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02 May 2015

Planning Application: Fairway House, Dartmouth Road

The Forest Hill Society has objected to some aspects of the planning application for the demolition of Fairway House (between Dartmouth Road and the railway line) and replacement with27 flats and employment space. Details of the planning application can be found on Lewisham's website.

Below are the details of the concerns raise by the Forest Hill Society:

Our main concern is that this application does very little to improve the important route along Clyde Vale connecting the train station with Kirkdale and Sydenham.  This route at the moment is inconsistent, poorly defined and in poor condition.  It has the opportunity to provide a really important strategic connection for pedestrians and cyclists in the future and unless this application delivers improvements to this route adjacent and near to the site, and also along its length, it will be a missed opportunity that will not be recoverable.  Many of the future residents and workers on this site will use this route to get to the site from the station and a significant contribution would be justified on this basis.
  • The scheme should widen the footway (and potential future cycleway) running next to the railway line, at the moment this pavement is less than the 1.8m minimum which makes it difficult for two people to pass
  • The disabled parking space proposed on Clyde Vale should be relocated so as not to prevent easy pedestrian movement along the route
  • The scheme should contribute to improved lighting, surfacing and boundary treatments between the site and the railway station, widening this route wherever possible
  • The scheme should contribute to improved sewage management to reduce the smell on this pathway
  • The highways aspect of the scheme should be designed to anticipate and facilitate future improvements that could be made along this route

We have a number of other concerns about the proposal, including:
  • The qualities of the employment space are limited and we are concerned that this means that it is unlikely to work.  The retention of appropriate employment floorspace in this location is very important both because it brings daytime activity but also because there is demand for the right kind of flexible employment uses.  Our concern here is that the particular shape and arrangement of this building means that this is unlikely to be the case here.
  • The lack of clarity of the route through the site from Dartmouth Road to Clyde Vale.  This comes about because of the poor positioning of the main block and the complex arrangement of stairs and landscape.
  • Poor amenity for the new housing, particularly that in the smaller block
  • There is widely reported sewerage and drainage problem along Clyde Vale and we are concerned that this proposal will exacerbate these issues.
  • Some of the documents within the application are unclear and it is not clear how they will be delivered/enforced.  This relates particularly to the air quality report and contamination.
  • The design quality of the building and particularly its elevations are really not as good as they could be. They are overcomplicated and lack clarity.

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