Wetherspoon’s are preparing a new application for the Grape and Grain pub at the top of Anerley Hill.

A Wetherspoon’s spokesman told News From Crystal Palace of the new application, which follows a  Bromley council refusal – made under delegated powers – of plans for a first floor side and rear extension incorporating first floor terrace fronting Anerley Hill; two storey side extension with second floor roof terrace fronting Church Road; and associated internal alterations.

Nearby owners/occupiers were notified of the application and representations were received both in objection and support of the application which a council officers report summarised as follows:

Objections included:

o proposal is out of character with surrounding buildings

o no precedent for public roof terrace drinking in the Upper Norwood Triangle or Crystal Palace Park  Conservation Area

o unsuitability of roof terrace should be questioned, particularly how these sit within the predominantly Victorian roof profiles

o objection to loss of porches which add to the intrinsic character of the building

o detrimental to character of the Crystal Palace Park conservation area, a grade 2 star heritage asset

o concern at loss of the “Tipsy Garden” which provides a pleasant, quiet and enclosed outdoor space

o concern at the loss of a community pub with a distinct identity and selling point

o concern at increase in noise from the proposed terraces

o no noise measurements taken from neighbouring properties

o neighbouring properties prone to noise disturbance due to steep local topography

o proposal will lead to increased anti-social behaviour along Anerley Hill

o concern at sale of cut-price alcohol

o increase in loading along Anerley Hill will disrupt traffic flows, including traffic turning left into Church Road from Anerley Hill

o additional traffic

o proposal will lead to overshadowing to property at the rear

o unclear whether proposal will lead to a loss of trees

o neighbouring properties excluded from the Noise Impact Assessment

o site is situated in a prominent corner on the Upper Norwood Triangle; in this regard the application lacks sensitivity and detail

Support for the proposals included:

o welcome addition to local area

o imaginative design which complements surrounding area and overs views over Crystal Palace Park

o current building is not exceptional

o unpleasant and cluttered local environment

o proposal would retain original features

o proposal will make an excellent contribution to a long forgotten empty infill plot

o current building is non-descript

o proposal to extend a neighbouring public house

o inclusion of first and second floor public terraces is welcome

o removal of entrance lobby would improve look of the building

o very little from this current application alters the look of the existing building

o proposal would not lead to additional noise nuisance

o many surrounding buildings have been modestly extended

A Bromley council officers report adds that the application site was originally occupied by the Royal Crystal Palace Hotel which incorporated a frontage across Anerley Hill and Church Road.

The hotel was bombed in September 1940 with only the part of the building fronting Church Road remaining (Nos. 3-13).

Planning permission was granted in 1954 for the rebuilding of the war-damaged hotel to provide three bars and a dining room on the ground floor and domestic accommodation at first floor level.

The existing public house incorporates some residual elements of the original war damaged structure.

Officers refused the application on the grounds that: “The proposal is of a poor design, incongruous in appearance and displays little regard for architectural design in relation to the form and appearance of the host building and of the adjoining locally listed building at 3-13 Church Road, whilst the proposed outdoor terraces (and ensuing paraphernalia which they would attract), would constitute uncharacteristic and unduly prominent features in the conservation area.

“The proposal would thereby fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Crystal Palace conservation area or appear sympathetic to the character, appearance and special local interest of the adjoining locally listed building, contrary to Policies BE1, BE10 and BE11 of the Unitary Development Plan; the Crystal Palace park conservation area supplementary planning guidance; the supplementary planning guidance for locally listed buildings; and Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework.”

The officers report says the NPPF advises that ‘when considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation.’

The proposal displays little regard for architectural design in relation to adjoining locally listed building at 3-13 Church Road which forms the surviving wing of the Royal Crystal Palace hotel and is characterised by its three-storey stuccoed design, they add.

But their report raised no objections with regard to the impact on the amenities of the surrounding properties.


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