View to silhouette of Grade II Water Tower from George Mathers Road before the planning development (planning permission conditionally approved)
View to silhouette of Grade II Water Tower from George Mathers Road after the planning development (planning permission conditionally approved)
Following Lambeth Planning Committee’s (LPC) direction to approve conditional planning permission on 27 June 2023, for the Woodlands development (Dugard Way, Kennington, SE11 4TH ), we are going to challenge the approval in line with our objective of securing a more balanced and proportionate redevelopment of the Woodlands site. The current conditional planning permission will impose an over densification of the site, with implications for future and current residents in urban areas.
Firstly, we (the community/members of the public/objectors) are a third party in this process. The only routes available for a challenge are to secure an intervention through,
a) Persuading the Mayor of London to review the proposal via a “call in” of the application for review by a public hearing with the GLA.
b) The Mayor of London is persuaded to overrule the LPC’s approval decision and refuse planning permission.
To help achieve an intervention, we need you to take urgent action now by writing to the the Mayor of London ASAP.
Please write your concerns regarding the Woodlands development, requesting that the conditional planning permission approved by the LPC, by a narrow margin (of four votes to three), is refused and/or put on hold to enable the planning permission to be “called in”, so that the matter can be considered by another planning authority/body (the Mayor of London).
We have carefully analysed the LPC’s approval decision. We believe that there are several key grounds and issues as to why the planning permission should be refused or halted for further consideration. You can find a summary of those key issues and further information HERE
So please, as soon as possible please write (using the key issues information if you wish and adding your own points) to the Mayor of London (including the GLA Planning Team) asking him/them to REFUSE the Woodlands planning permission. If you have previously responded to the planning consultation via Lambeth council and it was published on the planning portal your comments will be sent to the GLA Planning team, so there is no need for you to resend that information to the GLA. You can find a sample correspondence email with recipient’s contacts details which can be adapted for your use HERE.
We strongly encourage you to put the matters of concern in your own words and include information on the issues which are pertinent to you. The Mayor of London will be particularly interested in matters that are pertinent to development in the London-wide region. T
If the London Mayor decides to approve the development proposal then this will enable Lambeth Planning officers to issue a "Decision Notice", which will ratify the planning permission .
As mentioned, we provide comprehensive information on key issues as to why the planning permission should be re-examined and refused on our website HERE
Of course, we are happy to assist in any way and answer any questions you may have. Our sincere thanks in advance for your long-standing interest and support.
30 November 2023
Stop the Blocks Community Action Group has spent some time analysing the Lambeth Planning Committee’s (LPC) direction to approve conditional planning permission on 27 June 2023 for the Woodlands development (Dugard Way, Kennington, SE11 4TH).
We believe that there are several key grounds and issues as to why the conditional planning permission should be refused or halted for further consideration.
The issues include and go beyond London regional matters due to the conflicts of the proposed development with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The proposed development:
1) Is inconsistent with matters as prescribed in the NPPF in particular with policies for conserving and enhancing the historic environment (NPPF Chapter 16).
2) Could have significant effects beyond their immediate locality, in terms of the precedence it sets in terms of what is an acceptable development.
3) Raises significant architectural and urban design issues. Its design will impact at least seven existing heritage assets and two conservation areas. Its design will also negatively impact existing residential amenity in terms of daylight/sunlight below an adjusted BRE level, which are far below the BRE guidance.
4) Is inconsistent with the findings of the Inspector on a previous appeal for development of the site (Planning Inspectorate Appeal Ref: APP/N5660/W/20/3248960) . The Inspector identified that the site could have secured sufficient public benefits with a development of c90 units, compared to the proposed 126 units.
Lambeth Planning Committee’s (LPC) direction to approve conditional planning permission was flawed and the proposal should be refused or “called in” because:
1. The Application proposes 24% affordable housing, significantly below the 50% threshold required for former public owned land and contrary to Policy H5 of the London Plan.
2. The provision of affordable housing and mix of housing by tenure is not consistent with development plan expectations.
3. When considering the application, the Council’s planning committee members and the public were not provided with a current and up to date financial viability assessment with which to consider whether the provision of affordable housing was the maximum attainable or that the over densification of the site was justifiable in financial or planning terms.
4. Historic England and the GLA conclude the development will result in “some harm” and a “degree of harm” to a unique cluster of listed buildings in the immediate vicinity of the site. The harm to the heritage assets is not outweighed by the public benefits of the development, contrary to paragraph 202 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Lambeth Local Plan Policy HC1 (Heritage Conservation and Growth).
5. In determining the application, three members of the Planning Committee appear to have unlawfully taken costs, risks, and reputational harm into account as material planning considerations to approve the application contrary to R (Miles) v Tonbridge & Malling BC et al.  WHC 1608 (Admin).
6. The bulk, scale and mass of the application will not preserve or enhance the prevailing local character contrary to Lambeth Local Plan Policy Q7 (Urbans Design: New Development).
7. The application will result in a significant decrease in daylight and sunlight to adjoining properties contrary to Lambeth Local Plan Policy Q2 (Amenity) and below the amended BRE target set as a minimum at the site by the Appeal Inspector in his appeal decision.
The deprivation of daylight, sunlight, and impact of overshadowing by the developments on existing residents far exceed the tolerances in existing BRE guidelines and now effectively establishes a benchmark to build dark depressive clusters across central and urban areas in London.
8. The application fails to provide adequate replacement trees contrary to Lambeth Local Plan Policy Q10 (Trees).
In addition to these matters, there are the following serious concerns about the application:
1. The planning application and supporting documentation have several inconsistencies in them not allowing the application to be assessed accurately.
2. The proposed tower block would be incongruous to its surrounding context. The proposed tower block is an over-scaled building and does not preserve or enhance the nearby listed buildings. The footprint and bulk of this application are still significantly large when compared with the refused appeal scheme.
3. The site has substantial issues with its servicing arrangements due to poor access, parking provision, and inadequate delivery and service plan.
Please help fight the conditional planning permission in order to secure a better development of the former Woodlands nursing home site in Kennington
Lambeth Council members on the Lambeth Planning Committee’s (LPC) decided by 4 votes to 3 approve to approve conditional planning permission on 27 June 2023 of a redevelopment in Kennington of a 126 unit development with only 20 affordable flats on a 0.54hectare back land site.
Stop the Blocks Community Action Group is supportive of sympathetic and proportionate redevelopment of the site to deliver new homes. However, the current application is an overdevelopment of a constrained site which far exceeds the density of c.90 units that the Council and the Planning Inspector at a previous appeal identified in 2021 that the site could optimally facilitate. The application does not respect the existing character of the area and it fails to deliver adequate public benefits which are capable of being achieved on the Site.
We are going to need your help if we are to stand any likelihood of challenging what we believe what is the wrong decision to approve the redevelopment in its current form of the former Woodlands nursing home site.
Full planning permission has not been granted yet as the Planning Conditions (known as Section 106) needs to be approved at a Lambeth Borough level.
There is a six-month time limit for agreeing the Planning Conditions between the Lambeth Planning officers and Kennington Group/Lifestory Group (the developer). If that timeframe for agreeing conditions (which also has to be aligned with what would be acceptable to the GLA) slips then additional time could be secured.
However, the draft conditions and a decision notice was included in the Lambeth Planning officer’s report to the LPC. Therefore, matters may be agreed within a much narrower timescale.
Once the Section 106 conditions are approved at a local/Lambeth level the matter can be referred to the Greater London Authority/Mayor of London (the Mayor) for what is known as a “ GLA Stage 2” referral.
Once the developer and the Lambeth Planning officers agree the planning conditions the application must be referred back to the Mayor for the Stage 2 referral.
The Lambeth Planning officers must send the Mayor all public comments that were published on its website to the GLA at Stage 2 for the Mayor's team to read and evaluate. As part of the Stage 2 referral, the Mayor will take into account all representations received, in addition to a detailed assessment of the proposal by GLA planning officers.
After the referral has been made, the Mayor has fourteen days to decide one of three things:
1. Allow the LPC’s approval for conditional planning permission to stand. The Mayor will then write a letter to the Lambeth Planning officers stating this and he will have no further role in the decision. Lambeth Planning can then issue a decision notice which essentially ratifies the grant of planning permission and the conditions attached to it.
2. Direct Lambeth Planning to refuse the application. The decision is announced in a letter and is binding. But this rarely happens: since 2016, the Mayor has directly refused only 10 applications.
3. ‘Call in’ the application, meaning the Mayor becomes the Planning Authority (decision making body). The application then passes to Stage 3.
We have included a summary of arguments grounded in legal and planning matters as to why the grant of planning permission should be reconsidered and refused by the Mayor which you can find HERE. If you are also writing to the Mayor it is essential to focus comments on ‘material planning considerations and relevant planning policy, especially any London Plan policies which we would be seriously breached by the development in its present form. Some of the key concerns remain on the insufficient affordable housing on former public/NHS land and Lambeth’s failure to publish a Financial Viability Assessment (FVA) contrary to London Plan policy, therefore the Mayor has to publish a FVA for the planning application to be compliant with his own policies.