I noticed in the local paper that one of my favourite local buildings, the old Bacons school at the corner of Tower Bridge Road and Grange Road has a planning application in to demolish and rebuild as eight floors of student accomodation. It is really an outstanding example of the small gothic style Victorian school buildings and adds hugely to the streetscape at the end of Grange Road. I find it hard to believe that such a building is not listed, I don't know the condition internally but externally it is untouched, a lovely concoction of slate roofs, spires and for luck a romanesque collonade. Perhaps it is because it is council owned and listing would have decreased its development potential. The proposed replacement is one of the most insensitive slabs of mediocre 'stuff it in till it bursts' student housing blocks I have seen. If it was not for my holding the application in my hands yesterday at Portland House I would not really have believed it was anything more than a misprint. I suspect it is a developers punt to maximise the value of the site and then sell on.
I am writing to the council to object on the grounds that such a building should be protected as it is part of the social and architectural history of this area
I hope others in the forum also take a look, and hopefully complain too
I think it is listed. I found the application on Southwark's planning database, and they want to retain the facade of the building.
This is the description of the plans on Southwark's Planning Applications database:
Demolition of existing 765sq.m. special need facility (with the retention of the existing building facade), erection of new 991sq.m. special need facility with 45 new self contained student flats above in two blocks, 5 storey facing onto Grange Road & 7 storeys to the rear of the site. New pedestrian access, off Grange Road, to student accommodation.
[Edited to delete long link and cut and paste description.]
Edited 2 times. Last edit at 26 April 2005 9.29am by The Lady Miss Jo Jo.
When I went to the council yesterday, they showed me their records of listed buildings in Grange Road and it is not included, though the adjacent terrace is. The yellow sign outside the building says it is listed but there is not a listed building application attached to the planning application at the council offices and it is not mentioned in the architects statement. but then again the notices in the local paper have it under listed buildings applications.
One would have thought it would be clear cut, but obviously not.
There is a small section of the building retained in the plans, but it loses all meaning when the remainder of the building is so comprehensively trashed, and it would almost better that if it goes that it all goes. The building is very much a three dimensional object and to keep a slice of facade is really a mockery of the process. Of course I hope none of it goes.
I live in one of the 8 flats at Woods Place, and we are all vehemently against the development proposed. My balcony overlooks the site so I am not happy about losing all the sunlight thanks to a building half as high again next door. We have received notice and have 21 days to get our objections in. Can anybody recommend a good planning consultant?
Having found out that the building is not listed, I'm putting in an application to English Heritage for them to do so. Hopefully this will help prevent demolition of what is an excellent example of Victorian School building, and an important part of local history.
If you send me a PM Juanita, I can give you a name of a very professional planning consultant I have worked with, and he would certainly be able to shred the application made. I don't know if he is too busy at the moment or what his fees are though.
I have been told that Southwark College applied for planning permission for a similar development at their premises in SE16 twice. Local residents fought against both applications, and both were refused. This is one of those areas I know very little about, but I have been passed the following contacts of organisations that give free advice on planning issues: