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Perronet House Shop

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Monday 17 December 2007 6.27pm
I received a letter today from Southwark Council notifying me of their application for planning permission to convert vacant garage space under our tower into a shop. I don't know more about the plans but in principle it sounds like a great idea. Originally Perronet House had a few shops on the podium level in Princess Street, but these are now part of the Princess Street NHS surgery or flats. I know that there are large voids under the building that are not vacant garages but empty gated space considered too small or strangely shaped for letting into car parking spaces. I've always thought they'd make a neat little convenience store on the commercially sparse London Road side, or perhaps even a much needed public toilet. Let's hope Southwark Council are thinking along the same lines.

Plans can be inspected between 10am and 4pm at the Council Offices in Chiltern, Portland Street, London, SE17 2ES.

Any further knowledge or opinions gratefully received.
Monday 17 December 2007 7.46pm
What sort of shop? Make sure it's not an eatery, or an off license.....
Monday 17 December 2007 7.55pm
It's for class A1:
"Use for the retail sale of goods other than hot food, including funeral directors, showroom, post office, travel and ticket agencies, hairdresser, for sale of cold food for consumption off the premises, for hire of domestic or personal goods, for reception of goods to be washed, cleaned or repaired, and where the sale, display or service is to visiting members of the public. Internet cafes."

Application 07/AP/2275 on Southwark's new-look online planning applications register.

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Monday 17 December 2007 9.00pm
Thanks James......
Monday 17 December 2007 9.24pm
Southwark still don't let people object to planning applications online, like Lambeth does. I'm a bit sick of having to chase Southwark because they didn't recieve my objection, even when I've emailed it in. Grrrrr.
Monday 17 December 2007 11.11pm

I was walking past Perronet House for the first time in ages yesterday, and looked at all those blank brick walls.

I was trying to remember what the ground floor used to look like before Southwark bricked everything up (in 1989?)

Edited to add:

From, I've just realised that the building works started a bit earlier and created a whole extra floor of flats where there used to be a row of pilotis:

It is just a shame they used such a bloody nasty shade of brickwork!
Wednesday 19 December 2007 10.09pm
I have been to the regeneration office in Portland Street and photocopied the most important documents about the proposed Perronet House shop, scanned them and uploaded them here for all to see:

(This PDF is wide, zoom in to 100% and scroll to the right)

In short:
- It is indeed the voids on the London Road side near the bus stops.
- The application is for an independent grocer / off-licence
- The design is utilitarian, adding nothing of architectural merit to the area, but also unlikely to detract.

My thoughts... (I've yet to discuss this with neighbours, but will report back discussions if they prove animated):
1. In principle making use of this vacant space is a very good idea. It has been silly, perhaps irresponsible, of Southwark to leave this large void derelict in such a busy location when it could have been earning them rent and providing a service to customers. The presence of a retailer here may hopefully reduce the perpetual problem of men and women urinating at the base of the tower... or perhaps the occupiers will become accustomed to it too.
2. I would rather not have an off-licence. Alfresco alcohol consumption at this patch is already high - I pick up beer, vodka and cider cans and bottles from the flowerbeds almost daily (in fact I spotted a vodka bottle in there this evening which I need to clear away later). An off-licence will just exacerbate the problem of this patch as a watering hole... which in turn, by merit of the human water cycle, leads to more urination. There are also two grocer / off-licences very near by at both ends of Garden Row (the road which joins London Rd and St George's Rd), one beneath Metro Central Heights and of course Tesco and it's Oakmayne replacement.
3. I would prefer this location to be a dry cleaners, a coffee shop, a locksmith, a news agent, an indoor home for the friendly cheap green grocer with his trolley outside the tube, or best of all: a florist.

This location is gold dust. The foot traffic is huge 24 hours a day, it is right on the "Trafalgar Square of the South" and right next to the large flower beds that I have been nurturing back into glory (you wait 'till Spring 08 for the big show of colour).

Please share your thoughts here and contact Susannah Pettit on 020 7525 5405 with your feedback, though only written comments count (Regeneration Office, Portland St, SE17 2ES). Consultation ends on the 3rd Jan (doing this over Christmas and New Year seems a mildly cynical attempt to bury potentially controversial plans.)
Thursday 20 December 2007 12.48pm
All of that sounds good to me. I shall be writing as appropriate.

Not another costexpander please.
Saturday 22 December 2007 5.02pm
I find it amazing that the forms are not signed and it doesnt tell you who's apply for the change of use. O well, hopefully it will be a good change of ue and not some hot food take away.
Thursday 27 December 2007 5.42pm
Pops wrote:
I find it amazing that the forms are not signed and it doesnt tell you who's apply for the change of use. O well, hopefully it will be a good change of ue and not some hot food take away.

Southwark, like most local councils, should now remove signatures, e-mail and phone details of both applicants (and where relevant objectors) from the scanned images on their planning websites. This is (i) to prevent nuisance/harrassment calls/e-mail
(ii) to prevent identity theft

However, what infuriates me is that in the process of taking these details out to meet the data protection registrar's concenns, Southwark now seem to have removed public access to the basic details of the applicants and agents name from their database as well!!!
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