Peyps Community Forum, Goldsmiths College, Evelyn Parents Forum, Crossfields Residents Association, Second Wave Youth Arts, Deptford Folk, The Quay Point, Local Residents and DNA have all signed a letter to Sadiq Khan asking him to use his mandate to redress the balance between developers and ordinary Londoners.
Asking the Mayor to re-envisage Convoys Wharf in line with his Housing Plan for London for London would mean that 50% of the homes were truly affordable housing rather than the 15% agreed by Boris! Stressing the importance of giving “first dibs” to local tenants and first time buyers, Malcolm Cadman, Chair of Pepys Community Forum pointed out that the current plans are “targeted at overseas investors and are likely to end up [as] empty.” A vast majority of overseas investors leave properties empty, appliances disconnected and sit back and wait for property values to increase to realise a large profit on their investment.
The London Borough of Islington is the first council in Britain to impose rules to stop flats being left empty. The new planning guidance approved by Islington means that anyone who buys a new-build unit in a development of 20 or more dwellings must be able to prove that the apartment is lived in for at least 14 days in any three-month period. If they can’t, they could face an injunction. DNA would advocate that this is what Lewisham should do too to put off overseas investors (or any investor) leaving good homes empty when we have so many people (and especially families) on the local housing register urgently needing homes.
In 2015 Shurgard submitted a planning application to build a storage facility on the site of Trophy House, by Blackhorse Bridge. Lewisham Planning Officers received no local opposition to the 2015 proposal but rejected it for various reasons including allowances for access under Blackhorse Bridge. The developer then submitted another application in 2016 which took into account Lewisham Planning’s notes. Whilst submitting the 2016 application the developer also appealed the council’s decision on the 2015 application (a tactic known as “twin-tracking“). The Planning Inspectorate could see no local opposition or no reason to reject it so the 2015 development was granted full planning permission on June 2nd 2016. This means Shurgard can now build the far worse 2015 proposal, rejected by LBL planning officers, should they wish to (images below).
Meanwhile, representatives from DeptfordFolk and Lewisham Cyclists attended Planning Committee C on May 19th to object to the developers second application (2016) and got to speak for 5 minutes. As a result of this, the committee deferred the decision and asked Shurgard to meet with DeptfordFolk and Lewisham Cyclists to find a compromise.
DeptfordFolk and Lewisham Cyclists met with Shurgard and gained some concessions on the landscaping in front of the development with a view to opening the route under Blackhorse Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. The long therm goal is to re-open Canal Approach, and allow the creation of a safe way to cross Evelyn Street and improve connectivity not just for local people but across North Lewisham.
Despite the many objections on the grounds of heritage, job creation and the impact of this development on our neighbourhood DeptfordFolk now has to support the 2016 application with the concessions on the external landscaping. If DeptfordFolk continues to oppose Shurgard’s 2016 proposal they will probably decide to build the 2015 proposal for which they have been granted full planning permission.
If you opposed the 2016 development you will have received a letter inviting you to the Planning Committee C meeting on 30th June 2016. DeptfordFolk will attend and support the 2016 proposal on the proviso that the changes agreed are included in the application.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a comment and to the people who attended the Planning Committee meeting in May. DeptfordFolk will send an update on the outcome of the 2016 Shurgard proposal after Planning Committee C meeting on June 30th.
At 2.15 Magic Book Theatre presents “Conchita, the Oldest Tortoise in the World” for the child in us all. A story of evolution.
Get your face painted!
A showing of the BBC documentary on the history of Deptford High Street. At 4pm entertainment from Mazaika. Gipsy, Tango, Folk Duo. Deptford Working Histories info Stall, Artists to realise your creative vision for the surrounding open spaces. Children, help design your ideal playground; Young People, tell us what kind of places you would like to hang out in.
Free refreshments available.
All the information gathered will feed into a Neighbourhood Plan which will have statutory influence on development plans for the area in the future. To become a member of this growing group go to our sign up form or at the event.
2pm – 5pm
21 MacMillan Street (corner Creek Road)
London SE8 3EZ