Pally wrote:I am so confused now about the options frankly ..Aldi; flats; some sort of play something or other; museum; car park; ....?? I favour affordable flats!
To the best of my understanding...
As others have explained, SGN has secured confirmation that prior approval is not required for demolition of the two existing gasholders and ancillary buildings (London Borough of Lewisham ref DC/18/107607) and that the method of demolition is acceptable, subject to compliance with four conditions (set out above in a post by JGD).
Separately, a planning application (London Borough of Lewisham ref DC/17/100680) for redevelopment of the site was refused by London Borough of Lewisham's Planning Committee C (though planning officers had recommended that permission be granted).
The planning application was for:The removal of existing gasholders and associated equipment and redevelopment of land to the east of Perry Hill, SE6 to provide:
- 1,855 sq m (A1 Use Class) Food Store and 100 car parking spaces, and cycle stores
- 168 sq m (Use Class A1) Coffee Shop & 325 sq m (Use Class A3) Restaurant, fronting Alan Pegg Place, including outdoor seating and cycle stores
- 1,104 sq m (B8 Use Class with ancillary offices) Depot for Southern Gas Networks consisting of a two-storey building and service yard, together with associated car parking and cycle stores
- Boundary treatment, and hard/ soft landscaping works including the provision of a new garden area
The decision to refuse the application was subsequently appealed (London Borough of Lewisham ref W/18/3203617). An independent Planning Inspector will consider the appeal.
As far as I am aware, the applicant/appellant has no other proposals on the table, other than a suggestion in the submission documents for the prior approval that it might 'salvage ... some material from the gasholders'.
So, the short answer to your question
is that, in my view at least, the only 'option' on the table at present which has any prospect of being delivered is the appeal scheme, though that is subject to the Planning Inspector allowing the appeal.
Others on this forum have suggested other options which would include housing, but:
- There is, as far as I am aware, no obligation in current planning policy to provide housing on the site
- Officers accepted the applicant's case that, as the case officer put it in his report (see para 6.70 of http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/ ... Report.pdf
), a residential scheme 'would be unfeasible due to the location of the existing underground bentonite wall, which contains contaminated groundwater emanating from the former gasworks use'. The officer continues: 'Consequently, no development can be built within a prescribed distance of the wall, thereby negating a viable residential scheme.' Presumably, members of Planning Committee C also accepted that case, though I draw that conclusion solely on the basis of the absence of any reference to this issue in the minutes of the meeting at which the planning application was considered (see http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/ ... inutes.pdf
(For the sake of completeness, the full set of documents presented to Planning Committee C is at http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/ ... 5&MId=4776
By the way, the application was refused on the following grounds:
1. The siting of the proposed development and associated car-parking would result in the unacceptable loss of existing ancillary green open space to the north of Livesey Hall, which would serve to have an adverse and unsympathetic impact upon the historic character, prominence and setting of the Grade II Listed building, War Memorial and front boundary wall...
2.The application, by reason of additional traffic and congestion generated by the retail units would impact detrimentally upon the surrounding gyratory and local residential streets...
3. The provision of the proposed additional A1 floorspace within the wider Bell Green retail park would exceed the prescribed maximum retail limit of 16,110sq.m as set out in the Core Strategy (2011), thereby harming the retail character and viability of adjacent shopping centres...
4. The application fails to demonstrate sufficiently that traffic and vehicular movement associated with the proposed development would not increase levels of air pollution within the area and would therefore have an unacceptable impact upon amenity...
Those are the issues on which the Planning Inspector appointed to consider the appeal will almost certainly focus.
To deal briefly with a few other points:
JGD wrote:[O]ur esteemed councillors have now decreed that affordable social housing is key for this site. Despite not having brought forward a proposer/developer or the required funding for this. And having permitted officers to consult on an entirely different type of development for over a year. What a waste of valuable council resources.
Are you referring to local ward councillors? If so, they do not have the power to 'decree' the use of the site. Moreover, they cannot prevent officers from considering a planning application because they think it's a 'waste of valuable council resources' or another 'option' is better; all valid planning applications must be properly considered. In addition, bear in mind that the applicant will have paid a fee with the planning application which will, at least in part, cover the council's costs.
JGD wrote:The Aldi, SGN Offices, Restaurant and Cafe proposal is now at appeal stage - who can forecast what direction this will take. If it fails will SGN instruct their agents to appeal to a higher body ?
We cannot, of course, second guess what conclusion the Inspector who considers the appeal will reach, but if the appeal is dismissed, the scope for SGN to appeal to a 'higher body' would be very limited. Judicial review would be the only option, and the decision could only be challenged on the grounds that the decision was unlawful. The planning merits of the decision cannot be challenged.
JRW wrote:If you want an extension, Planning is very strict; if you are a big company with lawyers inhouse, you can ignore it completely.
That's not borne out by evidence on the ground. To take a local example, look at the Greyhound: unlawfully demolished by a 'big company' with the funds to appoint a decent lawyer, and yet now rebuilt following enforcement action by London Borough of Lewisham.
JRW wrote:By the way, SGN own the Livesey Hall outright, with no commitment to community access. Once they have developed the bowling green, what is to stop them selling it privately, maybe to become a nightclub?
The idea that Livesey Hall might become a nightclub is, in my view, idle speculation. A change of use would require planning permission which, I strongly suspect, would not be forthcoming. Moreover, there are, so far as I am aware, no plans for any such change of use.