07 May 2015

Planning Applications: Hamilton Lodge and 118 Canonbie

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 write on behalf of the Forest Hill Society about the above applications at Hamilton Lodge, Honor Oak Road and Canonbie Road in Forest Hill. This letter relates to both of these applications and should be considered in relation to both of them.

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. 


John Rothlisberger said...

Is there any practical advice on how to object against this? I live 200 yards from the site, but struggling to come up with arguments other than "not in my back yard".

Forest Hill Society said...

There will apparently be a public meeting on 3rd June. Which will be a good chance to hear about concerns from other neighbours.

John Rothlisberger said...

OK thanks, I will keep an eye open as I will definitely go. Do you know when the deadline for objections is?

bassett said...

I live in Ream Apartments which is just next door to this development. One of the major problems living here is car parking space there is very little.This development makes provision for four disabled spaces only.The new residents will probably have at least one car where are they going to park?

Forester said...

This is a very feeble response. Who does the FH Soc speak for when it accepts these developments in principle? Not for me, that's for sure. And why express concern only for the potential residents? What about the effect on existing FH residents, like the extra pressure such a high density development will place on schools, GP services, transport and parking? What about the effects on local people of having 100 people with 'high support needs' and a 1 in 5 likelihood of anti-social behaviour? And what about the fact that this hostel will increase the number of homelessness hostels in the neighbourhood so much as to make FH the homelessness centre of Lewisham?

Bethany Thomson said...

I totally agree with basset that there is going to be a problem with the parking.

Anonymous said...

Hello, what happened with this? I very much doubt any of the people will have many cars. Many homeless families would sell their cars for a deposit before approaching the Council.

There is not a 1 in 5 increase in anti social behaviour, where was the figure from? The only people in temporary housing are those with severe health conditions and/or those with children under 18 and are considered vulnerable. Many of those housed will have existing ongoing health conditions that will not require GP appointments - there are many reports on this, I can send some info if that would be helpful? If you are concerned perhaps you could contribute towards your local GPS patient group?

I think the forest hill soc had a brilliant response to not only the impact it may have but also the suitability which is very constructive.