Planning applications have been submitted to turn 118 Canonbie Road and Hamilton Lodge, on Honor Oak Road into hostels for homeless families. This will provide accommodation for up to 100 individuals. Details of the applications can be viewed at: DC/15/91664 and DC/15/91663
Below is the response from the Forest Hill Society to the planning application:
We have no objection to the principle of these applications and understand that short term family accommodation is much needed across the borough for its residents. However, we are concerned about some of the supporting material with these applications and the quality of the accommodation, and we would like the Council to ensure that what is promised goes on to be delivered.
- We are concerned by the quality of accommodation, specifically the sizes of some of the family rooms and the proximity to shared bathrooms. Whilst we appreciate this accommodation may well be better than much of the available alternative short term family accommodation think that you do need to carefully consider whether it is acceptable for families to live in this way for six months at a time. There is no provision for communal internal space in either block.
- We do have some concerns about the overall number of bed spaces across the two sites and worry that this is more people than it is sensible to house in buildings of this size.
- The same PTAL rating is incorrectly used for both of the sites as it is based on a single location rather than the specific location of each site. The Canonbie Road Application has a PTAL rating of 2 and this may impact on its acceptability for this proposed use.
- There is no sunlight and daylight report and whilst we appreciate that this is for a short term use a couple of the rooms look like they would be very dark and we are concerned for the quality of life for those living there for up to 6 months at a time, and particularly children.
- We would like to ensure that any planning permission does actually limit each families stay in the building to 26 weeks as we would be VERY concerned about families living in this accommodation for any longer periods. This accommodation is not suitable for permanent residential use as it does not conform with policy or the London Housing Design Guide.