The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

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syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 5 May 2018 06:46

stuart wrote:
JRW wrote:If somebody can paste the images, I'd be incredibly grateful.
There you go:

Image

Image
Blimey the original plan looks really nice, I cannot believe they think they’ve got away with that hideous mess. They’ve started on the extension I wonder if they’ll just put a bouncy castle in there?

I’ll contact Cllr Best too

Larky
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by Larky » 5 May 2018 12:28

Think I am missing something.

The top picture is Phase 1 and completed.

The bottom picture is Phase 1 and Phase 2. The building to the left in the second (drawing) photo is Phase 2 has not been built yet.

What am I missing? Phase 1 does not look much different than the drawing.

syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 5 May 2018 13:41

Larky wrote:Think I am missing something.

The top picture is Phase 1 and completed.

The bottom picture is Phase 1 and Phase 2. The building to the left in the second (drawing) photo is Phase 2 has not been built yet.

What am I missing? Phase 1 does not look much different than the drawing.
It looks cheap and nasty. If you can’t see that I can’t help you

Larky
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by Larky » 5 May 2018 14:09

Oh, I thought we were meant to be polite to each other on here !

Pally
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by Pally » 5 May 2018 19:32

syd wrote:
Larky wrote:Think I am missing something.

The top picture is Phase 1 and completed.

The bottom picture is Phase 1 and Phase 2. The building to the left in the second (drawing) photo is Phase 2 has not been built yet.

What am I missing? Phase 1 does not look much different than the drawing.
It looks cheap and nasty. If you can’t see that I can’t help you[/quote

I also think that Phase 1 does not look much different to the drawing .....the fact that it "looks cheap and nasty" is not the point (if one thinks it does! If tyhe drawing is the originbal submitted plan and agreed plan then I'm not sure I understand what the changes from the original mentioned earlier in this thread are supposed to be!

JRW
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by JRW » 5 May 2018 20:56

Do look at the building, before judging it ok. A photo cannot convey the vast size, the shinyness, and how it overwhelms the neighborhood. What looks ok in a photo is appalling at full size. When compared to the drawings, the monstrosity is clearly much larger than the approved plans, and surely planning law needs to apply to everybody.

prince
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by prince » 6 May 2018 06:12

I am completely with Julia here.

At a quick glance you might think the completed building looks the same but the devils in the detail.

The roof line of the main block is different making the completed building now seem too bulky. The small brick built part had roof lights and a green roof now there is none. The windows were originally recessed and floor to ceiling, however they are now flush to the building and are ugly cheap pvc. It had an attractive fence and hedge, now it’s just ugly blue railings. Worst of all is the dreadful cladding that is more akin to a retail shed than to a school were children are supposed to grow.

What was once quite an attractive building now looks quite frankly ugly and cheap. They know exactly what they have done. That is why they put an application in to change the materials, which was refused by the local planning authority.

I understand that this has been referred to planning enforcement. However I fear little action will be taken because of political sensitivities in the fact that it is a school.

I am saddened to hear that Julia seems to have no support from others including those who are supposed to champion conservation and planning.

syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 6 May 2018 08:36

prince wrote:conservation
prince wrote:I am completely with Julia here.

At a quick glance you might think the completed building looks the same but the devils in the detail.

The roof line of the main block is different making the completed building now seem too bulky. The small brick built part had roof lights and a green roof now there is none. The windows were originally recessed and floor to ceiling, however they are now flush to the building and are ugly cheap pvc. It had an attractive fence and hedge, now it’s just ugly blue railings. Worst of all is the dreadful cladding that is more akin to a retail shed than to a school were children are supposed to grow.

What was once quite an attractive building now looks quite frankly ugly and cheap. They know exactly what they have done. That is why they put an application in to change the materials, which was refused by the local planning authority.

I understand that this has been referred to planning enforcement. However I fear little action will be taken because of political sensitivities in the fact that it is a school.

I am saddened to hear that Julia seems to have no support from others including those who are supposed to champion conservation and planning.
Is that the Sydenham society?

TredownMan
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by TredownMan » 6 May 2018 08:52

I’m not sure about the allegations of illegality or some of the rhetoric used here.

But nonetheless I’m unhappy with this development, precisely because I’m unhappy with the conservation agenda.

Too often it seems to me that too often good, contemporary architecture in high quality materials that would really improve the look of an area and bring houses gets rejected in many London suburbs due to a view that conservation means imitation — building everything in a toytown Victorian pastiche at two storeys. A sort of dinky Prince Charles view of what good architecture means.

The original plans seem to be a positive step away from that - as was Zanara Court - and lewisham seem quite enthusiastic for getting architecture right. But clearly if people are to give new design at higher density the thumbs up then it has to look like what is says on the tin. Clearly this building is not what the architects intended - the roof is wrong, the windows are wrong and the cladding is wrong. The precedents of exiting buildings they highlighted in part 4 of the design and access statement show clearly they intended a concrete composite cladding and deep recessed single-pane aluminium windows.

In short: people need confidence that what they sign up for is what they get, and id hate this to mean people are more cautious about approving good new stuff that should be a breath of fresh air to lower Syd.

JRW
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by JRW » 6 May 2018 12:06

I can totally appreciate that my wording may worry people. I say what I do not as an expert, but as someone who has read all the documents, and been astonished how many times warnings from Planning have been ignored with impunity. I believe that the law has been broken, and am saying it publicly, because I am getting no information from Lewisham.

I have, since the development was announced, done all the right things, despite the flouting of the rules on notifying neighbours. A design was passed, which was a Trojan horse, and immediately substituted for an inferior box, so I am determined to draw attention to what has happened.

Please do make your feelings known even if you don't approve of my style. Personally, I am simply not going to let this go until serious action is taken, and I can have faith in the planning system. I can't shrug it off, as I see it constantly, every time I look out of the window.

I agree that the real tragedy of this is that it makes people lose faith in the planning system, and object to any development for fear of what may actually be delivered.

mosy
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by mosy » 6 May 2018 12:57

JRW: May I ask: What do you see as the best outcome to be achieved? Is it recognition so that planning disregard won't happen in future, or something more tangible like somehow now amending the existing roof and/or cladding?

Just out of interest, Zanara Court's original plans showed cladding on the Syd. Rd frontage which seemingly was rejected in favour of bricks, presumably acceptable ones at that as samples were presented. I thus wonder why shiny cladding was approved for the Neri building, assuming the material was indeed approved since both structures were considered roughly within the same time frame which assumes identical policy framework would apply.

Mind you, the flats with absolutely no architectural merit behind The Greyhound were approved, so maybe a coin toss decides yes or no.

syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 6 May 2018 13:28

JRW wrote:I can totally appreciate that my wording may worry people. I say what I do not as an expert, but as someone who has read all the documents, and been astonished how many times warnings from Planning have been ignored with impunity. I believe that the law has been broken, and am saying it publicly, because I am getting no information from Lewisham.

I have, since the development was announced, done all the right things, despite the flouting of the rules on notifying neighbours. A design was passed, which was a Trojan horse, and immediately substituted for an inferior box, so I am determined to draw attention to what has happened.

Please do make your feelings known even if you don't approve of my style. Personally, I am simply not going to let this go until serious action is taken, and I can have faith in the planning system. I can't shrug it off, as I see it constantly, every time I look out of the window.

I agree that the real tragedy of this is that it makes people lose faith in the planning system, and object to any development for fear of what may actually be delivered.
Hi Julia,

I with you on this.

I started this thread as I was shocked that it passed planning. The extension is being built now and I expect it to look exactly like the plan and I expect the monstrosity to have a make over so it reflects the original plan.

Nothing else will do.

syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 6 May 2018 13:30

mosy wrote:JRW: May I ask: What do you see as the best outcome to be achieved? Is it recognition so that planning disregard won't happen in future, or something more tangible like somehow now amending the existing roof and/or cladding?

Just out of interest, Zanara Court's original plans showed cladding on the Syd. Rd frontage which seemingly was rejected in favour of bricks, presumably acceptable ones at that as samples were presented. I thus wonder why shiny cladding was approved for the Neri building, assuming the material was indeed approved since both structures were considered roughly within the same time frame which assumes identical policy framework would apply.

Mind you, the flats with absolutely no architectural merit behind The Greyhound were approved, so maybe a coin toss decides yes or no.
Shall we not do whataboutery and focus on the subject?

mosy
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by mosy » 6 May 2018 13:46

syd wrote:
mosy wrote:...[clip]...
Shall we not do whataboutery and focus on the subject?
I think it's relevant and you said you were shocked it received planning approval, so a valid question as to why cladding was approved if it was since it was rejected for a building up the road (goose and gander) bearing in mind someone suggested earlier that Lower Sydenham seemed to be treated less favourably even though the same rules should apply. By all means dismiss this info if you think it irrelevant.

syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 6 May 2018 13:55

mosy wrote:
syd wrote:
mosy wrote:...[clip]...
Shall we not do whataboutery and focus on the subject?
I think it's relevant and you said you were shocked it received planning approval, so a valid question as to why cladding was approved if it was since it was rejected for a building up the road (goose and gander) bearing in mind someone suggested earlier that Lower Sydenham seemed to be treated less favourably even though the same rules should apply. By all means dismiss this info if you think it irrelevant.
Ok let’s agree to disagree and focus on how the monstrosity will be improved. Do you have any suggestions?

JRW
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by JRW » 6 May 2018 14:41

To be honest, it is too early for me to make suggestions about improvements, although I certainly could make some! First, we need to hear from Lewisham on their next steps in the matter.

This is not going to be a quick fix, and I believe that we should both focus attention on the planning failures, AND press for an upgrade of the current structure's design and quality.
The best way of delivering this, is by sanctions against the school for its failure to obey planning law. As the school claims to educate in the moral focus of the church, it is difficult to understand why they find it so difficult to see that the law also applies to them.

I hope Lewisham will respond soon, as otherwise, there is a lot of explaining to do. Is there, for example, any private deal relating to the large parcel of land on Mayow Road (the infant school) which will be freed up for development?

mosy
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by mosy » 6 May 2018 17:23

syd wrote:...

Ok let’s agree to disagree and focus on how the monstrosity will be improved. Do you have any suggestions?
What exactly are the planning breaches Syd as you seem to be on top of this? You and JRW have studied the drawings, yes, but to me they're unavailable so I'm going on what's being said here.

I honestly don't know how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear given it's already been built, but if there have been planning breaches then the immediate plan as JRW says is to get them acknowledged and see what remedial enforcement might be possible. If the result is "no action" (file and forget), or a monetary fine, then improving the building presumably is not on the cards, other than maybe trompe l'oeil "forest" painting if someone would or could be made to pay other than council tax payers.

Pally
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by Pally » 6 May 2018 18:07

Thanks for pointing out aspects of the detail!

TBH I'm not overall enamoured with even the original drawing ...the design does not either reflect or complement the surrounding buildings ...and the cladding certainly doesn't! I have seen many better new school buildings.

syd
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by syd » 7 May 2018 09:01

mosy wrote:
syd wrote:...

Ok let’s agree to disagree and focus on how the monstrosity will be improved. Do you have any suggestions?
What exactly are the planning breaches Syd as you seem to be on top of this? You and JRW have studied the drawings, yes, but to me they're unavailable so I'm going on what's being said here.

I honestly don't know how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear given it's already been built, but if there have been planning breaches then the immediate plan as JRW says is to get them acknowledged and see what remedial enforcement might be possible. If the result is "no action" (file and forget), or a monetary fine, then improving the building presumably is not on the cards, other than maybe trompe l'oeil "forest" painting if someone would or could be made to pay other than council tax payers.
The main problem is the cladding. Shiny plastic is always cheap and nasty and its in complete contrast to the surrounding area. It should have looked more like the flats opposite.

Is there anyone from the Sydenham Society who would like to comment?

JRW
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Re: The Monstrosity - ie St Philp Neri school building

Post by JRW » 7 May 2018 10:02

If anyone is interested, we could meet up at the building to chat. It is much easier to grasp the situation that way, as much of the issues are of scale, & photos are rubbish for that.

I am up for a meeting at 6.30 tomorrow evening, so please come along then. I will see if a councillor is available if a few people are definitely coming.

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