15 October 2008

New Chair for the Forest Hill Society

Congratulations to Peter Irby, the new chairman of the Forest Hill Society.
Peter was previously the vice-chairman of the Society and has now stepped up to the role of chairman. Michael Abrahams has moved from chair to the position of vice-chairman.

As well as Peter we have a strong Executive Committee of approximately 20 people, with many old faces and a number of new faces.

Many thanks to all those who attended tonight's AGM - photos to follow.

12 October 2008

October Update

The Forest Hill Society’s AGM - Wednesday 15th October at The Hob pub, 7 Devonshire Road, opposite Forest Hill Station. Doors open at 7pm, proceedings get under way at 7.30pm. This will be an opportunity to discuss the key issues affecting SE23 and to elect the Executive Committee. There will be a bar!

23 Club - Thursday 23rd October
The 23 Club conintues to pick some of the finest local restaurants to visit and share a meal with other Forest Hill Society members. For October we are back in Honor Oak at the Honor Oak Tandoori, 57-59 Honor Oak Park at 8pm.
Last month a number of people turned up on the night and we had to divide into two tables, so please remember to book in advance by calling the restaurant on 8699 2255. Map available at http://www.honoroaktandoori.co.uk/images/map.gif
Crofton Park ward Assembly - Monday 13th October
For people living in Crofton Park ward (north of Stanstead Road and east of the railway - i.e. Brockley Rise area) there will be a ward assembly tomorrow. This will take place at St Hilda's Church Hall, Courtrai Road, SE4 2DG at 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Forest Hill Library Users Group meeting - Thursday 23 October
Forest Hill Library, Dartmouth Road, 6.30 for 7pm
The first meeting of the users group since the library was refurbished and an opportunity for users to meet John Hughes, the Head of Lewisham's Library Service and Glenys Englert, District Librarian.

01 October 2008

11 Perry Vale - Planning Application

DC/08/69686 - 11 Perry Vale

On behalf of the Forest Hill Society I wish to object to this application for the conversion of a warehouse into 3, 2 bedroom terraced houses.

1. Gardens
From the plans and application there is no evidence of provision of garden area or external amenity space for the new houses. This is in contravention of council policy HSG7:
"The Council will seek in all new dwellings the provision of a readily accessible, secure, private and usable external space. Family dwellings should be provided with their own private garden area. Normally, a minimum garden depth of 9 metres will be required."
As two bedroom houses these should be considered family dwellings and should have gardens of 9 metres in depth.

2. Cycle storage
The application mentions cycle storage (paragraph 5.05) but the plans do not show where this cycle storage will be provided. From the description it would appear that this would be on a public right of way which may reduce vehicular access to other properties in the location. We ask that the council confirm the plans relating to the cycle storage, including the numbers of cycles to be housed and the security of the storage, prior to approval of this planning application.

3. Environment
The area around this warehouse appears to have been used to dump disused vehicles and work is required to make the area around these new dwellings suitable for a residential area. There are no pavements on this narrow road and provision would need to be provided for deliveries to the rear of the commercial units on Perry Vale without causing significant inconvenience to residents of these new houses.

No information regarding building materials has been provided. In converting a warehouse to residential use increased insulation should be included in the design to provide normal levels of energy efficiency for residential accommodation.

4. Design
The ground floors of the properties only have single north-east facing windows to light the kitchen / dinning room / living room. This will result in low levels of light in the living room and poor ventilation available to the property. The low levels of light at points 8.4 metres from the windows will result in higher than necessary use of electric lighting during daytime. This is contrary to council policy HSG5 a and e:
"The Council expects all new residential development to be attractive, to be neighbourly and to meet the functional requirements of its future inhabitants. The Council will, therefore, only permit new residential development which:
(a) provides a satisfactory level of privacy, outlook and natural lighting with appropriate provision of private amenity space;
...
(e) would encourage energy and natural resource efficiency"

An additional concern relating to policy HSG5 is the second bathrooms in each property with no natural ventilation or lighting. These will require mechanical extraction which will use excessive energy. The positioning of all of the bathrooms and en suite facilities directly beside bedrooms in adjoining properties is likely to cause excessive noise for neighbouring properties. In is usual in terraces houses to reverse the layout of each house so that bathrooms are back to back rather than next to bedrooms. Proper consideration of policy HSG5 relating to "be neighbourly and to meet the functional requirements of its future inhabitants" should demand better design of these properties.

There has been little change in the outlook from the new properties, particularly on the rear of the ground floor. We believe that the council's second reason for rejecting the previous application (DC/08/68193): "The proposed development would fail to provide a satisfactory level of amenity for future occupiers by reason of poor outlook contrary to Saved Policies URB 3 Urban Design, URB 6 Alterations and Extensions, HSG 4 Residential Amenity and HSG 5 Layout and Design of New Residential Accommodation, of the Council's Unitary Development Plan (July 2004)."

I hope that you will consider the concerns listed above and reject this application for the proposed development at 11 Perry Vale