Objection to the Timber Yard development

Last night I submitted my objection to the proposed development of the Springbank Road Timber Yard.

Dear officer,

I’m writing to object to the planning application DC/09/72316/X for the development of the Timber Yard site on Springbank Road into a residential develpment of 33 flats.

My main concern is the nature of the proposed development that as purely residential does not include any commercial space.
The site in question is next door but one to a busy entrance to Hither Green Station, an important commuter approach and as such is highly suitable for substantial commercial development.

It is my opinion that the shopping offer on Springbank Road does not reach that critical mass that makes it a viable option for shopping or entertainment for the large number of commuters that daily walk by and that one can safely assume would appreciate being able to buy their shopping on their way home from work.

The redevelopment of this site could offer the opportunity to remedy to the inconvenience that this lack of provision involves, but not with this proposal.

I quote from the Planning, Design and access statement (Ref L/LEW/525/SC/JA/CL67):

The Council concluded that although the site does have potential for redevelopment there are concerns over the loss of the commercial use from the site. It was suggested that a mixed use scheme would be most appropriate. However it is not considered a commercial use would be viable on the basis of demand.

I assume that the ending sentence of this paragraph are considerations of the developer and I disagree with them.
This is a site outside a busy commuter station and provided of a bus stop placed on a very generous widening of the pavement, a small piazza in its own right, a remnant of the time when this was a station entrance.
If that is not commercially viable then nowhere is.

In paragraph 2.23 the developer refers to a rather inconclusive survey of local availability of light industrial premises as a justification to move away from the current use, and in paragraph 2.25 it refers to the vacant units at Meridian South as a reason for not including a commercial component.
Well, a mix development would not include light industry and unlike the units at Meridian South this site is not enclosed in a residential development, a location that makes it hard to derive trade from beyond the immediate surrounding.
Both arguments don’t justify the choice of a purely residential site.

Regarding the visual impact the point of view of the prospective drawing provided gives an image where the highest point of the development is in the drawing lower than the nearby houses, despite this development reaching 5 storeys and the nearby houses only 2, one wonders if these drawings express the impact adequately. The side views appear to be very bulky and the drawing k57/09/09 shows a relationship with the nearby building that is not particularly harmonious.

Another concern is the car park provision. It is obviously a perfect site for non-drivers but 5 parking places for 33 dwellings sounds very low especially when the development includes 16×2 bedrooms and 13×3 bedrooms, suggesting a presence of families and a total count of 75 bedrooms.

Kind Regards


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One Response to “Objection to the Timber Yard development”

  1. Timber Yard application refused « . Says:

    […] Timber Yard application refused By Max Good news! I just received a letter from Lewisham Planning telling me that the planning application for a housing development on the Timber Yard site of Springbank Road has been refused. You can read details of this development and my objection here. […]

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