Agenda item

22/05360/FUL Land to the rear of 15-35 Birchanger Road, South Norwood, SE25


Ward: Woodside

Recommendation: Grant permission


Demolition of existing structures and buildings. Erection of 9 mews houses with associated landscaping, refuse storage and cycle parking.


Ward: Woodside


The officer presented details of the planning application and in response to members’ questions explained that:


·       The proposed building would have charred timber cladding, this would not provide any scope for staining as the cladding was blackened and the material of the cladding was quite fire resistant as the timber had already been charred.

·       The developer had been asked to provide officers with a management plan for the maintenance of the communal areas, this plan would include details about who was responsible for the upkeep of these areas and whether there was a service charge to included.

·       The communal gardens and the food growing beds went over and above the policy requirement, residents could decide whether they wanted to use these areas for food growing or for another purpose such as flower beds for example. 

·       If the maintenance plan was not complied with then officer would be able to investigate and take appropriate enforcement action.

·       The site was considered a scattered employment site as it was not part of a cluster of industrial uses or part of a town centre. The site was not protected by policy, to deal with the impact of the use of the site the applicant submitted a contamination report to officers.

·       The first-floor bedroom window would be obscured to avoid the issue of overlooking, residents would have an additional window and access to a balcony, but the angle of the balcony would not lead to overlooking on neighbours. On the first floor, the rear of the property had oriel windows which faced sideways to prevent residents from having a direct view on neighbouring properties.

·       Whilst the proposed play space was a policy requirement, the communal gardens were not a requirement for housing developments.

·       As the properties on the site were over 30m from the waste collection point, officers asked the developer to create a waste collection plan.

·       There was no access to the site for vehicles due to the narrow access road. The local plan had provision for car clubs, but this would require financial contributions.

·       There was a construction logistics plan condition, the developer had submitted an indicative construction logistics plan to officers prior to commencement of construction.

Tony Hinnigan spoke in objection to the application, Max Plotnek spoke in support of the application and the ward Member Councillor Mike Bonnello addressed the Committee with his view on the application.


After the speakers had finished, the committee began the deliberation, during which they raised the following points:


·       The site’s existing use was a marginal employment site and it was still unclear on whether there had been any issues for residents with the current employment use.

·       The site had a tight access road and there was no provision for car parking and so a car club may need to be introduced to address this potential issue.

·       There would be a challenge with waste collection, but members were satisfied that the plan would mitigate these issues.

·       The site was right for development but there was concern about the modern design, lack of parking provision and loss of employment on the site. There was also concern that there were too many units on the site and that the separation distance between properties was lower than expected but members believed that proper maintenance of the landscaping would help to minimise the issue.

·       The application was considered policy compliant.

·       The approach to biodiversity at the proposed development was appreciated.

·       There were concerns that these were family homes and there could be an impact outside of the controlled parking zone (CPZ) area as there was no on-site parking.

·       Overlooking was a concern but it depended on how the landscaping were managed.

·       The introduction of a physical barrier (bollards) for the access road would prevent people from parking on the road and blocking the path.

·       The lack of parking on site would enable extra space for landscaping.

·       It was proposed that officers introduce a condition for the balconies to consist of obscure glass to protect residents’ privacy.

·       Members proposed adding the requirement for a crime safety strategy on the site.

The substantive motion to GRANT the application based on the officer’s recommendation in addition to the following conditions: the use of obscure glass for the balconies; the introduction of bollards at the entrance of the access road and the introduction of a crime safety strategy was proposed by Councillor Parker. This was seconded by Councillor Kabir. Subject to the additional conditions.


The motion to grant the application was taken to a vote and carried with nine Members voting in favour and one Member abstained their vote.


Committee RESOLVED to GRANT the application for the development at the Land to the rear of 15 -35 Birchanger Road, South Norwood, SE25


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