Proposed Development on Duncombe Hill Green - Planning Refusal Being Appealed [Dismissed]

Continuing the discussion from Refused: Proposed Development on Duncombe Hill Green [2020]:

The saga continues, unfortunately, and this precious green space on Brockley Rise / Duncombe Hill is once again under threat. Today, the developer has lodged an appeal against the planning refusal: (click “search for a case - current service”)

@matt_l, I’m aware you kindly contributed to the legal effort last time. Are you willing/able to get involved in this appeal process?


Note the “Make Representation” link allows you to add a comment as an interested party. Looks like comments close on 21st September.

For reference, the application being appealed (DC/19/111251) had 131 comments posted and all were objections.


Also of interest is that the original descision notice was published on 24th January 2020 and includes the following direction under the “Appeals to Secretary of State”:

Seems like it should have missed the boat for appealing already, but perhaps C19 can be an excuse for anything these days? :frowning:


Comments added!


Appeal statement (PDF):

Appeals documents:

I see from the appeals documents that the appeal form was electronically submitted on 20th July, so 4 days before the 6 month window elapsed :frowning:

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They must not win this!!


I’ve been waiting for a decision on this appeal, which is marked on the planning portal with “Event Date w/c 22 Oct 2020”, but so far no updates.

However, there are sad and worrying reports that the grass inside the fence has gone all brown and died, while the grass outside the fenced area is still green and healthy. The suspicion is that weed killer or salt may have been used to damage the land :frowning:

Apparently the council are going to inspect, but if anyone knows anything about this, it would be worth contacting Lewisham or the Crofton Park Ward Councilors:

Particularly Cllr Anwar spoke at the original planning committee hearing in opposition of the development, so will be well aware of this case.

I really hope the trees aren’t also damaged by what looks like a deliberately spiteful act from out-of-town property developers looking to make a quick profit - though I must point out there is no evidence that this is the case.


Appeal dismissed!



Because the Inspectorate website is so slow and frequently falls over, here is a copy of the report:

Appeal Decision 3256304.pdf (145.7 KB)

I’m pretty sure it was already established that the hoarding doesn’t have planning permission. I really hope Lewisham can move towards enforcement both to get the hoarding down, and require proper maintenance of the area as noted above.


What is the process - and what timescale are we talking about?

I’m not sure. The previous ones definitely didn’t, but the current ones I guess can count as a fence, which I think you can just put up. They’ve reduced them on the sides where the roads are to 1M to comply with that obligation so I would hazard I guess they’d be allowed now, as hideous as they look.

The grass also appears to be have been treated with something inside the ‘fence’, though again nothing illegal with that as far as I am aware. Distasteful and uneccesary again, and pesticides, assuming that is what was used, not good for the environment as we know.

The trees are protected I believe, however they wouldn’t be the first developer to just cut them down or otherwise kill them, that would be my greatest concern at the moment.


Hi @AnotherJohn - I think there is some info here:

I guess the problem is that we have a malevolent out-of-town property developer determined to turn some profit from this little bit of land, and there’s little to currently stop them trying to change the plans until something is finally accepted (in fact the appeal refusal from the Planning Inspectorate noted that further adjusted plans had been submitted with the appeal, but those were irrelevant to the appeal process which instead looks at the decision made by Lewisham on the basis of the application as it stood at that point in time).

So it seems something needs to be done to try and safe-guard that once grassy triangle, and neighbourhood planning maybe a tool to do that.


There was previously an enforcement notice to remove the hoarding - it is linked in this post: Proposed Development on Duncombe Hill Green [2018-2019]

Reading the enforcement notice, I do not think that simply lowering the corner complies with the council’s instruction as they ask for the whole thing to be removed, along with any debris. There was apparently an appeal on the enforcement notice, but I struggle to find any reference to it at present.

I would hope Lewisham move toward enforcement if there is no ongoing appeal for that enforcement.

If the poison (could be herbicide or salt) affects the trees - which are protected by Tree Preservation Orders - it could invite a fine.

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Thank you - and I agree that this developer isn’t finished yet.


Very true, but they did remove it all so I don’t know how it then stands if they put a ‘new’ fence up which probably complies?

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From the previous enforcement notice, the reasons were well beyond just visibility at the corner:


It’s an interesting point though - if you comply with the instruction and then undo it later, I would like to think that there must be some consequence, otherwise what’s the point of an enforcement notice if it can so easily be side stepped in cases such as this?

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I’m surprised that any of the illegal hoardings are still standing. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much for some vandals to knock them down.

Does anybody have any concerns about different ways that this illegal hoarding could be removed by irate neighbours - you know the sort of thing: sawing supporting posts, removing nails - can anybody else think of other ways the hoardings might not stand up to attack from angry mobs?

And does anybody have any particular times that they are concerned about people theoretically meeting up, tooled up for such abhorrent activities?


I don’t know. I suspect they could say they have complied and then put up after a period of time more suitable fences. I think the point above still stands about the appearance, but you can now see the ‘dead’ grass and trees so might be harder to argue the fact, and I suspect the council have other priorities right now. They might also argue the writing on them was not done by them etc - I’m purely speculating but suspect they would have a stronger case now as it doesn’t dominate as much - still hideous but they could maybe be asked to paint them over…anyway I’ll stop my uninformed ramblings…

I have wondered if these might fall over at some point, but I think if they did so in high winds for example, they would potentially cause a risk to people walking past if not secured appropriately.

I still struggle to understand their behaviour. Whilst I am sure there would have been opposition to the development scheme, acting in the way they did by boarding it up galvanised resistance to the plans far more than simply submitting an application would have. Bizarre behaviour and / or some very bad advice.

The one (and possibly only) positive to the death of the grass will be that come spring seed could accidentally fall or be blown in by the wind into the area and you could have the possibility of meadow flowers or other similar schemes which would look amazing. I might wander past on a windy day next year if the ground is still relatively bare.