Planning request Devonshire Road

Today we received the following planning request from Lewisham Council.

DC/20/118644 123 Devonshire Road

I’m strongly against this planning request. We really don’t need a tall tower on a prominent part of Devonshire Road. This will bring the building to 5 storeys. It’s completely against the conservation of the area and is just too high for our road! The construction works will cause absolute mayhem for a long time and particularly affect those working from home.

The works are planned for 40+ weeks. The logistics plan shows lorries using Honor Oak Road, Devonshire Road, Benson Road and Ewelme Road as the route for the large lorries. This will completely disrupt residents on this road with the 114 trips they’ve advised will happen.

I’m calling on any of my fellow SE23er’s to assist with objecting against this proposal if you live within the area.

Deadline for responding closes 6th November

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I dont know how to link or merge threads, but I posted a link to the plans here.

@HillLife maybe @Clausy could help you in his role as Chair of the FH Society.

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Thank you very much @marymck

This has landed on the desk of the FHSoc Planning committee and they’ll be writing to council about it too. It doesn’t hurt for more people to do so as well. I don’t have any more info about it than anyone else though!

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Thank you @clausy this development directly affects me. I am looking into involving a professional consultant to object. Does anybody have any experience of this or criticisms/recommendations from past experience?

It looks like there is quite a planning history on this block, including a successful Appeal. But the documents weren’t available for viewing when I tried this morning and I don’t know the site personally.

Has a site notice been displayed? If not, I’d suggest writing to Georgia.Mcbirney@lewisham.gov.uk (she’s the Case Officer) with a cc to planning@lewisham.gov.uk asking her to ensure a site notice is displayed. Officially you have 21 days to object (ie calendar days, not working days) from the display of the site notice, an ad in the local press or receipt of the letter informing you of the application, whichever is the latter. It also can’t hurt to tell Georgia now that you are objecting and that your full grounds for objection will follow.

Under new Council rules you need 10 objections to guarantee going before a Planning Committee unless the Case Officer is minded to refuse under powers delegated to her. A Councillor can also ask for a full Planning Committee hearing, in which case you don’t have to get as many as 10 objectors. So I’d suggest letting your Councillors know your concerns.

A petition only counts as one objection by the way.

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Thanks Mary. That’s very helpful. When you say 10 objections is that 10 individuals objecting or 10 reasons for objecting?

We covered the changes here before, and yes, it is 10 individuals - unfortunately :frowning: But if you get 5 objections, or one from an amenity society (e.g. FHSoc) the Committee chair will consider it for going to the committee. See prior discussion (with @marymck) here: Changes to Planning Permission Consultation

If you are going to hire someone for their opinion, I would strongly consider getting them to work with an amenity society so that the objection has as much weight as possible.

I would also advise contacting you ward councillors to raise your concerns too.

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Thanks for the advice. Does anybody have any contacts for the ward councillors?

Sorry I’ve never really dealt with this kind of issue before and it’s filling me with absolute dread.

Your link to discussion also explains why these b****rds have chosen now to apply for permission!!

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The councillors are listed here: https://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx

@LeoGibbons sometimes posts on this forum, so may look in if we are lucky. Do remember to include your address if you contact them as they only typically respond to folks in their ward and generally are pretty busy people with lots of responsibilities.

And FHSoc, well @Clausy is the chairperson so should be able to advise :slight_smile:

Don’t be filled with dread if possible though and stay positive :crossed_fingers:

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When a new building was being proposed in my road the planning officer told me that he would not allow the new building to be higher than the existing buildings.

That’s very interesting to know, thank you!

Hi, regarding involving Forest Hill Society issues, a small disclaimer in that this is my private account, all views are my own etc. etc. Please don’t message me directly as things should go through the appropriate channels.

If you’d like to contact the society about anything them please drop us an email to email@foresthillsociety.com - it will come to me and a couple of other exec team members and we will connect you with the right committee - thanks :slight_smile:

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The contact details for the councillors for each ward are on the council website. Devonshire Road is in Forest Hill ward:

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Sorry to put a damper on things, but this building has existing planning permission for two storeys to be added (but with smaller top storey than the new application proposes).

Application DC/17/104524 was made in 2017. Lewisham rejected it but the applicant appealed and won.

The applicant has 3 years from the date of the appeal decision (Feb 2019) to start work.

As permission has already been granted, I think your only argument against the new application would be the size of the top storey.

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The Appeal Decision letter is here (if this works):

Appeal Decision 123 Devonshire Road DC_17_104524–769369.pdf (108.9 KB)

The Inspector did say:

the set back of the top floor would help to reduce its overall massing and general bulk, even with a small overhang of the roof

I haven’t looked at the plans for either application (sorry I’ve not had time) but it’s worth checking if it’s still “set back”. Also the original application was for five flats; the new application is for six flats. So presumably the flats are smaller or the extension is larger. I think it’s worth @HillLife checking should any space standards have been compromised. Worthwhile looking into the Conditions that were imposed also. If the new application goes against those Conditions, I think @HillLife could raise that issue also.

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Looking at the plans from @blushingsnail’s link above it seems like there are only original drawings from 2017 - nothing new was submitted - the top floor does appear to be set back. I’m going to wander over and have a look. I found it on Google Streetview:

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The new plans are now available to download for viewing.

The top floor is no longer set back. Maybe that has helped them squeeze in an additional flat? Although they do admit some accommodation is smaller than the minimum standard, they say the Planning Inspectorate accepted that in principle.

I find it disturbing that they were granted approval of the Conditions in the last application as late as August this year, when they clearly had plans to submit this new application.

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How on earth did it go from being rejected to being approved prior to new plans submitted? Surely a lot of residents would have objected to this development.

Whilst the refurbishment of the exterior and interior is encouraged the additional storeys will be absolutely disruptive to residents and the traffic in the area. The recent pavement renovation works are proof of this. They approved reversal of several flat bed lorries into narrow residential roads! The development looks like it will be an absolute eye-sore we don’t need a tower on Devonshire Road!

Which moron at the council thought this development would be great for the area?

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The Council refused the original application. The developer (Mrs Helen Dennis) then appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, who upheld her appeal. So Lewisham did refuse, but the Planning Inspector overruled them. I posted a pdf of the Planning Inspector’s letter for ease of reference earlier in this thread. All the documents are viewable on Lewisham’s website, including the Conditions that were only recently signed off on for the original application.

The current application - the six apartment version - is still live and open for comment. It’s only the 5 apartment version that has planning permission.