23 October 2010

Trying to stop a garden grab at Planning

To very slightly paraphrase Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS5), historic environment is central to our cultural heritage, and hence, a cultural, socio-economic and environmental (and I stress the word environmental) resource that should be sustained for the benefit of present and future generations.
Therefore, I have no hesitation whatsoever in agreeing with the Camberwell Society and local residents in asking that you refuse this application.
The design of the build is out of character and of poor quality and should be refused under policy 3.12 and 3.13 of the Southwark Plan and of course Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) and Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS5).
It is a rather low, mean and cramped scheme which does not integrate successfully into the Conservation area.
The proposal is out of place and incongruous. It will seriously harm and not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. As such it is contrary to policies 3.13, 3.15 and 3.16 in the Southwark plan.
The one vital feature of Grove Park, its central green square and long gardens, will be destroyed if this scheme is approved.
Southwark has adopted a Conservation Statement and nowhere in that statement is this location identified as a site appropriate for development and a change of land use.
Other sites duly identified in the plan have been developed without the overwhelming opposition of those whose direct amenity is affected.
There is little presumption that there is any appropriate development for this site in particular as it can no longer be in any way in planning law be regarded as a brownfield site.
It is green and it should stay green if we are simply to do our statutory duty to protect and enhance the historic and future amenity of Grove Park as a key element, perhaps even the very heart and green soul of the conservation area.
Comrades, Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) says any development should improve the way places look and work.
Nothing about this design improves the look of the conservation area.
Our statutory duty is to ensure all developments protect or enhance the character or appearance of this conservation area, therefore a refusal of planning permission should automatically follow from any correct interpretation of Planning Policy Guidance 15 (PPG15).
It is the approach I ask you to take today. Please protect the existing recognized and highly valued qualities of Grove Hill as are clearly set down in the Conservation Area Statement and the Camber Well that springs forth from it’s summit.

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