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17 December 2017

Planning Application: 4 Dartmouth Road

An application has been submitted for the conversion of a basement below a shop to a one bedroom flat:

DC/17/103834 | Change of use and alterations to the existing basement including provision of lightwells to provide a one bedroom self-contained flat at 4 Dartmouth Road SE23. | 4 DARTMOUTH ROAD, LONDON, SE23 3XU

The Forest Hill Society object to this proposal on the grounds of:
1. Lack of light to the living accommodation;
2. Insufficient provision for emergency egress.

Both these grounds are based on the proposed unit being created in a basement with natural light and outside space being provided by a lightwell that will, in effect, be two storeys deep.

daylight assessment has not been provided with the application but it is clear that very little natural light would enter the unit.

The existing basement has no natural light and it is proposed to excavate part of the back garden to provide a light well.  The distance between the windows in the living room to the proposed 1-storey high retaining wall appears to be about 1 metre.  Above the proposed retaining wall there currently exists the wall of a 1-storey high building which appears to be set back about 1.5-2 metres.  In effect, a double-storey lightwell would be created.

The kitchen window and external door from the living room lead into an underground passageway which will not provide any light into the accommodation.

There is no provision for an external staircase in the lightwell which means the 'patio area' would not provide a means of emergency escape from the unit.  The only way out is through the unit into the staircase leading to the ground floor.

The proposed unit would provide sub-standard accommodation and the application should be refused.