PLANNING and DEVELOPMENT Bulletin – January 2016

This is the first of a series of regular bi-monthly updates on planning and development in the Copers Cope area.  Our aim is to keep you informed with a concise and informative snapshot of recent planning applications, decisions and appeals we think are of particular interest. You can look up planning references on the Council website.

56 Copers Cope Road, Ref 15/03470/FULL1

A second planning application to demolish the existing late19th-century house and replace it with a four-storey block of nine flats was refused last October after the previous application in March 2015 for a five-storey block of ten flats was withdrawn.  Grounds for refusal were that the scheme constituted a cramped over-development of the site.

Royce House, 56a Copers Cope Road, Ref 15/02068/OUT

An outline planning application made last year to demolish the existing houses at 56A and 56B and replace them with five, three-storey, four-bedroom houses was refused permission on the grounds that it constituted an over-development of the site.  The applicant has appealed against this decision and the hearing is due on 22 March this year.

Ardec Shop, High Street, Ref 15/02489/FULL2

Last August the Council refused an application by the owner of the old Ardec shop to convert it to a restaurant on the grounds that the shop is part of the designated Primary Shopping Frontage of the High Street and restaurant use would not complement this function.  The applicant has since appealed against the decision although, at the time of writing, an appeal hearing date has not yet been set.

Telephone Exchange 15/04184/TELECOM

An application by O2 and Vodafone to install a telecommunications mast, antennae and other equipment on roof of the Telephone Exchange, at the corner of the High Street and Kelsey Park Road, has been refused.  The proposed location of the mast, on a prominent part of the roof, was judged to be unacceptable with regard to the visual impact it would have on the streetscape, in particular the view looking down from Church Hill.

Vodafone, who own the masts and telecoms equipment on the roof of Kelsey House next door, have been given notice to quit by the landlord.  In summer last year, Kelsey House was granted prior approval for change of use from offices to flats. O2 owns the existing mast at the Exchange.

1A Wickham Road, Peach Design, Ref 15/05100/FULL2

An application has been made for a change of use to the three-storey building from a printer’s office to a House of Multiple Occupation with eight bedrooms and shared dining and bathroom facilities. Four of the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms.

Bricklayers Arms, High Street, Ref 15/05287/FULL1

The Bricklayers Arms pub has made an application to replace the existing outbuilding and build an infill extension at the rear to enlarge and remodel the interior.

278-280 High Street, above Martin & Co and Red, Ref  15/04371/FULL1

A planning application to add a mansard roof and two studio flats to the building has been refused.  Reasons for refusal were that the proposed mansard style roof alteration and additional floor, by reason of its design, siting, form and bulk and its relationship to adjacent buildings in this prominent location would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the existing building, the integrity of the adjacent terraced buildings and special interest of the setting of the Odeon Cinema Listed Building within the Beckenham Town Centre Conservation Area. It would therefore represent an inappropriate and visually obtrusive development.

94 High Street, Rendezvous Cafe, Ref 15/04478/FULL1

After the first the application was refused, a second application for a replacement shop front has been approved and the work has recently been completed.

86-90 High Street, adjacent to Pier Luigi’s restaurant, Ref 15/04138/FULL1

An application for the construction of a mansard roof to provide two studio residential units has been refused.  Reason for refusals are that the proposed mansard style roof alteration and additional floor, by reason of its scale, design and close proximity to roofscape boundaries, would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the existing building within the Beckenham Town Conservation Area and would represent a visually intrusive addition, harmful to the character and appearance of the area

Change of use from Commercial to Residential

Prior approval applications to convert office premises, many fully-let, to residential use continued to be granted consent at an alarming rate throughout the latter half of last year.  Marqueen House, Ironstone House and Provident House on Burrell Row, towards the western end of Beckenham High Street, were all granted permission in December to be converted to flats, at a loss of many thousands of square feet of purpose-built office space:

Marqueen House, 215 High Street, Ref 15/04323

Consent granted to convert offices on the first, second and third floors to 18 one-bedroom flats, with five parking spaces.

Ironstone House, 205-213 High Street, Ref 15/04293

Consent granted to convert offices on the first, second and third floors to 18 one-bedroom flats, with five parking spaces.

Provident House, 6-20 Burrell Row, Ref 15/04343

Consent granted to convert offices on the ground, first and second floors to 2 two-bedroom and 18 one-bedroom flats, with six parking spaces.

The few remaining office buildings in and around the High Street are under increasing threat of change of use:

Burnhill House, 50 Burnhill Road (adjacent to Lidl), Ref 15/03333

Prior approval was refused at the end of September 2015 to convert the offices to 5 two-bedroom and 9 one-bedroom flats, citing the lack of parking provision as the reason for refusal.  The applicant has since appealed the decision although, at the time of writing, a date for the appeal hearing has not yet been set.

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