We live in a block of flats on the corner of Grange Road (Bridge View Court) and we recently received a letter from the Council informing us that our management company & freeholders (The evil Peverel Co.) have applied to add two new floors to our building (ie. from a 5 storey to 7 storey).
We received an "idea" letter from architects several months back asking us for our initial thoughts to a possible plan to add these floors but were told it wouldn't be years until the plan actually got underway. I didn't bother replying as the idea seemed insane and illegal.
Originally, at the time of purchase, we were told by the developers that the roof would be converted into a Roof Terrace and Garden for shared use by all residents.
I know the residents at the Jam factory were quite successful in getting the green space instead of a new block in front of the chimney block. Is there anyone from the residents association at JF who could help us with what rights we have and how we can oppose this ridiculous plan?
There's nothing in it for the residents other than probably more increase to our already inflated service charges, more disruction to our satiated infrastructure and lift service and apart from the noise, dust, inconvenience, I can't see why we should agree to this proposal. My other fear is that this building was built as a 5 floor office block back in the 60s. It wasn't necessarily designed for extra weight of two new floors above our heads. Given Peverel's rubbish design record, I can just imagine the building collapsing above us.
Any help would be gratefully appreciated! Where do the rights of freeholders end?
Living nearby to you, I have been given the opportunity to comment on this Planning application.
Personally, I will object as the block is quite big enough already.
PM need Planning Permission, and I think I'm right that it only takes three objections to get an application referred to a Planning Meeting.
You might want to ensure that you get an objection signed by as many of those consulted as you can. You'll find the list of neighbours consulted on the Southwark Planning Website.
Petitions are useful only in as far as they raise awareness, they have little weight at planning commitee stage. Peveral aren't stupid, they wouldn't start what they can't finish. Do you have the terrace plans in writing?
Thanks for the link Bill.O. It's v useful to see how they think they have actually "informed us"! i will dig out the original letter but it was clearly not worded in such a way, which is why i assume nobody objected.
In any event, I am going to write a letter and get as many owners/tenants as possible to sign.
In fact, Southwark Council itself has already described it as "oversized", but I can't remember exactly where I read that; perhaps in a document relating to Conservation Area extension proposals. If anyone recalls where the description was made, please post here.
Am I correct in saying that the "over-scaled" modern building to which the Interim Head of Development and Building Control refers is Bridge View Court?
I think it might be relevant to cite the London Borough of Southwark Unitary Development plan, which in Policy 3.13 (according to a letter I once received to deny the appeal of a dismissed planning application by the owners of a Victorian building opposite Bridge View Court) "seeks to ensure that the principles of good urban design are taken into account and in particular that the height, scale and massing of buildings should be appropriate to the local context."
If Southwark already think Bridge View Court is "over-scaled" then there are solid grounds for objection?
Having read the article, I agree. The council most certainly is referring to Bridge View Court as 'over-scaled'. Certainly even more reason to object to it, I'd say.
Your freeholder sounds like a nightmare!
But if you don't already have a residents committee, then form one. (I can send you stuff like a generic constitution and the other things that you need to be a proper committee so that they have to take you seriously.)
Then I'd suggest knocking on all doors to meet your neighbours, to make them aware and to get others involved. Obviously draw up a petition against the works and send it to the planning office (and possibly cc in Julie Greer, Conservation Team Manager and Paul Calvocoresssi, Senior Design and Conservation Officer (who wrote the above document) because they might be able to help you!)
I'd offer to object to but I'm on Alscot Road which I guess is too far away to have any right to...
I may be wrong but my understanding is that although the planning dept. has to make direct contact with those living within a particular radius of a planning application, anyone may comment on an application, regardless of where they live. It's also a popular misconception that objections are invited, but in fact it's comments, positive or negative.
So, in this case, although more attention might be paid in the decision-making process to those living close enough to be directly affected by the development, anyone may draw the planning officer's attention to whether is is or isn't in line with Southwark's own published development plan.