The Society is sometimes perceived as being less concerned over the planning problems of our members who live in the boroughs of Lambeth or indeed Lewisham rather then Southwark. This is not the case of course, but the area of the Estate actually in each of these two boroughs is relatively small and this is reflected in the number of planning applications that we see.
The most recent major application on the Lambeth part of the Estate was the extension to Oakfield School to which we objected because of the size of the building relative to neighbouring houses. We have also requested the Estate to monitor the condition of the service road behind the new Tesco shop in Croxted Road, (Tesco itself did not need planning consent as there was already a food shop there previously) and we are expecting the Estate to make a planning application for the redevelopment of the former United Dairies site in Croxted Road later this year.
In the mean time there is a current application in Bullfinch Court, the area of garages behind the council flats on Croxted Road, just north of the West Dulwich shopping centre. The site backs on to the Carson Road Conservation Area and the southern boundary of Lings Coppice.
The proposal is for 17 social housing units of various sizes, planned around a central parking court, with each house having its own private garden.
The Society does not object to some development in the area, as the garages are clearly largely redundant, but considers that the scheme is too dense. The number of units means that several of them are located on the boundary with the Carson Road gardens and will seriously compromise their amenity. The design is contemporary and, while flat roofs (like Lings Coppice) are not unknown in the area, the proposal to build in white brick is out of keeping. There are also concerns over access for refuse vehicles - the access road is very narrow. We have asked Lambeth to turn the application down pending discussions on a more acceptable scheme.
The long awaited extension to the Dulwich Village Conservation Area was finally approved at the Southwark Council's Planning Committee Meeting on 15thMarch. Some of our more cynical members may note that it was approved at the end of the agenda where the Council granted outline planning consent for the proposed Velodrome development (before it was designated into the new conservation area). Taking a more positive view, however, the extension is clearly very welcome. The Committee, at the suggestion of Cllr. David Bradbury, also strengthened a clause regarding infilling and the planning guidance for Dulwich Conservation Area now reads "There will be a presumption against permitting any infill schemes which detract from this open character"
The boundary has been extended from the draft proposal taking on board many of the Society's comments. The line now runs up Court Lane (including Court Lane Gardens) to Lordship Lane. It then follows north along Lordship Lane to the Library where it turns in slightly to run along the backs of the gardens in Beauval Road down to Townley Road. It includes the original main school building of Alleyn's, the 1960s Great Spilmans development, and JAGS. The boundary then follows the North Dulwich railway line south west till it meets the West Dulwich -Victoria line where it turns south to Alleyn Park and Huntslip Road.
As far as residents are concerned, there should be little change over the current situation regarding the Dulwich Estate. They will still have to apply to them for any external alterations to houses and gardens but, if the proposal is of such a size that planning consent is needed from Southwark, they will also need conservation area consent. Buildings cannot be demolished in conservation areas without the Council's approval and the criteria for assessing the design of developments are stricter - any building or extension has to positively enhance the setting of the conservation area. This should mean that mobile telephone masts will be easier to object to on the basis that their appearance does not enhance the conservation area.
The proposed mobile phone mast on the Pelo sports ground is covered elsewhere in the magazine. We are still awaiting the results of the application opposite the Park entrance on the South Circular and the Society knows of at lease three other potential applications in the pipeline. The Society's current policy is to object to all applications within the conservation area and particularly anywhere near the schools.
The applicant for the additional house in the rear garden of this property has gone to appeal over Southwark's rejection of the original application - it was overruled by councillors against officer recommendation.
The applicant here has also gone to appeal over the rejection of his application to make this site a commuter car park.
With the granting of planning permission for one year the scheme of the Crystal Palace Foundation to raise a replica corner of Paxton's great structure comes to fruition in June. Columns for the 'corner' will be brought down the Grand Union Canal by barge to London thus following the mode of transport used in 1852. They will then be transported from their original site in Hyde Park to Sydenham.
The 'corner' will then be assembled at the site near the museum as an educational exhibit.