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Lewisham Council are Consulting on SE...

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Joined 31-10-2006
Posted on Monday, 25 June, 2007 - 07:34 pm:   

Lewisham have just launched a consultation process on the proposed Local Development Framework which I think sets out many of its local planning policies.

Although I am not a planning expert I think that the policies being proposed, once adopted, will have a significant say on any future planning applications in SE23.

As planning applications are a regular topic of interest on this forum you may wish to visit the Lewisham website and submit your comments. tion/StageTwo/

A word of warning in advance - the documents are not very user friendly. They contain quite a lot of jargon and are very long. With this in mind the consultation period is very short indeed. It began on 22 June and all comments must be submitted by 3 August 2007.

There are five main documents some of which are split up on the website:

1) People, Places and Spaces - The Preferred Options Report for the Spatial (Core) Strategy

This discusses Lewisham's general vision and strategic planning objectives which will apply to the whole Borough.

2) Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment - Preferred Options Report - Spatial (Core) Strategy

This sets out key elements of the planning framework and Lewisham's proposals for sustainable development.

3) Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment - The Preferred Options Report for the Spatial (Core) Strategy - Appendixes A to F

These are the Appendices referred to in document 2).

4) Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment - Preferred Options Report - Development Policies and Site Allocations.

This looks at various plots of land in the Borough and, in Appendix C, sets out the Council's preferred development option for each site. A number of these sites are in SE23 for instance the Forest Hill Library and Pool site (site 18), the Honor Oak covered resevoir site (site 19) and the Tyson Road site (site 20).

5) Development Policies and Site Allocations - The Preferred Options Report

This summarises the Council's preferred development option for each site.
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 25 June, 2007 - 11:08 pm:   

I attended a meeting this evening at the town hall to discuss some of these documents (which were being given out on CD-ROM they are so big). A few notes I made below without too much of my opinion:

* Developments of 10 or more units (homes) will be expected to generate 20% from renewable (solar power alone can usually only generate 10%)
* Developments of 10 or more units will automatically go out to wider consultation (down from the current figure of 14 units)
These two points may explain why McDonalds site is proposed to have only 9 residential units, as the planning guidance, although not in force, indicates the thinking of the council planning department.

* Lewisham is targetted to have just under 1,000 new homes every year for the next 10 years. Most of these will be in the main corridor of development from Deptford to Catford. With most of the rest coming from town centres, such as Forest Hill (beside the railway), Sydenham, Downham, etc
* There are plans to increase jobs in the borough by about 4,000 over 10 years. Most of these will be in the same development corridor.
* The resevoir between Honor Oak Road and Liphook Crescent is recommended to stay as open space
* Tyson Road / Christian Fellowship Centre is recommended to become residential (with no specific guidance for recommended density).
* Overall most of Forest Hill (except for the town centre) is regarded as 'suburban'. However, the mayor of London does not recognise this and regards all of London as 'urban' (unless it is parkland). This difference makes a difference to densities allowed for building, with higher density allowed in urban areas. (Of course the centre of Forest Hill is urban by anybody's definition)
* A survey will be carried out looking at detailed flood risk and including covered streams, and underground waterways. This could be interesting to understand what underground water we have in the area.

You can submit feedback online if you have any concerns.
Joined 19-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 02 July, 2007 - 08:03 am:   

As you say Michael, these documents are pretty hefty and not very reader friendly. However, it's difficult to underestimate their importance: they _will_ provide the basis of the planning system in the borough for the next 15 years.

Development control is a "plan-driven system" and (excuse me for dumbing down for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know) if a proposed development is in conformity with these documents it will get planning permission; if it's not it won't. Councillors who are members of planning committees are not allowed to approve or reject developments based on strength of local feeling. It doesn't matter if you can get 500 neighbours writing in support of your development or against the one on the neighbouring piece of land unless they can identify legit grounds in these documents.

So it's really important that anyone who has any interests in anything they think should (or should not) be built near them has a look at these and sends their comments in - it's often too late by the time a planning application has gone in!

I would also be interested, so do let me know of any comments you're sending to the planning dept. (

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