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Exhibition of Barratt's major development of Blackfriars Rd.

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Tuesday 29 July 2014 7.24pm
Head of DM wrote:
"We have learned that Southwark may no longer be accepting private comments to planning applications via email. It would seem that the only way to send in comments is by post or via the council website form. The actual planning site does not say so yet, however."
I'm not sure from where this misinformation springs! We are looking at improving how email and eform comments are recorderd to each planning application. We are looking at enabling comments to be made directly online and recorded to the relevant application. This is a practice that other authorities use. Of course, emailed comments, posted comments, hand delivered, etc are all accepted.



Having just returned to London after a five-day break, I was very concerned to read this thread and to see the word "misinformation" being used. The clarifications set out below will, I am sure, clear up any confusion and show that there has been no misinformation emanating from the local community or from BARD.
When as a local resident I received a letter dated 03/07/14 from yourself, the Head of DM, regarding planning application 14/AP/1862, I was alarmed to see that it deviated significantly from the usual letters we receive. The key differences were as follows:
- The first paragraph ('Your timescale for making comments') stated, "Comments objecting to or in support of the application should be sent to me in writing, preferably by e-form (using the "Planning - comment on a planning application" form available at https://forms.southwark.gov.uk)...". The link led to a general forms page that required the user to scroll quite far down the page in order to find the form;
- Nowhere in the letter was there a direct email address for people to use, such as the standard one of planning.consultation@southwark.gov.uk;
- The only other option given for submission of comments was, "by letter to the address shown at the top of this letter".
As you are aware, this is a highly contentious application for one reason only: its proposal to build a 27-storey tower next to St George's Circus on a section of Blackfriars Road where the highest building stands no more than 9 storeys tall. The exhibition by Barratt in 2013 elicited many objections from the local community regarding the tower heights, and you will also be aware of the strength of local feeling in that same year about the Blackfriars SPD, which effectively ignored the conclusion of adopted policy document, Bankside, Borough and London Bridge Stage 2 Tall Building Study (December 2009), that tall buildings would be inappropriate south of The Cut. Additionally, having studied the document IMPACT ON DAYLIGHT, SUNLIGHT, OVERSHADOWING, LIGHT POLLUTION AND SOLAR GLARE relating to the application from Barratt, I was horrified to see the degree of "major adverse impact" and "moderate adverse impact" on existing residents' properties at Peabody Square.
As a long-time resident with a passion for my local area and the quality of life of the many residents who have made this part of Southwark what it is today - a living, working community with a unique character - I felt it my duty to alert BARD to the contents of the letter I had received from you, so that they could let residents know about the new e-form and the alternative option of submitting a letter by post.
Whilst I welcome your saying in this thread (albeit at this late stage) that the Council will accept multiple methods of submitting comments, this was not actually what your letter said, and this is what caused the alarm bells to go off for me, and make me feel that it was very important to let other residents know about what appeared to be some key changes in the options for submitting comments.
I am sure you will want to check your letter of 03/07/14 and provide some feedback as to why it omitted to mention the multiple methods of submitting comments.
I note also that in my absence, BARD very courteously apologised for “spreading the misinformation”, but I trust that my response to this thread shows quite clearly that this was not at all the case and that the information posted by BARD originated in fact from the contents of your letter of 03/07/14. I must say that it is refreshing to see such engagement on this forum from your department and I look forward to your comments on my post and to continuing this open discussion; I can see that other forum members have raised some excellent additional points about planning, in particular the feeling that it is a waste of time to send in objections about tall buildings, and the difficulties associated with reading the huge number of supporting documents to applications, both of which I completely agree with.
I also think that the Council should make it clear to the public that comments will be accepted after the consultation end date, up to the day before the planning committee date.
If anyone reading this thread who would like to see a copy of your letter of 03/07/14 that I received! I will be happy to provide this as well as a copy of my detailed comments on the application, which I submitted to Southwark Council on 24/07/14.
Finally, your letter of 03/07/14 set the consultation end date at 26/07/14, but I have been told that that this has now been extended to 02/08/14 on Southwark Council's website, and this is a welcome extension because this is a huge development and people need time to understand the impact it will have on the area in order to formulate their comments.
Wednesday 30 July 2014 7.25am
Was at a meeting last night where concerns were expressed about the unsuitability of tall buildings in the Blackfriars Road area. I went to the council meeting where the SPD was called in, but then it was voted through despite some strong arguments. It seems to me that when local people express well thought through objections, they are baffled as to why the planning permission seems to be given anyway.Their objections simply are ignored. The same goes for the demolition of well loved local buildings that areas supposed to be in conservation areas. Bam. They are pulled down and there is nothing that can be done. Why?
There is an article here suggesting that there is a connection between tall buildings and economic collapse.
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/shortcuts/2014/jul/29/gherkin-krakow-skeletor-skyscrapers-empire-state-building
Sunday 3 August 2014 7.24am
bumbly2013 wrote:
Head of DM wrote:
"We have learned that Southwark may no longer be accepting private comments to planning applications via email. It would seem that the only way to send in comments is by post or via the council website form. The actual planning site does not say so yet, however."
I'm not sure from where this misinformation springs! We are looking at improving how email and eform comments are recorderd to each planning application. We are looking at enabling comments to be made directly online and recorded to the relevant application. This is a practice that other authorities use. Of course, emailed comments, posted comments, hand delivered, etc are all accepted.



Having just returned to London after a five-day break, I was very concerned to read this thread and to see the word "misinformation" being used. The clarifications set out below will, I am sure, clear up any confusion and show that there has been no misinformation emanating from the local community or from BARD.
When as a local resident I received a letter dated 03/07/14 from yourself, the Head of DM, regarding planning application 14/AP/1862, I was alarmed to see that it deviated significantly from the usual letters we receive. The key differences were as follows:
- The first paragraph ('Your timescale for making comments') stated, "Comments objecting to or in support of the application should be sent to me in writing, preferably by e-form (using the "Planning - comment on a planning application" form available at https://forms.southwark.gov.uk)...". The link led to a general forms page that required the user to scroll quite far down the page in order to find the form;
- Nowhere in the letter was there a direct email address for people to use, such as the standard one of planning.consultation@southwark.gov.uk;
- The only other option given for submission of comments was, "by letter to the address shown at the top of this letter".
As you are aware, this is a highly contentious application for one reason only: its proposal to build a 27-storey tower next to St George's Circus on a section of Blackfriars Road where the highest building stands no more than 9 storeys tall. The exhibition by Barratt in 2013 elicited many objections from the local community regarding the tower heights, and you will also be aware of the strength of local feeling in that same year about the Blackfriars SPD, which effectively ignored the conclusion of adopted policy document, Bankside, Borough and London Bridge Stage 2 Tall Building Study (December 2009), that tall buildings would be inappropriate south of The Cut. Additionally, having studied the document IMPACT ON DAYLIGHT, SUNLIGHT, OVERSHADOWING, LIGHT POLLUTION AND SOLAR GLARE relating to the application from Barratt, I was horrified to see the degree of "major adverse impact" and "moderate adverse impact" on existing residents' properties at Peabody Square.
As a long-time resident with a passion for my local area and the quality of life of the many residents who have made this part of Southwark what it is today - a living, working community with a unique character - I felt it my duty to alert BARD to the contents of the letter I had received from you, so that they could let residents know about the new e-form and the alternative option of submitting a letter by post.
Whilst I welcome your saying in this thread (albeit at this late stage) that the Council will accept multiple methods of submitting comments, this was not actually what your letter said, and this is what caused the alarm bells to go off for me, and make me feel that it was very important to let other residents know about what appeared to be some key changes in the options for submitting comments.
I am sure you will want to check your letter of 03/07/14 and provide some feedback as to why it omitted to mention the multiple methods of submitting comments.
I note also that in my absence, BARD very courteously apologised for “spreading the misinformation”, but I trust that my response to this thread shows quite clearly that this was not at all the case and that the information posted by BARD originated in fact from the contents of your letter of 03/07/14. I must say that it is refreshing to see such engagement on this forum from your department and I look forward to your comments on my post and to continuing this open discussion; I can see that other forum members have raised some excellent additional points about planning, in particular the feeling that it is a waste of time to send in objections about tall buildings, and the difficulties associated with reading the huge number of supporting documents to applications, both of which I completely agree with.
I also think that the Council should make it clear to the public that comments will be accepted after the consultation end date, up to the day before the planning committee date.
If anyone reading this thread who would like to see a copy of your letter of 03/07/14 that I received! I will be happy to provide this as well as a copy of my detailed comments on the application, which I submitted to Southwark Council on 24/07/14.
Finally, your letter of 03/07/14 set the consultation end date at 26/07/14, but I have been told that that this has now been extended to 02/08/14 on Southwark Council's website, and this is a welcome extension because this is a huge development and people need time to understand the impact it will have on the area in order to formulate their comments.


Still waiting for a reply to this response I posted to the Head of DM....
Friday 8 August 2014 5.18pm
Those who doubt or dismiss residents' anxieties about having tall buildings on their doorsteps: take a look at these powerful visuals http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/ng-interactive/2014/mar/london-skyline-changing-now-future-pictures and you will see why those fears are justifiable. Tall buildings require a strategy. Plonking them down willy-nilly into any spare bit of land that becomes available is not a strategy.
Saturday 9 August 2014 12.24am
The view south from Blackfriars Bridge looks particularly clumsy.
Saturday 9 August 2014 8.50am
Karen I wrote:
The view south from Blackfriars Bridge looks particularly clumsy.

Yes, clumsy indeed. No clustering, and inappropriate "plonking" down of gigantic buildings wherever there's a spare plot of land, with no regard to what is already there in terms of building heights and residential communities.

This is exactly why these visuals are so informative - and necessary.

When the Blackfriars Road Draft SPD was being consulted on, I asked time and again for residents to be provided with a visual map that would show the impact of the tall buildings proposed along Blackfriars Road. My request was recorded, but no one from Southwark Council ever came back with such a map. In today's digital world they are obviously not difficult to produce. Southwark needs to start providing these kinds of visuals so that we can properly understand the impact of develolpments - in in fact, they should be made compulsory for every tall building application.
Sunday 10 August 2014 12.38pm
For posters in this thread, I can highly recommend a new thread started by pros, called "Planning for people who live in Southwark now". There is a really informative discussion going on there with many points that would be of interest to people in this thread.
Wednesday 10 December 2014 4.59pm
Looks like this application will be decided on Thursday 18 December.

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Wednesday 10 December 2014 5.32pm
Yes, I got an email today confirming this. We need to make our presence felt at this meeting. This is the first application to build a tower at this end of Blackfriars Road. It is totally out of scale for the area and its surroundings and should not get planning permission. Forty four neighbouring homes will lose daylight - it could be you. If you live on Library Street, you will bear the brunt of this building because your road will have increased commercial traffic including rubbish collection and deliveries. Look out for information from Southwark Residents Say No.
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