The Forest Hill Society has objected to this application to build a new house on the site of a garage on the corner of Church Rise and Gaynesford Road. Details of the application can be found here: DC/23/131488 | 2A GAYNESFORD ROAD, LONDON, SE23 2UQ
We wish to object to this application on the following grounds:
1. Intensification of built form harms the heritage significance of the Conservation Area
The Heritage Impact Statement, and proposals generally, fail to address the characteristic of generous rear gardens to the dwellings of the Conservation Area. Whilst a poor quality garage was erected on the site and removed some of its verdancy, the garage is still read as ancillary to its former host building and the gap between No. 2 Gaynesford Road and No. 49 Church Rise is appreciable. The incorporation of a new dwelling on the site would encroach onto the former garden/ancillary space and diminish the regularity in scale, height, and form of both the plot layouts and built form of the Conservation Area. The Heritage Impact Assessment does not adequately assess the contribution the site makes to the significance of the Conservation Area, with reference to the gap and resulting views and the ancillary appearance of the site, nor does it acknowledge the impacts of the intensification of built form in the street through the proposals. The Heritage Impact Statement concludes that the proposals will "enhance" the Conservation Area, but to the contrary, the proposals will result in harm to the heritage significance of the Conservation Area, and the statutory requirement of Section 72(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act is not met.
2. Proposed height and frontage detail is too dissimilar to neighbouring houses
The Heritage Impact Assessment states:
s. 4.3 "There is an opportunity to create a simplified and slightly down-scaled Type 2 “Christmas house” "
s. 4.6 "As far as the Type 1 and Type 2 “Christmas houses” are concerned, the application proposal will be an informed continuation of the Type 2 houses in Gaynesford Road."
The proposed dwelling appears to be smaller in height than the neighbouring houses in Gaynesford Road and the Application Form refers to red face brick (despite the Design and Access Statement referring to brick and stucco), which does not match the design of the neighbouring houses. The site is located within a Conservation Area, the whole point of which is the character of the Christmas Houses. A “simplified and slightly down-scaled” Christmas House would be unacceptably incongruous next to the houses it is supposedly emulating, and would harm the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.
3. Garden space
The proposed amenity space is piecemeal (a small patio at the bottom of a lightwell and a small garden at ground level) and therefore is not suitable usable space (Section 2.261 Lewisham DM policy 33) or practical and good amenity (Section 3.6.9 London Plan 2021).
4. Detrimental impact on No. 49 Church Rise contrary to Lewisham DM Policy 32
This was one of the grounds on which Lewisham rejected previous proposals and was upheld at appeal. Although this proposal has a smaller footprint than previous applications, it is a two-storey building and would still be detrimental to the outlook of inhabitants of No. 49 Church Rise.
5. Layout: location of bedrooms
Bedroom 1 is located on the first floor and Bedroom 2 is located in the basement. Although a 2-bedroom dwelling doesn't meet the definition of 'family dwelling', it is realistic that a family would consider living in this house but parents wouldn’t want a child's bedroom to be two floors away from their own bedroom. Such a layout therefore offers poor usage to potential inhabitants and would limit the market for this house.