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Would you welcome a block of flats similar to the picture on the left? This is the same developer's recent completion at Grange Road Bermondsey, and the provisional plans for Tulse Hill look remarkably similar.
NAG and Forum are currently in negotiation with both the developer and Lambeth Planning for a building that is pleasing and distinctive. Whilst there will never be unanimity over good design, so far everyone is unanimous that the photo illustrates naff design.
We want a quality building at this 'gateway site' to Tulse Hill and West Norwood that thousands pass every day. We want to lift the area, not condemn it! The existing surrounding architecture is varied and interesting, and with renovation (such is about to happen at The Tulse Hill Hotel) this centre can achieve new vitality.
There is to be a public showing of the plans at the Salvation Army Hall on Tuesday 1st July at 5.30 to 8.30pm. The developers have declined to have a collective forum but will be present with the architect to answer questions and hear feedback. We are hoping by then that there will be alternative design themes that can be voted on.
Don't miss this opportunity! Bring control of our neighbourhood closer to the people who care!
Plans will be posted as they become available.
Update - 2nd July 2014: Yesterday evening, representatives of Primedene plc and the architects Alan Camp showed some 'visualisations' of their current plans. They stressed that these would not necessarily go forward as a planning application. They said they were gathering local response for them to take into consideration and discuss with council planning officers at a further pre-application meeting (there has already been one or more).
Such meetings are available to commercial developers for a fee and are not open to other parties or the public. However, NAG feels that too much can become established at these meetings which is then difficult to influence in the later formal progress of the application through the statutory process.
As a consequence, NAG and Forum have made two joint written submissions to the planning officers expressing neighbourhood concerns. Hopefully this will provide a better balance at the pre-application meeting.
These concerns are of key factors and principles, and do not address the plans in detail as they may well change.
Click on left for the developer's June Design & Access Statement; also NAG's subsequent July submission to planning officers.
Update – 30th August 2014: The planning application 14/04151/FUL is now with Lambeth Planning along with supporting documentation. Interestingly, the developer’s latest Design & Access Statement reports the public consultation on the 1st of July in an understated way and then ignores it! The latest plan has not been altered in any significant way and is still overbearing and grim. Page 16 of the new D&A Statement (click here) shows everything you need to know about height and bulk. The full application can be viewed via this link.
It is understood that some close residents view anything half-way reasonable to replace the run-down tyre depot / car sales pitch is to be welcomed and may prevent years more of misuse and dereliction. NAG believes that the wider picture has to be considered as it sets the tone for decades to come for all residents as well as creating more pressure on unresponsive local services. For instance, the primary school place deficit continues to widen.
However, there will be a NAG public meeting shortly when this will be on the agenda for discussion, following which we can make a formal response to Lambeth’s Planning Department. Notice of meeting soon.
Update - 15th September 2014: Norwood Action Group and Norwood Forum have agreed a joint objection which has been submitted to Lambeth's planning team. You can read the full text via the link on the left. We recommend you take a look at the developer's Design & Access Statement too. If you personally wish to support or object to the application you can do so on-line. The more comments the better.
Update - 12th March 2015: Planning officers under delegated powers refused permission stating multiple objections. Will developers go to appeal, or submit revised or new plans? This again demonstrates the importance of public objections. Officers do pay greater attention when they know people care, and are less inclined to give latitude on policy.