Heron House - offices / hotel / flats?



I submitted a comment as well, there was a button at the bottom to get an email receipt which I got. Not being a twitter user I found it hard to put forward an argument in 1,000 characters including spaces.

I would advise anybody who lives locally to comment, the developers are effectively selling the flats with the promise of parking outside your house. They have done a parking assessment at 1am and 2am in the morning and found unsurprisingly they could find a space. They haven’t checked during the day when local residents can’t park. The occupants of these one bed flats are likely to use public transport and park their cars on your street, think about 16 cars suddenly permanently parked on your street from Sunday night to Friday night.

Yes, it is a public highway but local residents are entitled to comment and try to stop their streets becoming a free car park for developers who could provide parking if they didn’t want to make more money.


It’s a positive outlook, but as @MajaHilton has pointed out, these units will be below minimum space standards and are therefore unlikely to be rented by the type of young professional couples that you wish to see thronging round the town centre.

Similarly I suspect that parking is hardly going to be the problem for these units. They are very close a transport hub, and single people living in rented accommodation are the least likely to have or need a car.

I can’t see anything to stop this being approved and getting some poor quality accommodation in the town centre. Don’t be surprised if the main use of these units is for temporary accommodation for single homeless people placed there by our council (or other London councils), rather than using more expensive B&B accommodation.

Rather than young couples commuting, I suspect the residents are more likely to spend their day in one of the designated spots for homeless and vulnerable people in the town centre; the underpass, outside Sainsburys, beside each cash point, and enjoying the al fresco drinking in the revamped town squares.


O-M-G !!!


Does anyone have a line into the Landlords to try to find out what their intentions are?


To those unfamiliar with Miriam Lodge, this topic on the old forum may shed some light on the history and opinions here.

There’s a political element to this discussion so I’ve created a topic for it in our “Politicos” category.

:information_source: All - if you’d like to join our lively political discussions on SE23.life, please join our “Politicos” group.

Advance warning - any replies here of a political nature will be moved to the discussion in Politicos.


Just a quick one.

Although the proposed units are apparently below recommended spacial standards, I understand that they far-exceed the minimum standards for HMO or hostel-type self-contained units. For that reason and, as I know for a fact that the flats as drawn in the plans will be very attractive to young professional renters and buyers alike, I remain hopeful that those are not the type of units we’ll get here (he says with everything crossed!).


There have been cases in which office blocks have been converted wholesale to residential under permitted development then acquired by PRS investors, who like the ability to own/manage the whole block as 100% private rental. These investors generally do target the young professional market and sometimes offer longer contracts than the standard 6 month assured shorthold tenancy.


I really hope this will NOT be similar to Miriam Lodge slap bang in the middle of D Rd!


Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the units on the ground floor as shops (or even better an indoor market) rather than office space as the development on the other side of the Rd (I think it’s 53 D Rd) will have office units on the ground floor with residential flats above.

I think this would be much more beneficial to the town centre :slight_smile:


I got the impression from the proposal documents that the ground floor was to remain as a Job Center Plus.


I think they’d also need to submit a full planning application to facilitate a change of use outside of permitted development rights - which they probably don’t want to do as this is much easier.


I think the JCP premises would be A2 (professional services) rather than B1 (offices) so there would be a permitted development right to convert to retail, but I suspect the landlord would prefer the stabler income of a JCP than a possibly transient retail use.

EDIT: it looks like I’m wrong about this, the transport statement suggests the whole building is B1, in which case there is only a temporary permitted development right to switch to retail, for a non renewable two year period. This is intended to encourage pop up type shops in vacant offices so it wouldn’t be suitable here.


Shame these ground floor units probably won’t be shop units.

If they were it would probably increase the footfall for all existing local traders, and give the local residents more choice on the High Street.

BTW thanks for your insight @simonk133


BTW: What is happening with 77 Dartmouth Road. Is the Conservative Association getting a revamp or is there someone else moving in?


I think it’s just a revamp, no changes as far as I know :slightly_frowning_face:


Just incase of any mixups:

What was - Best of Both will now be an accountants office
What was - Kids on the Hill will now be a beauty place

They are very neart the conservative association so could possibly have the same number on D Rd…

Hope that makes sense:-)


Well it was certainly looking very white and bright this afternoon when I was on my way back to the Library for my 2nd shift of the day. :sunglasses:


Okay so here’s the latest I’ve been told about this from staff members at the job centre today.

From them, apparently the job centre will be taking over the whole building as Lewisham job centre will be closing & all staff & job centre clients will now be using this building, and will need all floors too as it will then be the only job centre in the borough & will have 80 staff to house aswell.

@MajaHilton can you check this out with LC please?

Maybe the landlord is keeping his eggs in many baskets for the best deal financially, and you can’t really blame them for doing this. I wish I could get in touch to have a chat about their preferred plans & also suggest shops on the ground floor :slight_smile:


Hi @Pauline

Job centre is part of Department for Work and Pensions so not controlled by the LC.
I see there is one JC in Catford, one in Peckham and one in Woolwich.

Recently in the news there was talk about one in 10 JC closures, so who knows. You may well be right that it may be a speculative application. But in my opinion it is simple greed with no regard to people who may end up living in substandard apartments.

I would have no problem if it was converted into good quality accommodation. One aspect in order to be classed as good is the size of the rooms need to be suitable for human habitation. Another would be not putting dividing walls in the midle of a window. Having some room to store things like a vacuum cleaner or an ironing board. These are very basic requirements.


But are there any reasons that would prevent planning permission being granted? My understanding is that minimum standards don’t apply to conversion of offices to housing.


Hi @Michael

You are right, minimum space standards don’t apply in office conversions, as the government has removed some red tape (those difficult local planning departments) that insist on some minimum standards for all, not just extremely wealthy.

So I can’t even call the decision to be decided by the councillors. My only option is to say that it is wrong in my opinion.

Unfortunately there are enough desperate people who will accept sub standard accommodation as they have no other options. So exploitation of desperate people for extra profit. Shameful.