This is the latest of our regular bi-monthly updates on planning and development in the Copers Cope area. Our aim is to provide you with a concise and informative snapshot of recent planning applications, decisions and appeals.
Refusal of a Major Residential Development on Worsley Bridge Road
The large-scale residential development planned behind the Dylon site, near to Lower Sydenham Railway Station at the northern end of Worsley Bridge Road, has been dismissed at appeal.
The site, presently occupied by Footsies Social Club and playing fields, is on a wedge of open land situated between the New Beckenham / Lower Sydenham rail line and the Pool River, and is next to the old Dylon site where 220 flats are currently under construction.
In February last year an application (15/00701/FULL1) was made to demolish the existing single-storey buildings on the edge of the Footsies site and construct a building of varying height, from eight to twelve storeys, to provide 296 residential units, a new estate road, parking and cycling spaces and landscaping of land to be accessible by the public. The scheme comprised of 148No. one-bedroom, 135No. two-bedroom and 13No. three-bedroom flats. In September last year the application was refused and became the subject of an appeal, which was later withdrawn.
A second application, for a slight variant of the above scheme, but with 253 dwellings, had also been lodged by the developer (15/04759/FULL1). This, too, was refused and the applicant subsequently appealed against the decision.
The appeal hearing was finally held over several days in May and the Planning Inspectorate released its decision last month to dismiss it.
The principal reasons for the dismissal are the effect the proposal would have on:
- The area of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) on which it sited;
- The effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area, in terms of the design, scale, density and risk of flooding;
- The amenities of occupiers of the future dwellings in terms of natural ventilation, solar gain and noise.
Click here to read the Planning Inspector’s Report
Beck House, 36A Copers Cope Road 16/02136/FULL1
Permission has been granted to construct a new, four-storey rear extension and an additional storey on top of the existing block of flats to create an additional 8No. two-bedroom and 1No. three-bedroom flats in connection with the existing 4No. two-bedroom and 1No. three bedroom flats which will be remodelled.
87A Bromley Road 16/02120/FULL1
Consent has also been given to demolish the existing two-storey house situated on the triangular plot of land between Bromley Road and Albermarle Road, close to Bishop Challoner School, and replace it with a part-three, part-four-storey block comprising 9No. two-bedroom flats.
Conifer House, 44 Southend Road 16/02179/FULL1
Planning permission has been granted to enlarge and refurbish this empty, three-storey block of flats on Southend Road, opposite the Stumps Hill Lane bus stop. This includes building an additional storey plus four-storey front and rear extensions to create 8No. flats in addition to the 10No. existing. The new additions will comprise 1No. one-bedroom, 4No. two-bedroom and 3No. three-bedroom flats. The existing 2No. one-bedroom, 6No. two-bedroom and 2No. three-bedroom flats will also be remodelled.
213 Kings Hall Road 15/04458/OUT
Last year, two outline planning applications were made to develop the land to the rear of 213 Kings Hall Road including part of the side garden of 215. The initial proposal was for 5No. detached four/five-bedroom houses and gardens. This was refused by the Council on the grounds of overdevelopment of the site. Later in the year, a second application was made reducing the number of houses to 3No. however this was subsequently refused also, for the same reason. The applicant has since lodged an appeal against the latest decision. At the time of writing a date for the appeal hearing had yet to published.
3 Beckenham Road (above Barclays Bank) 16/02218/FULL1
Planning permission has been refused for a scheme involving the addition of three residential storeys on top of the existing, two-storey Barclays Bank building opposite the cinema.
The development comprised of 2No. one-bedroom and 6No. two-bedroom flats on the third and fourth floors, and a large, three-bedroom penthouse on the fifth floor.
The reasons given for refusal were that the proposal would be visually obtrusive, due to its design, scale, bulk and height; would detract from views in and out of the area; and would be detrimental to the character of the adjacent High Street Conservation Area.
20 Crescent Road 16/02752/FULL
An application to demolish a large 1890s Victorian villa house on a prominent corner near Chancery Lane and replace it with flats has fortunately been refused consent. There was passionate opposition to the application by local residents, the Chancery Lane and Limes Road Residents’ Association and CCARA, with many letters of objection and a petition being sent to the Council.
10 Copers Cope Road 16/02834/FULL
A retrospective planning application for a basement and ground floor dwelling, that has already been built in the rear garden, has been refused permission.
No 10 is described as a four-storey, end-of-terrace hotel building that has been extensively refurbished. Last year the owner was granted permission to build a structure in the rear garden to provide additional facilities for the hotel, including a laundry, fitness room, staff room, office, toilets and storage.
The building has since been repurposed to become a three-bedroom dwelling, without permission. The building has also been found to be larger than the original consent allowed, and includes a second lightwell that wasn’t on the consented drawings.
Enforcement action is now being taken by LBB in addition to the refusal of the retrospective application.
Carlton Court, Beckenham Road 16/03105/FULL
A planning application has been submitted to add another storey to the two-storey flats, situated at the junction with Hayne Road, to provide 2No two-bed and 2No one-bed flats.
CHANGE OF USE FROM COMMERCIAL TO RESIDENTIAL
Three years ago, the Government relaxed the planning laws to make it very easy to convert office premises to residential use. Over this period, the majority of office space on Beckenham High Street, much of which was fully-let and in demand, has been given approval to be converted to flats.
The largest of these include St Brides’s House, now practically complete, Marqueen House, Ironstone House and Provident House on Burrell Row, and Kelsey House at Thornton’s Corner (recently subject of a second application, see below). As a result, many thousands of square feet of purpose-built office space have been lost and cannot be reclaimed.
Burnhill House, 50 Burnhill Road 16/02466/RESPA
At the end of July Bromley Council granted ‘prior approval’ consent for the last remaining large office building on Beckenham High Street to be converted into flats.
50 Burnhill Road, had been the subject of an application to convert the building, situated adjacent to Lidl supermarket, into flats last year. The council initially refused to grant consent, on the grounds that the proposal had inadequate provision for car parking, and would cause problems with highway safety on such a narrow section of the road. An appeal by the applicant was dismissed earlier this year, however a new application for the same scheme, but accompanied by a blank legal agreement promising the flats to be ‘car-free’ dwellings, was submitted in May and regrettably the Council capitulated.
CCARA objected strongly against this application as, in our opinion, it provides an extremely poor and cramped standard of living accommodation. Other areas of concern are what appear to be multiple entrances to the development, no provision for refuse storage and an impractical proposal to store 14 bicycles in the Burnhill Road entrance lobby. It will be interesting to observe whether this ‘car-free’ agreement, implemented by other developers of commercial-to-residential buildings in Beckenham, will work in reality particularly as Bromley has the the third highest number of car owners out of all the boroughs of Greater London.
Kelsey House, 77 High Street 16/02649/RESPA
Prior approval has been refused for an application to convert the four storeys of office space above the Kelsey House Bar & Kitchen to twenty flats, comprising of 8No. one-bedroom and 12No. two-bedroom (3 person) dwellings. Reasons given for refusal were the lack of an environmental noise assessment and that future occupiers of the dwellings could be negatively affected by noise from the Bar & Kitchen on the ground floor and other neighbouring commercial premises. The building is also in a medium flood risk zone and no flood risk assessment had been submitted with the application.
Last summer, a prior approval application had been granted for sixteen flats.
The freehold building is currently on the market for £4 million.
171a High Street 16/02021/RESPA
Following refusal earlier this year, Prior Approval has now been granted to convert the commercial space above Beckenham Pharmacy to 1No two-bedroom flat.
9 Kelsey Park Road 16/02126/RESPA
Prior Approval has been given to convert the two floors of office space above Grand Cru Co wine merchants to 1No three-bedroom flat and 1No two-bedroom flat.