12 September 2012

Planning Application: Miriam Lodge

The Forest Hill Society has written to object to the planned development of Miriam Lodge on Dartmouth Road.

The plans can be viewed on the council website and include the increase from 125 to 186 hostel places for homeless people with the addition of a six story extension to Miriam Lodge.

The Forest Hill Society have a number of concerns relating to:
  • The size of the new building in relation to neighbouring properties
  • Potential impact on crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Overlooking from rooms in the old and new buildings
  • Inappropriate density of development
  • Loss of amenity space for existing residents
A full copy of the objection can be read here.


Anonymous said...

Well that was wonderfully articulate.

Anonymous said...

This is incredibly concerning. Having had both my house and car recently broken into on Dartmouth Road there is no way I want the potential crime level rising. Is there anything that as residents we can do to help try to prevent this development also? I don't have any experience in trying to prevent planning so anything you can advise would be really helpful.

michael said...

If you wish to object to (or approve of) this application you can write to Lewisham Council at planning@lewisham.gov.uk
Feel free to cut an paste any of the Forest Hill Society submission or share your personal concerns.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone object to giving homeless people the opportunity to get off the streets?

Having just read through the proposal it looks to be a good design and an improvement on the existing building.

Anonymous said...

If the so called forest hill society wants to start objecting to socially responsible planning applications then you may need to drop 'society' from your name!

Anonymous said...

I have had a couple of leaflets through my letterbox trying to scare me into objecting against this new hostel. Homeless people most often are homeless because they have just gone through devastating family or relationship breakups. They need the support of their community and societies and not be treated like criminals! We should all look into ourselves for behaving so unneighbourly.

. said...

Indeed, I think homeless means a human being hasn't got the simplest right is to live under roof or live like a ordinary human being. I don't understand why some people have such a stone hear to disagree for helping volnable ho

Michael Abrahams said...

I spoke to a member of the Forest Hill Safer Neighbourhoods team recently who told me that the police intended to object to this proposal. They also have concerns that a 50% increase in the number of units available to homeless people would have a detrimental impact on the community, and the police have previous referred to Miriam Lodge as a 'crime generator' in the local area. Increasing such a facility by 50% without any changes to management practises would be a serious mistake.

Miriam Lodge is not used by Lewisham council but is used by other boroughs to place homeless people outside of their borough. And somehow it is local residents who are accused of being NIMBYs. Are we the only community expected to be sympathetic and compassionate?

Beyond these fundamental concerns I think there are a number of issues raised by the planning application that show little concern about the well-being of residents, particularly rooms that face onto blank walls from their only window. Take a look at the typical floor plans and see the three rooms in the old building closest to the link to the new building. That is simply not a good design.

Despite all the anonymous postings here, only one person has written in favour of the proposals, compared to 51 objections.

I hope that after 4 months there is an opportunity for a local meeting with the planning officers, the developer and neighbours to discuss the suitability of this application and the potential impact on the whole community.

Michael Abrahams said...

Lewisham Council have rejected this planning application for many of the reasons we identified as concerns to the Forest Hill Society and neighbours of this site.

The summary of the reasons for refusal decided by the council are:
(1) The proposed development, by reason of its height, bulk, scale, massing and design would result in the creation of an obtrusive and incompatible form of development, which would fail to respect the character and appearance of the subject site and its surroundings.

(2) The proposed siting, layout, scale, massing, design, appearance and materials all fail to follow the prevailing character, and the proposed
development will harm the significance of the adjacent Sydenham Park Conservation Area, and will not preserve or enhance the setting of the Conservation Area

(3) It is considered that the intensification of the hostel use on the application site will mitigate against the objective of delivering an inclusive, mixed and balanced community

(4) The proposed development would cause an unacceptable increase in overlooking and loss of privacy to the neighbouring residential properties and hostel residents (existing and future)