Discussion in 'Brixton' started by andrewdroid, Aug 28, 2014.
Doh! I seem to have put that all as a quote.
Hope Chris Boyle will still respond...
I should edit it using cut and paste.
Never mind Chris Boyle - nobody else can see what is Chris Boyle and what is your content. Just cut your bit - then paste it after the [/QUOTE]
At this stage, there's not much point in asking the developers to reconsider the scheme. The "consultation" is done with and the application is in.
Probably more productive to write to your councillors/those on the planning committee, to encourage them to reject it when they consider the application again in a few weeks.
As a slight aside, this website provides some really useful stats about on-time trains from L Junction (or anywhere on the national network).. this particular search shows the punctuality of the 06.00 to 10.00 trains on Mon to Fri from LJ to City Thameslink for the last 12 weeks... as is predictable, the rush hour trains are not great... the issue here is that because trains are late, this impacts significantly on the numbers of passengers getting on subsequent trains due to build up... it is incredibly difficult to get a train from L Junction between 7.45 and 9.30 in the mornings during a normal working week.
We are saying that the proposed scheme will not have any further impact on the rail service. This was the conclusion that TFL reached on the previous proposal which was larger (just to reiterate, we are still awaiting their formal response on this application). The transport assessment documents the commuting behaviour of new residents which is discussed further up on this page.
Again, I appreciate your views on height, massing etc but as discussed earlier this is a point that will always have numerous camps debating what is and isn't acceptable. We have demonstrated that the new scheme does not have any quantifiable issues with height/scale/mass etc such as internal light conditions, overlooking, overshadowing and sunlight provision to the landscaped areas. As such, we feel that the scheme is of a size, scale and overall architectural aesthetic that is suitable for the area.
The consultation process that we undertook before making the planning submission was indeed to help craft a development that people want but as I'm sure you can imagine (as you can also see from the comments in the Statement of Community Involvement), there are too many conflicting opinions to ever satisfy this completely. This is also in response to the comments that teuchter made earlier; throughout the 10 public consultation meetings that we held on the current application we continuously updated the information on show in line with where the design was at that particular stage and the feedback we got from the public was instrumental in that happening. For example, at the first meeting we presented 6 possible options for vehicular movement into and out of the site and we asked those in attendance to let us know what they thought the best solution was. The preferred option is the one proposed in the final design.
We made it very clear at the public consultation events that we could not simply adjust and amend the design completely in accordance with all the comments that we received or it just wouldn't work. One person would want it smaller, another bigger, some want more commercial space, others less and/or a different classification etc. Furthermore, many comments we received (such as a change in use classification) are not in line with planning policy and could not be implemented. Comments (such as height/mass) that could feasibly be adopted were taken on board throughout the consultation process which culminated in the schemes final design, we built 2 new physical models during the consultation process to demonstrate the changes that were being incorporated.
Of course there will be debate as to whether or not what we've done is enough, we hope it is but fundamentally we'll have to accept whatever the council decide at the committee meeting.
Is there a date for the committee hearing yet?
It hasn't been confirmed yet, the council should have their agenda finalised at the end of this week or early next week.
I was just wondering and wandering. If you get the go ahead, and you are proven wrong, because #LJSardines gets worse (which it will, but which you won't acknowledge), will you come back and apologise and admit you were wrong? Or like a nasty lover, once you've got your way with the virgins of LJ, will you piss off, never to return, just leaving a nasty stain on the metaphorical comfy mattress?
If the application is approved and the scheme goes ahead, and does indeed worsen the train situation, it's not just (or even mainly) the developer who should apologise. It's Lambeth planning officers (and TfL?) who are supposed to be scrutinising the transport assessment on our behalf.
Given that they recommended the previous application for approval despite the obviously erroneous statement in that application's transport assessment, I don't feel very optimistic.
So, the hearing will be on Tues 21st April, and the planning officers have recommended approval again.
Just to keep you posted we will be meeting with LJAG again next week where I imagine we'll be running through these points in more detail. I'll quickly note my initial responses below:
Their statement above is incorrect, the maximum level set by the Mayor in this area is 650 hr/ha, we are proposing 982 hr/ha (the site is specified as a Major Development Opportunity area, council policy stipulates that higher densities will be considered on these sites).
I won't repeat all the previous points on this. In short, there are no associated problems with height.
(again, the point on density is incorrect). The scheme is a policy compliant proposal, we'd like to think that it will set a precedent for other policy compliant schemes in the area. Other neighbouring sites are not MDO's, as such they will have stricter guidelines in relation to scale and density.
In addition to the earlier points in this thread with regards to public transport, there will be a very large S106 & CIL payment associated with these applications which will be directly used to enhance the local infrastructure. We are not yet sure of the final figure but it will be hundreds of thousands of pounds which we think is very significant.
Quality of life:
This statement is also false. Our daylight assessment clearly demonstrates that the green space will receive in excess of the BRE regulated guidelines regarding sunlight.
This point is also discussed earlier in the thread. We are also now involved with the Masterplan.
No Gurantee that both sites will go ahead together:
I'm not sure that this is a problem at all. Even if this occurs then I can't foresee any issues with one site being developed without the other.
Here's the latest BBuzz update on the two applications. It's good to see that LJAG is working once again with Cllr Jim Dickson to try and find a resolution.
Good piece that.
Didn't realise this application will get referred to Mayor too.
"The application has already been referred to the Mayor at ‘Stage 1’ and the Mayor’s comments will be included in the addendum to this report. Before Lambeth can issue a decision on this application it will need to refer the application again to the Mayor at ‘Stage 2’; where after the Mayor will have the opportunity to elect to become determining authority, direct refusal, or allow Lambeth to proceed and issue the decision in line with its resolution."
Just imagine if this finally gets resolved when Dame Tessa is Mayor
Question for Chris Boyle: I'm interested by your comment about some people wanting it bigger; I've had a quick run through the public comments on the Lambeth planning portal
By my count the 96 public comments break down like this:
88 comments object primarily on the basis of size. 88 of these say it's too big vs 0 that say it could do with being bigger.
8 comments don't specifically mention size (several imply it's too big but don't use the words 'density', 'massing' or 'size', so I've left them as 'neutral')
In that context could you give a little more detail on your comment about taking people's views into consideration, and your point about there being a mix of opinions regarding size?
The committee hearing is this evening. I'm going to go along.
I note there's an objection from the Herne Hill Society. Their objection seems to be well informed, clear and objective. Whoever wrote it obviously put some time into this. Well done, whoever you are. Worth quoting here.
BBuzz piece on the Herne Hill Soc objection, plus a GLA wades in with no overall concerns about the development.
Great big hoarding is now surrounding the site.
Looks like committee approving applications on both sites.
Feeble effort from them in terms of questions asked. Plenty of obvious points that needed scrutiny were not taken up. What was discussed were mainly side issues and they failed to address properly the main ones. Disappointed in all of the committee members.
Thanks for the update. To the untrained the objections from the Herne Hill Society looked pretty damning... referenced policy and had hard facts - did the cttee disagree or are they not obliged to respond to specific objections?
I was there - but couldn't hear everything.
IMHO the committee was looking for movement from the developers - and they thought they had got some.
A lot of the issues are not simply black and white - they are qualitative.
Remember also the planning department is currently under pressure to develop as much housing as possible - and the developer had Family Mosiac in tow to show some willingness to accommodate affordable housing.
I stayed to the end. After 2 hours of Higgs Estate there was another 20 minutes or so devoted the the new St John's School.
There were no objections. Curiously the chair of the committee went into a soliloquy on why there should be trees in the middle of the playground. It was pointed out to her that this was a matter of Health and Safety as it would impede supervision at play time.
Scheme passed unanimously.
Most intriguing of all was Offley Works - a development near Oval where former industrial buildings are being converted into a "Mews".
By this point inn the meeting (9.20) I was one of 2 audience members.
The committee devoted a good time going over this one. Planning permission had been given in 2013, but a condition made that any alterations to materials or design had to be approved by a further committee hearing.
I had never heard the committee going into such detail on aesthetic matters - something they normally completely ignore.
The conservation officer helpfully pointed out this WAS a mews, so they didn't have to worry too much about appearances.
Nevertheless the chair was clear that they were originally trying to preserve the appearance of the mews as former industrial units - and moreover the changes would be notice from the back windows of surrounding streets, if not from the street itself.
Final vote: For - all the ordinary committee members/Against 1 (chair)
Representatives from HHS and LJAG, as well as Cllr Jim Dickinson spoke as objectors. I thought they spoke very well and raised some clear and significant points, much as per the HHS statement I quoted above.
The committee can then put specific questions to the objectors, the applicants, and the council's own planning officers and advisors. But it's up to them what questions they ask, and how much they press when an answer is unclear. They could decide to ask no questions at all, before making their decision.
They asked their own officers for "clarification" on a few of the points raised by the objectors. But I felt that they did not pursue them nearly enough and accepted what I didn't feel were proper answers. Other points, they didn't ask about at all.
One issue was the designation of the site which affects what density is considered acceptable. The planning officer listed the requirements for a site to be designated as "central". It seemed pretty obvious to me that the site does not satisfy most of those. But the commitee members did not pursue these pint by point. They made a half-hearted attempt to find out how the distance from Brixton is measured, for example. The answer was non-definitive. They just let it lie.
Then they wasted time going on about relatively inconsequential points such as the provision of a concierge. Stuff that hadn't been raised by the objectors and hadn't even been mentioned in the 100+ public objections to the application.
It was pretty pathetic really. Especially for a development of this significance.
Indeed. And I recognise that in weighing things up, it may be correct to disregard the objections.
But listening to the sparse and somewhat irrelevant questions I had no confidence that the committee had put in sufficient effort to fully understand the scheme and the issues, and investigate the detailed objections submitted, such that they could make a properly informed decision.
The comments I previously mentioned regarding height were made during the public consultation events that we carried out, not from the comments people have made on the planning portal. Realistically, not everyone who attended our events will have subsequently re-stated their comments on the planning portal.
Obviously both applications have now been approved, I won't go over all the points raised at the committee meeting as our views on this are mostly covered in the earlier pages of this thread. However, I am happy to elaborate on any specific points if anyone has any further queries.
Whilst we do have the approvals, I just wanted to say that this will not end my participation on this website. If anyone has any queries/comments as the scheme progresses from this stage onwards then please let me know and I'll do my best to get back to you asap.
I completely agree with your view on density.
Unfortunately if Lambeth Planning continue along these lines we will end up like Earls Court (which used to be ranked most dense, most expensive and also with the greatest number of small dwellings (i.e. bedsits/one bed flats etc)
In my time as a Lambeth councillor (20 years ago) the biggest problem for people was upgrading to bigger paces as their families grew. Obviously with 21st century rents and housing prices, many people will chose to remain childless I should think.
As for the concierge - I asked the lady in front of me what she thought this was all about. In her view a concierge was probably needed for deliveries and so on - due to the traffic situation likely to occur.
This does seem possible as an explanation - but if it is the Higgs Development concierge will be providing much better service than Lambeth provide on the Loughborough Estate. Maybe the present councillors are sufficiently removed from reality that this did not occur to them.
Here's how the estate looks now with all the businesses cleared out. Note the ludicrous hotfooting security guard about to freak out because I took a picture as I passed. He must be bored. I ignored his shouting.
Separate names with a comma.