Tag Archives: Planning

Benedict House, Copers Cope Road: Proposal for a Residential Support Centre, February 2017

Two applications are currently being considered by London Borough of Bromley’s planning officers proposing the change of use of Benedict house, a former nursing home, to a Residential Support Centre.

LBB’s Director of Housing has provided a briefing document, below, to answer some of the concerns that have been raised so far:

What is the Proposal?

Benedict House has recently been purchased by developers who are seeking to redevelop the site for high quality apartments. Time is required to prepare for redevelopment meaning that Benedict House is likely to be vacant for up to 2 years.  In the interim the developers have offered the opportunity for the LondonBorough of Bromley to utilise the building for up to 2 years for use as temporary accommodation to help meet its statutory rehousing duties.

Why is the accommodation needed by Bromley for use as temporary accommodation?

The number of households presenting at risk of homelessness has increased steadily in recent years. For the majority, the reason for homelessness is that they are experiencing difficulties in affording the increasing costs of renting or buying a home.  A reduction in new build accommodation, increase in private sector rents and changes within social housing has meant that move on housing options havedecreased and the numbers in temporary accommodation has risen to unprecedented levels. This has meant that to meet the level of housing need the Council has had to utilise costly forms of insecure nightly paid accommodation which frequently falls short of requirements in terms of location and quality.  The use of Benedict House for up to 2 years would provide much needed local temporary accommodation whilst longer term housing solutions are identified.

Who decides which people would be placed into Benedict House?

The Council would retain full control over nominations throughout the periodof use. This means that the Council would decide who is placed into the accommodation and for how long.

Would people be placed from outside of the borough?

No, as the Council controls who is nominated only those households with a local connection with Bromley would be eligible. These would be residents who live and/or have permanent employment within the borough.  Prioirty would be given to those households who currently live, work or have children in schooling near to, or on direct transport links to Copers Cope Road.

What type of People will be placed?

Local people, mainly families or couples, who have become homeless throughno fault of their own and to whom the Council owes a statutory duty to assist in rehousing. A full assessment would be undertaken before any household isnominated and only those households who have been assessed as able to fully maintain a tenancy independently where the need is solely for housing rather than support would be eligible to be placed into Benedict House. The scheme would not be open to those people who are deemed vulnerable requiring intensive support to be able to manage a tenancy because of their vulnerability, such as those with enduring mental health needs. The council has alternative specialist support schemes which provide more intensive support for these people.

Who will manage the schemes?

The scheme would be managed by Omega Mears. They already work with the Council sourcing and managing a number of temporary accommodationunits and have a long track record of successful temporary accommodationand tenancy management. It is proposed that 24 hour on site management is provided. Mears would also provide ongoing advice and support to residentsin partnership with the Council to assist households to secure settled accommodation and ensure that they do not become homeless again. For example helping to access employment for those who may not currently be in full time employment.

Would I be able to contact anyone if I had concerns or queries about the Scheme?

Yes, full contact details of the Mears staff and Council’s housing needs team would be made available to all local residents so that they would be able to make contact should they have any queries or concerns at any point.

What type of tenancies would residents have? Can you guarantee that they would have to leave at the end of the 2 years?

All residents would be signed up to a licence agreement. This is a non-secureagreement meaning that they would not hold any interest in the property or have any rights to remain in the long term. The agreement sets out residents’ responsibilities and the conditions they must meet to be eligible to stay in the accommodation. This includes their conduct and the conduct of any visitors to the scheme. As the agreement is not a ‘protected agreement’ it can be brought to an immediate end should any resident or their visitor breach these rules or the Council require vacant possession. In this way conditions can be actively enforced to ensure that the scheme operate successfully without disturbance or disruption for any other residents in the scheme or local community and can ensure vacant possession at the end of the period of use as temporary accommodation.

To view the applications, and submit your own comments, click on the links below:

16/05442/PLUD

16/05849/FULL1

Remember to include your name and address in any correspondence otherwise your comments will not be registered.

Leave a comment

Filed under Council, Health and Social Services, News, Planning

Residential Support Centre / Hostel proposed on Copers Cope Road, January 2017

Applications have been submitted for proposed change of use of a former nursing home on Copers Cope Road to a Residential Support Centre.

Benedict House, on the corner of Park Road, was in use as a nursing home until last year, when it closed following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission which found it to be inadequate (click this link to read article in the Bromley Times last summer).
Omega Mears, a care service provider, proposes to lease the building from the current owner, Spring Capital Management, with the intention of using it as a ‘residential support centre’ to provide ‘accommodation, care and support services’ for ‘homeless families, vulnerable young adults and emergency housing requirements arising from healthcare needs and other issues’.
Two separate applications have been submitted: the first for a certificate of lawful proposed use (as a residential support centre) ; the second for a temporary change of use from a care home to a residential support centre.  We believe  the purpose of the second application is in case the first one is refused.  Both applications are supported by letters from Bromley Council’s Education, Care & Health Services department.
The letters from LBB EC&HS point to the fact, amongst others, that numbers housed in temporary accommodation has more than doubled in the last five years, hence the increasing requirement for facilities such as this, particularly for parents and children who have become homeless through no fault of their own.
No external alterations are proposed to the building and there is no increase in the number of bedrooms from when it was in use as a nursing home.  There are 41 bedrooms in total: 35 double, 5 single and 1 disabled.  30 bedrooms are ensuite.  Omega Mears have submitted a comprehensive Management Plan and the facility will be supervised 24 hours a day.
You can view both applications in full, including the Council letter and Management Plan, and comment on the proposals by clicking the links below:
CCARA has written to the assigned planning officer and ward councillors requesting  that an informal meeting, or drop-in session, is held by council officers and representatives from the service provider, for residents to gain a clearer understanding of the exact proposals and ask questions in order that an assessment can be made of any areas of concern before the application is considered by the Council’s Planning Committee.

Leave a comment

Filed under Council, Health and Social Services, News, Planning

PLANNING and DEVELOPMENT Bulletin 04 – September 2016

 

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:

  1. The area of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) on which it sited;
  2. The effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area, in terms of the design, scale, density and risk of flooding;
  3. 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.

1 Comment

Filed under Environment, News, Planning

Flats proposed on top of Barclays Bank, Beckenham, June 2016

3 Beckenham Rd Front

Beckenham Road elevation

A recent planning application has been made to build three additional storeys of flats on top of the existing Barclays Bank on Beckenham Road, near to the war memorial.

The application incorporates a scheme for two additional residential storeys that was granted consent more than three years ago, but which expired on 10th April this year, 13/00407/FULL1 , plus a fifth storey penthouse apartment.
(Note: the drawings also indicate an unconnected scheme for the site at 436 Croydon Road, currently a temporary furniture showroom.  This has not been built and the Council are understood to be investigating the current planning status)
CCARA has written to the Council, objecting to the application and expressing the view that the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area.  Whilst the Association does not have any major objection to the four-storey scheme previously consented, we consider the newly-proposed fifth storey in the current application an unwelcome addition, for the following reasons:
1. Most buildings in the area are either two or three storeys high, with a few being four storeys.  Allowing a five-storey development would set an undesirable precedent with regard to other sites in the immediate vicinity that hold the potential to be redeveloped in the future.
2. The site is in a sensitive location, right on the edge of the Beckenham High Street Conservation Area and sitting opposite the Grade 2-listed Odeon Cinema and the Post Office, a locally listed building.
3. The design of the building would dominate this important junction in the town and dwarf the adjacent Victorian houses on Beckenham Road.
4. The wave-shaped profile of the penthouse roof results in a fifth storey that would be nearly 5 metres high, further accentuating the visual height of the building.  The elevation drawings suggest the building would be nearly 17 metres high, at its highest point.
5.   No indication appears to be given regarding the materials, colour or finish of the cladding.  The presentation of the drawings seems to suggest a light-coloured render to the third and fourth storeys and a profiled metal roof to the penthouse.  Both materials would be inappropriate, detracting from the importance of the existing key buildings at the junction.
6. Assuming employees at the bank would still permitted to park their cars in the car park at the rear of the building, there would seem to be an inadequate number of parking spaces overall.
If you wish to view the proposal, click on this link, 16/02218/FULL1 , where you can also submit your own comments.

Leave a comment

Filed under News, Planning