Planning matters

Stitches and Daughters, 3 Greenwich South St SE10 8NW
Change of use from retail A1 to Estate Agent A2

Although within council policy we regret this change of use on the grounds of loss of diversity as there are already, we believe, five estate agents in the immediate vicinity.

67 Ashburnham place, SE10 8UG
Second floor rear extension and installation of French doors to side elevation

Local list. We have no objection.

75 Lassell St SE10 9PJ
2 storey rear infill extension in conjunction with 73 Lassell St

No objection.

73 Lassell St SE10 9PJ
2 storey rear infill extension

No objection.

12/2114/F & 12/2037/L
37 Park Vista SE10 9LZ
Demolition and reconstruction of 4.5 metres of 3.3 high grade II listed boundary wall fronting Park Vista

We consider that a full justification in the form of a heritage specialised surveyors report is needed. If permission is granted we consider that as a condition the (modern) end pier to the wall should be re-shaped to better conform to the general detailing of the wall.

77 Maze Hill SE10 8XQ
Extensions at ground, first, basement and lower basement levels

We applaud the design but would draw the applicant’s attention to the extremely difficult geology of the site including possible springs. We note that a plan for landscaping and reinstatement is not included in the application.

Land at Stockwell Street and John Humphries House, Greenwich, SE10
Submission of details pursuant to part condition 5 (Hard/Soft Landscaping)

The way through from King William Walk to the library is an important link. As such we consider that the way in from KWW ought to be emphasised by an aedicule (def: a structural framing device that gives importance to its contents) to announce the presence of an important 21st century building.

We consider it important that the York stone paving should be carried through between KWW and Stockwell Street. We note that soft landscaping details are to be submitted later and hope that there will be some planting to soften and screen the wire fence to the railway.

St Mary’s Gate, Greenwich Park, King William Walk
Alterations to gate to improve cycle access

We regret the visual intrusion of the extra bollards and signs and would like to see a full justification/explanation of the need and how it is proposed to manage the various gates (opening and shutting).

We have also looked at the following applications and have no comments on them:

12/1808/F,12/2030/L, 12/2100/F, 12/1907/F, 12/1908/L, 12/2062/F, 12/2065/F, 12/2211/F, 12/2266/L, 12/2267/A

12/1708/F – Plot MO101, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich SE10 – Residential development comprising 198 dwellings, private and communal amenity space, associated car parking and servicing, access and hard and soft landscaping.

The Greenwich Society, whilst generally supportive of this development, does have a number of reservations and concerns over the proposals. The Society, together with the with the Greenwich Conservation Group, had the opportunity to comment on these proposals at a pre-application presentation, at which we expressed the same reservations, and we regret that none of our comments made then appear to have been taken on board. Our comments are as follows:

1.            Tall building and massing:  We note that the height of the tall block is reduced from the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan parameter of 65m (19 storeys) to 52,7m (16 storeys).  And that the massing has been changed so that the tallest block is on the north side of the site rather than the south. Whilst we have no objection to such variations – and approve the proposed change in the massing of the blocks as allowing better sun-light penetration to the amenity open space deck, we do feel that there is need of an overall clearly stated consistent policy approach to the design and development of the individual building blocks on the Greenwich Peninsula in this respect. The Design and Access Statement (p. 12) draws attention to other differences between Masterplan parameters and final schemes – and we have been advised of two other proposals in the pipe-line on the Peninsula (Plots NO205 and NO608) where tall building substantially in excess of the Masterplan height parameters are currently under consideration.  We feel, therefore, in the light of this, that there is a need for a review the Greenwich Peninsula High Buildings policy, and that this should be given urgent consideration.

2.            Family dwellings: We are concerned over the low overall provision of family accommodation – the provision of only 39 units out of an overall total of 198 units = 19.69%, is well below the 35% sought under Policy H15 in the UDP and “a significant proportion” demanded in Policy H2, Housing Mix, of the Greenwich Core Strategy. Whilst the Social Rented and Intermediate units combined (15 family units out of a total of 42 units = 35.72%) meet the 35% target, the Private Open Market sector (the largest sector providing 156 units, 78.78%) in itself only provides 27 family units (7.31%). This plot, so close to the Greenwich Millennium Village and the plot furthest away from the hub of activity around the O2 and the North Greenwich Transport Interchange and close to the local shopping centre of Millennium Village’s Oval Square, is ideally placed for accommodating families, and really should contain, we feel, a higher percentage of family units.

3.            Affordable housing: Again, we are concerned over low provision of ‘affordable housing’ – only 20%, whereas the UDP Policy SD5 says at least 35% and Policy H14 calls for “a significant element of affordable dwellings” – and the Core Strategy states also that this should “be at least 35%”.  We have been given to understand that more family units and larger element of affordable housing cannot be afforded in the current economic climate, if development of this (and other plots?) is to go ahead.  If this is so and to be accepted, assurances need to be given regarding the monitoring and control of provision of affordable and family housing, and how this is to be carried out, to ensure the achievement of the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan objectives/Council and London Plan policy for 35% family and 35% affordable housing provision over the Peninsula area as a whole. There appears at the moment to be a real danger that these targets will not be achieved.  Therefore, as for 1) above, we consider that there is need for a similar urgent review of the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan policies to incorporate a proper monitoring system with regular reviews to ensure that overall the Council’s policies in this respect will indeed be achieved.

4.            Amenity open space: We feel the main area appears rather small in relation to the mass of housing being provided on this site – but it is noted that further amenity open space is being provided on the roof of the 11 storey bock – and we feel that this could with a little further ingenuity, be further extended by use of the roof of the 4-storey block also, in place of the ‘brown roof’ proposed, access to which needs to be provided in any case for maintenance purposes.  But what we would criticise is that of the 49 family dwellings, only 7 have direct access to the amenity open space garden deck, and 7 others with reasonably usable out-door open space (plus a further 5 dwellings with very limited private open space in front).  All the other dwellings at the level of the amenity open space provision are 1 and 2-bed units.

5.            Eleven storey block: The double loaded corridors appear dark, narrow and rather long. The Interim London Housing design guide says: “In building so many over-dense apartment blocks with internal corridors serving small, single aspect dwellings, we have risked creating a damaging legacy for future generations.”  We feel that attention should be paid to this aspect of the design proposals.


12/1413/F & 12/1414/C
24-28 Greenwich High Rd SE10 8LF
Demolition of existing buildings and construction of 4x4 storey terrace houses with basements and associated amenity space, cycle parking and refuse storage

We note the improvement to the elevations. However the previous scheme was strongly opposed (April 2012) on grounds of the need to preserve as much as possible of 19th c. Fabric as well as design objections. These objections still stand.

14 Trinity Grove SE10 8TE
Three storey rear extension

We had no objection to the previous scheme which was refused (also on appeal). We note that compromises have been made to the elevation which in our opinion are not a great improvement and we continue to have no objection.

Zizzi, Greenwich Promenade
7 tables and chairs for outside dining.

We consider that the tables and chairs on this stretch of footway may obstruct the free flow of pedestrian traffic and on this ground we object to the proposal. We are still hoping that there will be a co-ordinated approach to the facilities here.

Plot MO101, Greenwich Peninsula
198 dwellings, private and community open space, car parking, etc.

There will be a separate commentary on this scheme.

Land at junction of Straightsmouth and Roan St SE10
3 Storey block comprising 2 – 2 bed flats over ground floor commercial until.

We have carefully considered the revised design including the perspectives which were not previously supplied to us. We welcome the omission of the roof structure. However we believe that tinkering with the design by adding a half-hearted cornice to half the building and changing the window trims does not lift the quality of the architecture sufficiently for this site which is an important part of the setting of St Alfege Church and we remain opposed to the scheme, though we would like to see a building of architectural merit on the site.

2 – 4 St Alfege Passage SE10 9JS
New third storey.

We opposed this scheme in December 2011. The revisions since the previous submission are minimal, and the comments still stand. However this picture of the rear elevations shows that 3 and 4 St Alfege Passage already have an overbearing presence in the backs of numbers six to ten St Alfege Passage. The parapet is already at the level of the top roof parapet of these houses and to build another storey higher would be completely out of scale. A line of coloured brickwork and even a small set back would do nothing to mitigate this. So on the grounds of inappropriate height and scale and overdevelopment, we oppose this application.

Our comments in December 2011 were, “This is in an extremely congested and sensitive area in the centre of Greenwich. The relationships with the adjoining buildings have not been investigated. There are potential problems of rights of light and overlooking. We believe that consent should not be given for this scheme unless resubmitted with properly detailed drawings showing the relationships with the St Alfege precinct and the buildings all around it, when it would be possible to reconsider.”

We still consider the drawings inadequate to explore the setting.

Greenwich Hotel, Catherine Grove SE10
Internally illuminated roof mounted lettering and 4 internally illuminated fascia signs.

The proposal for internally illuminated signs does go against the policy for the conservation area. However in this situation it is not too offensive. If the Council are minded to approve it, perhaps there could be a condition limiting the hours when the signs can be lit up late at night.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, 45 Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich, SE10 9BL
Installation of externally illuminated fascia and hanging signs and one internally illuminated window display menu.

No objection.

St Christopher’s Inn, 1898 Greenwich High Rd
Change of use of first floor from Theatre to Hostel accommodation

We strongly object to this proposal on the grounds of loss of the Theatre which has been a wonderful community amenity and we would urge enforcement action.

12/1496/L (not 12/1493/L)
61 Hyde Vale SE10 8QQ
Formation of openings at ground floor level, minor alterations at 1st 2nd and 3rd floor levels and minor alterations to rear garden.

No objection

12/1546/A & 12/1545/F
241 Greenwich High Rd SE10 8NB
Externally illuminated fascia sign. Change of use from A1 Retail to A1/A3 cafe including rear extract grille.

No objection

26 Burney St SE10 8EX
Renewal of planning permission for change of use to residential

No objection

Greenwich Post shop
Retention of disability access ramp.

No objection

6a West Grove SE10 8QT
Replacement timber inner door, frame and fanlight and floor tiles.

No objection

48 Royal Hill SE10 8RT
Lantern style roof-light on rear extension and bi—folding doors, dormer window and rooflight on rear outbuilding.

Local List (Group, 44-48 Royal Hill) No objection

The Manor House Cottage, Crooms Hill, SE10 8HG
Conservation type roof-light.

No objection

Davy’s wine shop, 171 Greenwich High Rd
Non illuminated sign on side wall.

No objection

John Roan School, Westcombe Park Rd SE3 7QR
Relocation of electricity substation from approved location.

No objection

5 Point Hill SE10 8QL
Installation of pitched roof to main dwelling.

No objection Local list

16 Greenwich Church St SE10
Temporary change of use of rear yard to outdoor seating area for A3 use.

No objection Local list

5 Brand St SE10 8SP
Excavation of basement, front light-well and front boundary railings.

No objection subject to archaeology investigation.

12 Straightsmouth SE10 9LB
Single storey rear extension, dormer windows and roof extension.

No objection

12/1781/F & 12/1782/L
7 & 8 King William Walk SE10 9JH
Increasing the height of the rear boundary wall.

No objection subject to neighbour’s views.

Roundabout at junction of Prince Charles Road with Shooters Hill Road, London SE3
Installation of four non-illumniated, non-reflective free standing signs

The Greenwich Society objects to this proposal for the installation of the proposed four advertising panels on the above roundabout for the advertised period of five years on amenity and public safety grounds.  We note that the application fails to give any indication of what actual advertisements the panels would carry, and are concerned over the carte blanch that such a blank consent would give the developer. This roundabout is on Metropolitan Open Space within the Buffer Zone of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and also within the Blackheath Conservation area. We consider that the proposal is unacceptable on appearance grounds; being, in our view an unwarrantable intrusion on the pure open space of Blackheath detrimental to the appearance and character of the heath contrary to Policies SO1, ii; SO2; SO4 of the Council’s UDP and Policies OS2 and OS(a) of the Greenwich Draft Core Strategy.

We also think that such signs would be a distraction for motorists, and would disagree with TfL’s finding of the location is acceptable for these signs.  This is a busy roundabout and we consider that full attention needs to be given to road/traffic driving conditions here.

As a representative party on the Greenwich Conservation Group, we strongly supported the Group’s objection to this application at its meeting of 5th July and its consideration that the proposal should be brought to the attention of the BJWP at its meeting on Thursday, 19th July.

Zizzi, W2 WEST Pavilion, Greenwich Promenade
Installation of a non-illuminated A board.

The Greenwich Society objects to this application on the grounds of obstruction of the pavement in a position where there are crowds of people coming off the boat and heading for the Cutty Sark, and this being contrary to the Councils planning guidelines, Design Guidance for shop Signs, Advertisements and illumination in Greenwich Town Centre which states, “The display of signs or good on the forecourt of shops will not be permitted” – this we take to be equally relevant to restaurants and eating places.  Obstructions on the pavement can be potentially hazardous for disabled people, particularly the blind or the partially sighted and creates an untidy and cluttered appearance.

The Society is concerned over the many separate applications coming for advertising on the two pavilions of Greenwich Pier.  We consider that there is a need for a comprehensive approach and policy to cover advertising here in the interests of achieving cohesion and consistency for what is, essentially, one building at an important arrival point at Greenwich, an area of great sensitivity and entrance to the World Heritage Site, which requires a high standard of design and restraint.

Byron, Greenwich Promenade
Externally illuminated lettering over main entrance and two non illuminated window graphics

The Greenwich Society objects to this application on the grounds of proliferation of signs – with the two non-illuminated window graphics being contrary to the Councils planning guidelines, Design Guidance for shop Signs, Advertisements and illumination in Greenwich Town Centre, guideline ‘Window Stickers and Additional Advertisements’. 

As for the application 12/1002/A above, the Society considers that all advertisement applications for establishments in the two pavilions of Greenwich Pier should be considered together and comprehensively in the interests of achieving cohesion and consistence in what is, essentially, one building at this most important arrival point at Greenwich.

Former Meridian Pharmacy, 16 Greenwich Church St SE10 9BJ
2 storey rear extension over excavated basement forming 1 bed flat at first floor and retail use at basement and ground floor levels.

The Greenwich Society has no objection to this application.

12/1362/F 7 12/1363/C
Formerly 19-21 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8JL
Extension of no.21 including formation of roof garden, demolition and redevelopment of no.19 to create a three storey plus mansard - to provide 9 flats

The Greenwich Society objects to this application on grounds of density, bulk and scale. This proposal is an improvement on the previous application 11/3025/F to which we objected in March 2012 in as much as the development reduced the bulk of the building on the top floor, and provides amenity open space for the flats in its place.  However, there is no reduction in the number of units, which fails to address the Reason for Refusal 1 of the previous application “…high density levels represents an over intensive, over development of the site.”   There is a loss of a family 3-bed unit, but this is replaced by two 1-bed units. Two further criticisms: the 3-bed family unit is placed on the first floor, two floors down from the amenity open space on the 3rd floor, when it should be the closest to this: also, it is rather a misnomer for the Design & Access Statement to call the very narrow deep basement light-wells private “garden areas” when they will receive no sun and likely to be dark and dank.

43 Randall Place, SE10 9LA
Single storey rear infill extension.

The Greenwich Society has no objection to the application, subject to the views of the neighbours at 41 Randall Place adjoining.

107 Maze Hill SE10 8XQ
Single storey rear extension.

The Greenwich Society has no objection in principle to this application – apart from the use of uPVC framing for the windows and folding doors, which we consider wrong for this building and the Conservation Area.

73 Old Woolwich Rd SE10 9PP
Single storey rear and side extension.

The Greenwich Society has no objection in principle to the proposed extension or to the design – apart from the height: we are concerned in that the height of the parapet wall will heavily impinge on 71 Old Woolwich Road adjoining. The views of neighbours are of importance here

2 Earlswood St SE10 9ES
Change of use from warehouse to 3 bed residential unit

The Greenwich Society has concerns about this application, and would regret the loss of a trading facility in this area.  We consider that more steps should be taken to find a retail/commercial use, and evidence produced that “there is no reasonable possibility of a similar use materialising” as stated in the Design and Access Statement, before a change to residential use is permitted.

Land outside 55 Burney St
Relocation of telecoms cabinet.

The Greenwich Society very much regrets the proposed change of siting of this Virgin Media telecoms cabinet from the former approved siting on land outside 40 Stockwell Street adjoining and is opposed to this on environmental and public safety grounds.  The effect is physically and practically to change from a wide pavement to a narrower pavement at the commencement of the railings to the terrace beginning at No 55 Burney street – and it is at this very point that the obstruction of the VM cabinet sticking out from the railings is proposed.  This would very logically create questions from the public, ‘why there?’ when the obvious place is for it to be tucked back into the corner of No 40 Stockwell Street and No 55 Burney Street.  Private/public land and cost considerations apart, from an environmental and townscape point of view, it is nonsensical. We consider the splay at the junction of Burney Street/Stockwell Street next to the street sign would be better (a chalk mark on the paving indicates this as a considered position).  Alternatively, better, we would recommend siting it in front of the railings to No 40 in Stockwell Street immediately adjacent to the right of the existing lamp column at the corner of Stockwell Street/Burney Street.  Finally, drawing 002 19/6/2012, states, ‘Relocate L4 cabinet’ pointing to the same site at 55 Burney Street, and we query the meaning of this.

12/1302/F & 12/1303/L
15 Nelson Road, SE10 9JB
Internal alteration and installation of rear extract flue.

The Greenwich Society would not wish to raise an objection to this proposal - flues are always ugly things but sadly necessary in such instances, and we note that this is to be painted black. The application draws attention to the vastly uglier flue next door at 17 Nelson Road, which is really objectionable – we understand that Enforcement action is being taken against this, and hope that it will be swiftly prosecuted.

The Greenwich Society has no objection to the following applications:  12/11198/L;  12/1199/F;  12/1458/A;  12/1236/F;  12/1512/L & 12/1523/L;  12/1431/V;  12/0890/F  &  12/0891/A;  and, 12/1402/V.