Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2018.

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JRW
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JRW » 5 Jul 2018 07:29

The point is, that even if you loathe the gasholders and want them gone, permitting demolition up front means you lose any negotiating power over the quality of its replacement.

Personally, I love them and want them to be imaginatively redeveloped, but whatever side you are on, we all want Bell Green improved. No gasholders = no argument for quality design on the site.

stuart
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by stuart » 5 Jul 2018 08:49

That can only work if the plan to demolish is dependent on planning consent for construction.

Are they?

If not and demolition is halted as SydSoc would wish. SGN and us are left with an expensive folly and a lost amenity.

Stuart

TredownMan
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by TredownMan » 5 Jul 2018 09:52

Campaigners need to choose between:

a) The site must be left untouched because of peregrine falcons who cannot be disturbed (disproven by the expert study, but never mind).

or

b) The site can be redeveloped with something else, when they decide the plans meet their liking.

Both can't be true.

Tim Lund
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by Tim Lund » 5 Jul 2018 15:32

I think the Bell Green peregrine may have struck

Image

We definitely need some tall buildings around, with perches and nesting spaces as recommended by Greenspace Information for Greater London here

Advice note for conservation organisations, local authorities and developers

#forPeopleAndPeregrines!

(Sorry about the state of by broad beans - it's the drought, you know!)

mosy
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by mosy » 5 Jul 2018 19:13

TredownMan wrote:Campaigners need to choose between: ...etc...
I thought the campaign choice at this point is to demolish or not irrespective of what purpose might be agreed for the land in either future case.

In planning decision terms, it surely can't be possible to give a conditional demolition permit (aside from "cleaning" any toxins), e.g. "but only if you replace it with something good as yet unspecified".

Or am I not keeping up at the back?

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JGD » 6 Jul 2018 07:15

mosy wrote:
In planning decision terms, it surely can't be possible to give a conditional demolition permit (aside from "cleaning" any toxins), e.g. "but only if you replace it with something good as yet unspecified".

Or am I not keeping up at the back?
I think the people at the back are keeping up fine.

At least one august body in our midst has lost its way, a little at least. It is suggesting that it has received advice that modern construction techniques mean that housing can be erected on-site and that this will not disturb the soil and therefore eliminate the need for remediation and clean up works. Leaving the inevitable toxins and pollutants in the soil.

At what additional cost ? Is there evidence that these are tried and tested techniques ?

And what does it say to future occupants who will want to raise children on a site that has been the equivalent of an industrial midden.

To receive professional advice is not unreasonable. To propose that advice in a formal response without scrutiny and the application of a measure of objectivity and some principle will be seen by reasonable people as being errant nonsense and being nothing better than hyperbole.

TredownMan
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by TredownMan » 6 Jul 2018 14:56

What saddens is not that any organisation takes a stance - a perfect entitlement - but a pattern here, and at the school, at Hill Crest of rather tooth and nail tactics, and the use of partial or downright misleading information.

nicknack
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by nicknack » 8 Jul 2018 18:59

If you are interested in preserving these unique heritage assets, which also provide habitat to a protected species of birdlife, please get your objections in now to planning@lewisham.gov.uk the deadline is tomorrow!

JRW
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JRW » 8 Jul 2018 21:20

The current plans also involve developing on most of the land belonging to the Livesey Hall, making its future as any kind of community asset very uncertain. SGN needs to clarify its intentions regarding the Hall, given that they own it outright. There is more at stake here than the gasholders.

mosy
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by mosy » 9 Jul 2018 00:43

Aren't SGN just trying to get rid of the whole kit and kaboodle by demolishing the holder frames and selling the land, hoping any future toxic issues won't come back to bite them? Or is the plan that SGN keeps its land as head leaseholder to whomever else wants to build on it and retains any future toxicity issue claims? If the land does need detoxifying, doesn't it whether the holders are demolished or retained? so retaining ignores that problem (if it is a problem)?

Either way, I'm still not clear how the land's future affects the question on the table, i.e. whether or not to permit demolition. I'm not convinced there's anything unique about them as I noticed at least three between here and the Blackwall tunnel. Are some Sydenhamites hoping ours will be the last ones standing (bar the already converted ones like Kings Cross?

Re Livesey Hall land, does the council or even the Home Sec actually have any powers to stop a company selling land it owns (assuming uncontaminated)? In the current climate of using every scrap of available land for housing "loss to the community" seems a long way down the list, or the council wouldn't be repurposing existing community centres for housing. Thus, how could it, or why would it, fly in the face of government policy by trying to protect Livesey land against housing?

Yours,
Confused of Tunbridge Wells

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JGD » 9 Jul 2018 08:15

Dear Confused of Turnbridge Wells.

Perhaps I can help.
JRW wrote:The current plans also involve developing on most of the land belonging to the Livesey Hall, making its future as any kind of community asset very uncertain. SGN needs to clarify its intentions regarding the Hall, given that they own it outright. There is more at stake here than the gasholders.
This is not particularly accurate.

Beyond the current Prior Notice, there is no development proposal to hand. The authority has rejected them all.

The Livesey Hall and its Perimeter Wall and the War Memorial are Grade II listed and their existence and continued presence has never been threatened at any stage of the wider site proposals. This issue was falsely alluded to in the local press and seems to stubbornly re-emerge from time-to-time.

It currently houses what seems to be a thriving Social Club, is comfortably furnished and which also does a lot of large scale funerary business. The scale of this part of its business is what contributes to the need for dedicated off-street parking for use by the hall's patrons.

Lewisham's own planners acknowledged, during the consultation phase for the now rejected Kier's proposal, that the poor condition of the waste-land features of the ground on which the gas-holders are located are of significant detriment of the setting of the Grade II listed Livesey Hall and its environs.

We cannot know what SGN plan for the site at this time. Outright sale, let the land be developed but retain ownership or anything in between - that is for the future.

However in all cases SGN will be obliged to ensure that the ground is remediated and all toxins and pollutants are removed. The have this obligation in absolute terms and will not expose their business to the risk of pollutants remaining in the ground.

The planning authority can only consider the method, not the merit, of demolition. The government has in effect made it a permitted development provided a prior notification process is undertaken.

The council then must make a decision within 28 days and as this is not a standard planning application and government has set very clear parameters, including a default in favour of permission at the end of the 28 days should a decision not be made..

It is a Planning Officer decision and not one on which Councillors will vote.

An Article 4 as proposed by the Victorian Society has no grounds and no merit.

And if I haven't made my position clear, it is time for these eyesores to be removed.

Larky
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by Larky » 9 Jul 2018 08:50

JRW - seems to get facts wrong all the time and twist them

nicknack
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by nicknack » 9 Jul 2018 10:35

It's the gasholders that give the historical and visual context and setting to Livesey Hall. Without them it's significance is reduced and it becomes isolated, a relic amidst retail sheds, car parks and dual carriageways.

michael
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by michael » 9 Jul 2018 10:43

JGD wrote:Beyond the current Prior Notice, there is no development proposal to hand. The authority has rejected them all.
There has been an appeal lodged against the council's refusal of the Aldi store so, in addition to the new application for demolition alone, there is a live proposal for the Aldi store. You can review the Aldi store proposal at https://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online ... CAPR_88583 and see the appeal was lodged on 19th June 2018 at https://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online ... PEAL_30868

There are no plans to demolish or directly alter The Livesey Hall and its Perimeter Wall and the War Memorial (all of which are listed). However, should the application for demolition and the appeal succeed, the surroundings will change from gas holders to low rise retail warehouses.

Historic England say of Article 4 directives:
Government has issued guidance on when and how to make an article 4 direction. It says that local authorities should consider making article 4 directions only in those exceptional circumstances where the exercise of permitted development rights would harm local amenity, the historic environment or the proper planning of the area.
It seems reasonable to consider such an approach for this site. That's not to say it should be protected, but it certainly has some grounds and merit.
The council will need to decide just how much merit - for a structure that is local listed and has historic interest according to Historic England, when they refused to provide national listed status.

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JGD » 9 Jul 2018 10:46

nicknack wrote:
........ and dual carriageways.

Have not seen any dual carriageways - existing or proposed.

And as I have said before the visual amenity debate can go on unresolved interminably.

It's my view - and I respect yours too - is that the Livesey Hall , its perimeter wall and War Memorial present themselves perfectly well without the presence of the gasometers.

I have posted a compromise paper that proposed the retention of a small portion of the gasometers - and SGN's agents have acknowledged this possibility in their Prior Notice. Frankly it was received modestly over two forums with no strong sense or body of opinion emerging where people were for or against the compromise.

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JGD » 9 Jul 2018 11:02

Michael

You must either have an inside line or possess more diligence than me in searching the planning portal for the lodging of an appeal.

I genuinely did not spot it.

If it were to succeed the original plans had the surroundings alter to one low rise retail warehouse, one block of offices and two food based outlets. It had provision for dedicated off-street parking for Livesey Hall patrons.

As I am certain you would already know, I cannot agree with your interpretation on the application of an Article 4 and as I have stated earlier.
JGD wrote:
There are no such exceptional circumstances where the authority should consider making an Article 4.

The demolition proposal does NOT harm local amenity, the historic environment or the proper planning of the area and in fact, demolition and remediation work DOES enhance the proper planning of the area.
And once more, for this Prior Notice, Planning Officers must only consider the methods of demolition and not its merit. And it defaults to an approval if the council does not make a decision within 28 days.

JRW
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JRW » 9 Jul 2018 12:02

The Livesey Hall is owned outright by SGN, according to the Land Registry documents. There has been no actual club for the last 4 years apparently, although a new one is about to open in one part of the building. I can find no information online about charitable or business registration for the previous club. The Livesey is being treated as a company asset, and I expect they intend to sell the building for a commercial use.

Slicing away at all the Livesey's outside space will mean that any attempt to run it as a community asset would be hard to make viable. The bowling green garden has been left to go wild after the church tenants left. The club did not lease it, so couldn't be expected to tackle it, and the neglect began after the last failed planning application. Funny that.
Last edited by JRW on 9 Jul 2018 15:32, edited 1 time in total.

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JGD » 9 Jul 2018 12:20

JRW - I would not dispute SGN's ownership - particularly if you have visibility of the Land Registry documents.

You may have further insight as to who or what has the tenancy and has the necessary licence from the local authority.

But on a week-on-week basis there is significant volume of business being conducted there.

I attended a neighbour's birthday party there around two weeks ago. I was impressed as to how well it was appointed and the decor was in excellent order. The bar was fully stocked and was run in a very business-like fashion.

So some significant distance between your view and what can be seen happening on the site. This does not mean of course that the existing business may be conducting it on a pro-tem basis - but the excellent condition of the interior of the establishment would suggest not.

I am not sure I understand your point about the bowling green and associated premise.

JRW
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by JRW » 9 Jul 2018 13:03

Try looking for the club online. No official website or social media, just some Facebook accounts set up by service providers - wedding planners, party planners and disc jockeys offering to put on events there. I can find no company or charity whose name includes the words Livesey or Tudor Memorial Hall. I'm not saying there is no legitimate company or charity, just that is rather unclear if or what it is.

I believe they have been hiring it out commercially via agents, but there has been no social remit delivered in the last four years. The 4 year vacancy info vame from the people at the new club, due to open shortly in part of the building.

If the club was properly reconstituted, with new members allowed, the bowling green state would be an invaluable asset. As a garden, a play area, a tea garden, a site for occasional wedding marquees, it could bring in revenue to support and preserve the listed building. Turn it over to a tarmac carpark, and it would loom dismally over the hall.

It is clear from the site levels that the bowling green was built up, presumably with clean soil to avoid underlying contamination. SGN want to tarmac it, and make Hall a new garden on the other, noisier side, lower and more likely to be contaminated soil. Go figure.

nicknack
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Re: Bell Green Gas Holders - Proposal to Demolish in April 2

Post by nicknack » 9 Jul 2018 14:57

JGD wrote:Have not seen any dual carriageways - existing or proposed.
2 or more lanes of traffic going in the same direction in Bell Green, Perry Hill and bottom of Sydenham Rd? In front of the Bell pub there are seven lanes of traffic. Whether it technically counts a dual carriageway I'm not certain, there is a central reservation for a few hundred yards but it's certainly a pedestrian nightmare to cross, as is Stanton Way with its four lanes all racing along in one direction.
Last edited by nicknack on 9 Jul 2018 15:09, edited 1 time in total.

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