In 2017/18 you helped mobilise to stop a stealth development on the Stable Yard site, near Consort Road. As a result we worked with the developers and made excellent progress in turning the initial plans into a community-inspired vision for mixed-use development and public space. The site has since been sold to Picfare Homes and a new planning application, based on a different design, has been sent to the Southwark planning team for approval.
We now need to hold the council and the new developers to account in delivering something that is in line with the vision you helped to develop for the site before. The main elements of this were: high-quality design; incorporating the heritage building; including commercial space for local businesses; ensuring a car-free development; comprising of mixed residential homes.
A few of us met with the directors of Picfare and their architects some weeks ago. We have welcomed the receptiveness of the developers to understanding and attempting to emulate the design principles you helped to develop last year. But much more must be done to properly honour the ambition and community benefits. This includes ensuring that the aesthetics of materials, landscaping and planting, as well as access for pedestrians, are all done properly.
By value engineering to maximise their profits the developers are missing the opportunity to create quality homes for future residents, undervaluing the creation of public space for the wider community.
Since the scheme was submitted to Southwark we have encouraged the developers, and given them time, to engage with the community on the design, but they have been invisible.
We have also written to Councillor Johnson Situ, the Cabinet lead for Growth, Development and Planning, asking him to help protect this section of the Coal Line – a copy of that letter can be found here. It is the Council that will review and approve the application. It is the Council that will grant any conditions of development. It is the Council who can hold the developers to account for realising the ambition of the local plan and the Coal Line through this site.
Now, once again, its time for you to do something.
We only get this chance once. Act now before it is too late and these plans get approved without involvement from people in Peckham. Together we did amazing things and now we have to defend them. Southwark Council officers are powerless without your objections and pressure from councillors.
Please copy and paste the letter below today and send it to Councillor Situ and council planning officers and importantly as an objection to the planning application here before Saturday 8th June. And do add your own feelings about the Peckham Coal Line if you have time.
Councillor Situ - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lasma Putrina - Planning Officer - email@example.com
Dear Councillor Situ / Lasma Putrina
I am writing to object to planning application 19/AP/1203f or the Stable Yard Site at 39B Consort Road.
The revised scheme delivers neither the ambition nor the community benefits of the previously agreed designs which were led by community engagement.
Several elements of the new Picfare plans fail to deliver. Specifically:
- There is a lack of clear commitment to developing the first part of the Peckham Coal Line, as safeguarded in the new Southwark Plan.
- There has been no active engagement with the local community to inform the design.
- The design and proposed construction is of a significantly lower quality, including smaller windows, less detailing and cheaper materials.
- The landscape plan submitted alongside the revised plans has been copied from the last design but does not match the revision.
- The public access through the development is reduced and not implicit.
- Worryingly, we also consider that the proposed new design does not meet GLA guidelines for new homes, which will diminish quality of life for future residents. These are in section D4 (E) and include but are not limited to:
- “Residential development should maximise the provision of dual aspect dwellings (and) will have adequate passive ventilation, daylight and privacy, and avoid overheating.”
- “Blocks and floor plans are orientated to optimise opportunities for visual interest through a range of immediate and longer range views, with the views from individual dwellings considered at an early design stage.”
- These were noted in the pre-application advice given by the council. The very small, north-facing windows do not make the most of the views and will offer too little ventilation to mitigate the enormous heat gain from the unshaded south-facing windows. These flats will be ovens.
- Furthermore the site’s relationship to the surrounding area is weakened and the ambition falls short of the previously agreed proposal.
As a result I recommend that this application is refused on grounds of poor design quality, and that the design and material choice be reassessed to create better living conditions for residents that comply with GLA guidelines set out in policy D4 Housing Quality and Standards.
This watered-down scheme does not address what Peckham and its residents need.