Loampit Vale #2

It’s tonight. Finally the Loampit Vale development goes to planning, and I spent the last couple of days reading from the mountain of documents that accompanies the application.
One document I can recommend is the design and access statement.
A massive tome of 277 pages giving a good overview of the project.
It’s very glossy and sexy, but planning should be about getting the best we can, and there still are issues.

I also spotted what looks like selective quoting there. At page 59 the document says:

We have met with CABE officers on two occasions and received a formal response following an internal Design Review Panel.
The outline proposals were considered at a panel meeting on 21 May 2008.
The panel stated that, “…whilst the quantum and size are large, this could be acceptable if carefully handled.
However, they remained to be convinced of the departure from the Development Brief Masterplan.
They concluded that, “…we see its potential to create a vibrant public destination and a pleasant place to live.”

Now, if you go and look at the CABE’s website and their responses to the submitted disegn you’ll find that those sentences are longer and have a somehow different meaning when read in full (CABE review 1 and CABE review 2).

The concluding paragraph of the latest contains one the quote included in the design and access statement document, only that in full it reads:

To conclude, while we see the potential to create a vibrant public destination and a pleasant place to live, we do not think that the composition of the different typological elements and the quality of the courtyards in terms of sunlight are fully convincing.

As I wrote in my previous post on Loampit Vale, I submitted an objecion and would be pleased if it was upheld and the plan being thought through to make it really worth its while.

It is of course also a matter of great concern that various massive developments are going up one next to the other and no overall study of the impact of these on traffic has been done.
The traffic through Lewisham Centre is traffic that generates elsewhere, Loampit Vale though narrow and congested is a major traffic artery, it hosts a public transport interchange and increased activity greatly impact on the flow of traffic. A study to determine what will happen once all these blocks go up would have been highly recommendable, the risk is that we create a spectacularly congested town centre when this could have been avoided with better planning.

There is no masterplan, in this document for the first time you find some pictures of how these giants would look like next to each other and personally I don’t like the result.
But that’s not a planning matter. Amenities’ space is a planning matter, quality of design is also a planning matter.
Tonight I’ll attend the meeting, let’s see what the committee members make of these concerns.


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