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Charity wins Founder's Place appeal

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Sunday 14 October 2007 10.02pm
Founder's Place has been much discussed on this forum. The Inspector has allowed the Charity's Appeal against Lambeth Council's refusal of planning permission. In his conclusion the Inspector noted:
the regenerative effects of the proposal, the high architectural and urban design quality of the appeals scheme and social and economic benefits associated with the mix of uses proposed - especially those arising from the proposed health care and affordable housing elements. These benefits could be secured without harming the amenity of Archbishop's Park. (16.2)

More specifically on some of the key issues that have been discussed on this forum he concluded:

Row of Plane trees
I am satisfied that a row of Plane trees growing close to the northern boundary of the park could be safeguarded by measures which both main parties agree upon in principle and which could be secured by planning conditions. I am also satisfied that the positions of buildings on the southern part of the site would not inevitably result in pressure for the pruning or removal of protected trees. Any such proposals would, of course, be subject to controls exercisable by the planning authority under the provisions of the Tree Preservation Order. (15.47)

Impact on Archbishop's Park
With regard to the effect of the development proposed on the contribution made by Archbishop's Park to the conservation area, I do not consider that buildings proposed to be sited on the southern part of the site would detract from the park's essentially open character or pleasing appearance. (15.46)

Architectural quality of the development
The appeal scheme, although consisting of buildings of dramatically different heights and proportions, shows a consistency of design and detailing that would engender a strong sense of place. The concept of an entirely new neighbourhood set within, but not apart from, an area with a well-established character of its own would be powerfully conveyed by the design and layout of its buildings. The two tower buildings proposed would be attractive features in themselves and would convey a unique identity to the development. The lower elements of the scheme include, in their design and detail, references to the taller buildings. These serve as a unifying influence throughout the scheme. (15.28)

the appeal site is, in my opinion, capable of accommodating buildings of the number, size and scale proposed. The layout proposed, placing lower buildings on the southern part of the site, is responsive to the essential open character of Archbishop's Park. (15.30)

Loss of Holy Trinity Centre
Although the development proposed would result in the loss of buildings that presently make a positive contribution to the special interest of the conservation area, that loss is outweighed by benefits the scheme would bring to the area. (16.2)

Rehousing of existing tenants
The residential accommodation proposed would be of a standard compatible with the urban location of the appeal site and, insofar as it is a planning consideration, would be likely to meet the needs of existing residents who have an entitlement to be re-housed. (16.3)

New housing
the appeal scheme would provide new and additional housing at a density that would make effective and efficient use of previously developed land in an urban location highly accessible by public transport. The housing element of the proposal would provide affordable housing of a percentage in line with strategic and local planning objectives for London. Importantly, it would provide additional housing for key workers employed within the National Health Service. (16.1)

NB Frred = Fred (but the former was unable to login as the latter!)
Related news & features
Tuesday 16 October 2007 1.56pm
As a local resident I was so pleased that commonsense prevailed at last. How anyone (and that includes our local MP) could be so misguided to oppose a scheme that gives so much to the community and supports the hospital by providing keyworker accommodation is unfathomable. The land is derelict and the area is crying out for regeneration. I have lived nearby for nearly 20 years and it will be wonderful to see clean new buildings that have a purpose and will be occupied by residents. The area can only improve and no doubt the new residents will want to retain much that is good especially in the park.

how much has this cost Lambeth council and how much will our council tax go up as a result. I bet that Kate Hoey will keep a low profile regarding these questions!
Tuesday 16 October 2007 4.42pm
It is a sad day for democracy when the wishes of the local authroity elected by the local people, the wishes of the MP elected by the local people and the wishes of many of the local people themselves can be ignored by a government minister. One wonders what is the point of all the planning meetings and the hours wasted by so many people in attending when at the end of the day it doesn't seem to matter it all boils down to what the govenment want.
Tuesday 16 October 2007 10.11pm
Dee Dee needs to remember that the planning committee that turned down Founder's Place was ousted within a few weeks of their vote and some of them lost their seats. Democracy spoke, the people did not like their decision.

It is worth remembering that Lambeth Council has built up a reputation in the last few years of turning down planning applications that go to Appeal and they are then given planning consent. Councillors may be elected but election does not necessarily endow them with the ability to make sound judgements which is why the system of Appealing exists. The decision about Founder's Place was made by a government minister on the recommendation of an independent inspector. There were a very small group of noisy individuals who opposed the scheme: a large silent majority looked on in amazement at the antics of a few who wished the area to remain derelict and an eyesore and that includes the local MP
Wednesday 17 October 2007 6.16am
This is all very worthy but I have to say that these "independent Inspectors" are FAR from that. The Government is intent upon jacking up the housing statistics, and - and particularly in the time of John Prescott (may he rot in hell) - the Inspectors were given instructions to pass pretty well ANYTHING that was not a total outrage. I know this only too well, alas (the monstrostity going up on the parking lot of MCH). The Government (who controls the Inspectors) and the developers (especially the really big ones like Tony Pidgely) are in cahoots, one hand washes the other, and everyone is happy - except the local residents who are often people who will bear the brunt of overdevelopment and abandonment of green spaces and so on. I wonder, Foxy Friend, whether the planning committee which was disbanded following the new elections were really voted out because of the Founders Place matter...I doubt it very much. They lost their seats because of political swings and roundabouts. It may interest you to know, by the way, that there is a huge OVER provision of key worker housing.
Wednesday 17 October 2007 11.00am

I must say that you are absolutely wrong, and that the inspectors are completely independent. They may get overruled by the Secretary of State (although not in this case, I understand), but their views are considered and objective.

How do I know? Because my mother was a very senior planning inspector, now retired.

The inspectors are there to listen to all sides of the story and opine on how the proposals and views fit in with the policies already agreed and published by both local and central government.

This was why I posted here with advice before the inquiry, saying people need to refer to policies, not opinion when making any representation, including opposing ones.

In this case, as is usually the case, the Lambeth local plan was anything but clear. In addition, the central government policies encourage intensive development, and the scheme was supported by Ken.

On that basis, given the comparatively weak, largely subjective, arguements put forward by objectors, it was a foregone conclusion.

It was nice to see the inspector requiring investment by the developers in the local environment and the park, and the protection of the trees.


Wednesday 17 October 2007 8.09pm
A Poison Tree by William Blake.

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree
Monday 12 November 2007 10.24pm
The architect welcomed the Secretary of State's decision by saying:
Sir Terry Farrell wrote:
This is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to Lambeth's regeneration, with the creation of a new urban quarter for the well-being of staff, patients and their families at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. I also believe that we will enhance the environment for the wider district as this is a model mixed-use scheme, with much needed social and private housing alongside a variety of medical and community facilities.

For a graphic of the development, where work is due to start in early 2008, click here.

Fred the thread

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