5pm. Not a soul. This is clearly not a well-used park. It’s an unused patch of scrub that nevertheless has the power to transform people’s lives.
Although not entirely relevant, but open space is often more useful as drainage to prevent subsidence and flooding. Although, as most of the properties around there have gardens, this may not be a concern.
Planning application is online
The application is still open. I’ve added an objection:
- This is a precious remaining open green space that is an amenity to local residents, in particular, residents of social housing, approx 150m away who do not have gardens
- The design is out of keeping with local architecture
- Construction of the flats will cause major traffic issues on small one-way street that is used by primary school pupils
- Open space is vital for drainage to prevent subsidence and flooding
- No notification from Lewisham Council or the developer was given to any members of our local community that the Public Notice was available for viewing and response.
Many residents contacted the developer and the Council for more information whilst the consultation period was open, none were directed to it.