05 November 2020

Planning Application: 123 Devonshire Road

There has been a planning application for enlargement of existing planning permission on two additional storeys on the site of 123 Devonshire Road. The Forest Hill Society has written to the council recommending rejection of this application. The text of the letter is reproduced below:

DC/20/118644 | The erection of two additional storeys above the existing residential block to provide 6 x 2 bed flats with associated parking and internal refurbishment works with works to the fabric of the building and the provision of a new lift at Woodelm Court, 123, Devonshire Road, LONDON SE23 3LX.


I am writing on behalf of the Forest Hill Society regarding the proposed erection of two additional stories to existing residential block at Woodelm Court, 123 Devonshire Road SE23 (ref: DC/20/118644).


With regard to the proposed development we have a significant concern regarding this planning application. This relates to the increased mass and general bulk of the proposed top floor.


This application aims to increase the volume of the top floor to allow for 3 x 2 bedroom flats rather than the 2 x 2 bedroom flats in the 2017 application.


In 2017 the developer applied to add 2 more stories on top of the existing 3 floor block of flats. The plan was to step the new top floor in on all sides which would reduce the footprint giving space for 2 x 2 bed flats. This application dated 13th November 2017, was refused by notice dated 8th February 2018.


In February 2019 there was a successful appeal against this decision. However, in the Appeal Decision stated in item 8  " ...... the set back of the top floor would help to reduce its overall massing and general bulk, even with a small overhang of the roof and thus I am satisfied that the development would not have a jarring and incongruous effect."


This new 2020 application proposes to enlarge the footprint of this top floor by removing the step in on all sides so the footprint is the same as the floors below thus providing room for 3 x 2 bedroom flats. This implies that the block would now have a "jarring and incongruous effect".


We believe that granting an application for an enlarged top floor would be contrary to the judgement expressed by the Planning Inspector in the 2019 Appeal Decision.


Based on our above concern we ask that this application is refused.