FORGE PLANS GO TO APPEAL Foxton’s submit revised plans for Westow Hill premises

PLANS TO build a five/six storey block of flats where the old Forge in Beardell Street stands are going to appeal.
 
A Lambeth council spokeswoman confirmed that the application has gone to appeal  because Lambeth council didn’t deliver a decision within the statutory period.
But she added: “Rumours you’ve heard are completely false as the decision will now be made by the (government) planning inspectorate , not Lambeth council, although the council has recommended refusal.”
The inspectorate’s  decision is expected late summer.
 
FOXTONS SUBMIT RENEWED PLANS FOR 26 WESTOW HILL
 
UPDATE JULY 5th: FOXTONS have received permission to install a new shopfront – work began late last week. No decision has yet been taken on the remaining two applications. Permission was given on Tuesday (July 2nd) for erection of single storey rear extension, installation of skylight above kitchen, and siting of four air conditioning units.
 
FOXTON’S have submitted fresh plans for the former South East Asia restaurant premises at 26 Westow Hill.
 
The plans include the erection of single storey rear extension, installation of skylight above kitchen , and siting of four air conditioning units; installation of shopfront; and illuminated fascia and projecting signs.
In August last year Foxtons lost their appeal over plans to turn the former South East restaurant on Westow Hill into another branch.
The report of the inspector who decided the case said the main issues are the effects of: the proposed shopfront on the character and appearance of the Upper Norwood Triangle conservation area and the proposed rear extension on the living conditions of nearby occupiers.
Agents Montagu Evans, in a letter to Croydon council, say: “This application has been submitted after formal pre-application discussion with the council who indicated that the proposed shopfront represents an acceptable design within the context of the Upper Norwood Triangle conservation area.
“Whilst pre-application advice was not sought on the prospect of a single storey rear extension, the comments
and issues that were relayed by the officer and the inspector on the recent refusal (11/02775/P) have been
acknowledged and this proposal has carefully considered and reflected these.
 
(AUGUST 2012: FOXTONS LOSE APPEAL
FOXTONS estate agents have lost their appeal over plans to turn the
former South East restaurant on Westow Hill into another branch.
The report of the inspector who decided the case says the main issues
are the effects of: the proposed shopfront on the character and
appearance of the Upper Norwood Triangle conservation area and the
proposed rear extension on the living conditions of nearby occupiers.
Foxtons had applied to Croydon council to make shopfront alterations
and build a rear extension at the premises at 26 Westow Hill.
The report of the inspector, Simon Warder, says that overall the
overtly modern materials and detailing, and the dominance of the
glazing used in the proposed shopfront would be at odds with the
character of the host building and with the recent improvements to
shopfront design in the area.
“Whilst modern design and materials can be appropriate, in this case,
there is a clear policy preference for traditional design and evidence
that it is being successfully implemented elsewhere along Westow Hill”
he says.
“I recognise that the appeal site shopfront is not original and that
the design of other shopfronts along the road varies considerably.
“But a number of nearby shopfronts have been replaced recently with a
notably consistent use of timber, traditionally proportioned fascias
and stall risers, and narrowly subdivided glazing.
“The proposed shopfront would not preserve or enhance the character
and appearance of the conservation area. “Therefore, it would be
contrary to Croydon Replacement Unitary Development Plan (UDP) policy
UC3 which requires traditional features in conservation area (sic) to
be retained and policy UD4 which requires shopfronts to respect the
scale, character, materials and
features of their host building.
“The appellant points out that the shop is boarded up and detracts
from the character of the area. “Further, that the proposed shopfront
would allow a vacant shop unit to be repaired and re-used, introduce a
new business into the area and create an active frontage.
“I accept that these are desirable outcomes. “But it has not been
demonstrated that they could not be achieved with a shopfront design
which is less damaging to the character and appearance of the area.
“Nor has it been demonstrated that a timber shopfront would be
significantly less durable than one constructed in metal and glass.
“The proposed single storey rear extension would extend to the site
boundaries on both sides and to the rear of the property. “All three
sides of the extension would have solid masonry walls and the existing
flat roof would be continued at a height of some 3.15m above ground
level.
“A short distance to the south of the extension is a recently
constructed three storey residential block with facing windows. “To
the east of the proposed extension, is a private amenity area.
“The boundaries on these sides of the site are currently formed by
walls approximately 1.5m high with timber fencing. “This takes the
total height of the boundary enclosure to some 2.2m. “The extension
would, therefore, significantly increase the height and bulk of the
structure on both of these boundaries.
“Consequently, the extension would lead to a material loss of outlook
for the occupiers of the ground floor residential units to the south.
“The appellant argues that the affected windows serve kitchens which
are not habitable rooms. “However, kitchens are likely to be in use
for significant periods and therefore the outlook of occupiers should
be afforded protection.
“The appellant refers to extensions at 22 and 30 Westow Hill. However
these were in place before the block to the south was constructed and
its occupants should be protected from any significant further
reduction in their outlook.
“The appellant’s suggestion of planting to the rear wall of the
extension would not be sufficient to mitigate this impact. “The
extension would also reduce afternoon sunlight and have an overbearing
effect on the occupiers of the amenity area to the east.
“The existing wall on the west boundary of the site is almost as high
as the proposed extension and the neighbouring yard appears to be used
for plant and storage. “As such the proposal would not have a material
effect on
occupiers on that side of the site
“Nevertheless the rear extension would not provide satisfactory living
conditions for occupiers to the south and east. “This would be
contrary to the aims of UDP policy UD8 which seeks to protect existing
occupiers from visual intrusion and loss of sunlight” he adds.
The inspector’s report says that following the submission of the
appeal, the appellant lodged further plans showing revisions to the
design of the shopfront including the height of the stall riser and
the number of sub-divisions in the glazing.
“This aspect of the proposal was the subject of considerable third
party interest and the revisions are significant enough that those
parties may reasonably expect to be consulted.
“If I determined the appeal on the basis of the revised plans, the
interests of the third parties may be prejudiced. Therefore, this
appeal decision is based on the plans determined by the council.”)
 
HOTEL PLANS WITHDRAWN
 
AN APPLICATION by Astra Homes to turn 201 Church Road, Upper Norwood into a hotel has been withdrawn. In 2008 planning permission was granted to use the property as a
residential care home for a maximum of 16 people with physical and mild learning difficulties.  
 

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