I am writing on behalf of the Forest Hill Society regarding the proposed development at 88 Thorpewood Avenue, SE26 4BY, application DC/22/128192: The construction of a part one/part two storey rear extension, roof extension to the rear roof slope and installation of rooflights in the front roof slope at 88 Thorpewood Avenue SE26 in connection with the alteration and conversion to provide 3 self-contained flats, together with the construction an outbuilding in the rear garden.
We are writing to object to the above application by virtue of the unsuitable accommodation proposed and the detrimental impact on the Forest Hill Conservation Area.
The proposals do not satisfy the requirements within “Technical housing standards – nationally described space standard” (Department for Communities and Local Government, March 2015) or the London Plan (March 2021). The proposed Flat B does not fit the requirement within the above documents that "a dwelling with two or more bedspaces has at least one double (or twin) bedroom" (Para 10b, Nationally Described Space Standards). Furthermore, even if a double bed was incorporated into the layout, the size of the flat would still not meet the requirements.
Moreover, the Development Management Local Plan (2014) Policy 3 resists the conversion of a single family house to two or more dwellings unless they meet certain critera. The document states that:
"2.13 Family housing (single family houses with three or more bedrooms) is seen as a valuable resource which should be retained in order to meet identified housing need and provide housing choice. Single family houses with fewer than three bedrooms should also be retained in order to provide housing choice."
It should be noted that the dwelling as existing is/does not:
a. adjacent to noise generating or other environmentally unfriendly uses
b. lack of external amenity space suitable for family use.
Therefore, the site is contrary to Policy 3a within the DMLP (2014). It is also contrary to point c within the same policy with reference to the Forest Hill Conservation Area, as per below.
The Forest Hill Conservation Area is characterised by its commercial and retail centre around the railway station and surrounding suburban residential streets and green spaces. The application site forms part of a terrace of houses designed and built by prominent local developer E.C. Christmas. The buildings are representative of developments by Christmas and the period in which they were built and thus make a positive contribution to the character and appearnace of the Conservation Area. At present, there are no rear extensions projections on any of the terraced buildings, thereby allowing the original form and pattern of the buildings to be understood. The submitted Heritage Statement has not assessed the significance of the Conservation Area and how the application site contributes to that significance in line with the requirement set out in Paragraph 194 of the NPPF, although the statement does acknowledge that the terraced buildings have “survived nearly unaltered with the original doors, clay tile roofs and fine leaded windows still in place.”
The proposals include a rear extension which will remove the articulation of the original rear elevation, which has a small projection and catslide roof, thus breaking up the rhythm of the host terrace. The Heritage Statement concludes that the proposals would not have any negative impacts, but this does not address the incorporation of the extension on what they have themselves stated is an otherwise unaltered terrace. The extension would ultimately detract from the character of the host property, terrace and Conservation Area as a whole and result in harm to its significance. The application has not provided any public benefits to outweigh the heritage harm caused, as per Paragraph 202 of the NPPF.
We therefore request the application is refused