19 December 2011

Planning: 33 Dartmouth Road - DC/11/78718

The Forest Hill Society has written in response to this planning application to oppose the proposed change of use of 33 Dartmouth Road from A1 to A4.

Dartmouth Road has had a difficult few year, since the closure of the swimming pool in 2006, however with the reopening of the pool next year we have a strong belief that retail units on Dartmouth Road will be revitalised with the increased passing trade, especially on the route between the station and the pool. At this time we need to council to protect existing retail units so that as the fortunes of Forest Hill change there will be opportunities for new businesses to set up retail units on the high street.

This site is within the core shopping area of Forest Hill and is therefore covered by STC4: Major and District Centres - Core Shopping Areas

Within the Core Shopping Areas, the Council will strongly resist any change of use involving the loss at ground floor level of Class A1 shops. The following factors will be taken into account when considering exceptions:
(a) whether the proposal harms the overwhelming retail appearance of the shopping frontage, with an over-concentration of non-retail uses (normally 3 non A1 uses together and 70% maintained in A1 use);

In reference to STC 4a, this unit is next door to a pub and a pizza takeaway (currently closed). Changing this unit from retail to non-retail would harm the retail appearance of the road at this section.

We are also concerned about the proposed hours of operation including until 3am at weekend. This is later than any other pub in the area and feel it would be an unnecessary disturbance for neighbours.

With the existing concentration of pubs in the immediate vicinity, and new ones approved for opening directly across the road, we believe that this is not an appropriate use for this unit.


Anonymous said...

I think it is a real shame to turn down somebody taking up a derelict retail unit when there are so many along the road at the moment. Dartmouth Road is a mess..and I think the chances of it being 'revitalised' because of the pools is very limited. We should be celebrating and encouraging a new business opening, not rejecting it. Shame, shame, shame..

Anonymous said...

I agree. This is completely baffling. I hope that the council do not consider the society representative of forest hill residents. Why not use this site to consult first?

Michael Abrahams said...

Thanks for the feedback. I have provided some explanation of the views of the Forest Hill Society on SouthEast Central Forum in response to other concerns.

It is not possible to get the views of all residents prior to submitting a response to the council, however, by providing the full text of our submissions on planning applications we give local people the opportunity to respond individually to the council should they disagree with our stated position.

At present this application has one letter written in favour and two against (including the one from the Forest Hill Society). Other members of the public can send in their own letters in favour or against if they have strong feelings either way.