22 December 2020

Planning Application: The Cedars, 34 Sydenham Hill

The Forest Hill Society has written to oppose the Planning Application DC/20/118980: The Cedars, 34 Sydenham Hill SE26 6LS, which proposes the construction of a part single/part two storey extension at the rear, terraces at lower ground level and the provision of associated car parking spaces and bicycle storage to provide 11 self-contained flats, together with the demolition of the existing Coach House and the construction of 8 two bedroom cottages and associated landscaping and parking area.

We welcome the principle of converting the main building into residential use and bringing this historic asset back into useful purpose, but have some concerns as to how and which heritage features will be preserved.

The Coach House is original to the 1890’s main building and makes a positive contribution to the Conservation Area in its own right, yet no justification is made to warrant its demolition beyond not fitting in with the appearance of the proposed modern terrace. No argument is made as to its structural soundness or otherwise, no justification advanced as to why it the existing cannot form part of any development plan, even though it is believed to have been in recent use as a single 4 bedroomed house. Again, we would welcome the involvement and report of Conservation Officers in this respect.

The proposed replacement of this single house with a modern terrace of 8 houses represents an increased footprint of some 70%, together with hard standing for much increased parking requirements and turning circle, with the removal of several established trees. The great bulk of this will actually be located in the rear garden plot of the Cedars House rather than the existing footprint of the Coach House.

The materials and design of the proposed terrace do not appear to relate in any way to the main house, failing to match or sympathise with the main house or that location in any way discernable.
The design of a long terrace, staggered down the slope will also form an impenetrable barrier across an important wildlife corridor further separating vital remaining green spaces in this area.

The description of the 8 proposed ‘almshouses’ is somewhat misleading. We are not made aware of any charitable purposes or proposals for social rent. Our understanding is that all will be available at market valuations and there are in fact no proposed affordable dwellings provided in the entire development scheme at all.

You can view the full response here.

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