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Planning Application: Land to the rear of 107 Honor Oak Park
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Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012
Post: #1
12-06-2012 05:11 PM

Hello all,

This is my first post. I've just moved to the area, and one week into living here, have discovered that the garden behind the house I live in has had a planning application for 5 houses (reduced from 8!)

There was a previous thread on here remarking on the loss of trees from the same plot of land, despite the fact that they were all covered with TPOs.

Further details below:

Does anyone know if there's an action group I can take this to?



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Posts: 624
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
12-06-2012 06:29 PM

We have also been sent a consulation letter about this. Have yet to study this properly but am inclined to object at first sight. It has some similaritiies to the proposed garden development at 97 Honor Oak Park (with planning inspectorate) in that it is not a brown field development as claimed and falls under the category of backland development I believe.

I imagine the Forest Hill Society will take a view on this as will HOPRA.


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Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #3
13-06-2012 11:19 AM

Hello, Michael,
HOPRA objects strongly to this application - it came out of the blue, although clues were signalled by first, the developer knocking down a lovely old Victorian front wall to build a driveway through from front to back, and then felling trees that were supposed to be protected.
HOPRA has put in its objections to the scheme on, among other grounds, overdevelopment, that virgin back garden land should be kept as it is, that building on it alters the character of the neighbourhood and destroys the local ecology, and that building over land in the area increases the risk of flooding for properties further down the hill.
A previous attempt to build housing on the back garden at no 97 was rejected by the council, and has now gone to appeal. Fingers crossed.

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Posts: 61
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #4
15-06-2012 02:30 PM

If you look at the proposed layout a very large proportion of the developed area is taken up by the access drive and car parking. The housing units themselves are tiny as are the gardens which are of the absolute minimum size.

See here:

To me the proposals are unsympathetic, unimaginative and an overdevelopment of what is currently an attractive green space.

The Design and Access Statement also contains the wholly misleading statement that "Attention must be drawn to the fact that the proposed development makes the very best use of a (sic) existing brown-field site".

This is not correct because the site is in fact garden land and I believe that garden land is no longer classed as brown-field for planning purposes.

Check out the post code SE23 3LB on Google maps for a bird's eye view of the site:

It will be interesting to see how the Lewisham Planners respond to this application as their track record on garden grabbing is pretty appalling.

It is probably no coincidence that you will be hard pressed to spot a single reference to "garden grabbing" in any official planning document issued by Lewisham. They prefer to use the phrase “back land development” which is of course far more opaque.

Another worrying factor is that I have never seen the Lewisham Planners consider the cumulative effect that garden grabbing can have on an area. If this development is permitted how long will it be before a similar application is made for the land behind 109 to 111?

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Posts: 624
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
15-06-2012 04:46 PM

Another worrying factor is that I have never seen the Lewisham Planners consider the cumulative effect that garden grabbing can have on an area. If this development is permitted how long will it be before a similar application is made for the land behind 109 to 111?

Will be interesting to see indeed as the application at 97 Honor Oak Park is in the same, currently contiguous, garden space:
97 Honor Oak Park Garden Application

This was refused at committee stage:
"The proposal by reason of the design (including location of bin storage) and scale of the development would be out of character with the area and would lead to a loss of a wildlife habitat."

The potential for habitat loss is arguably even worse at 107 as this would bisect the green corridor. Precedent considerations are identical.

This post was last modified: 15-06-2012 04:47 PM by lacb.

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Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012
Post: #6
25-06-2012 12:02 PM

Thanks for your replies.

The land itself has been degraded by the tree felling, but there are still loads of birds - including a green woodpecker, and foxes, and I will see if I can find hedgehogs too. The removal of dead wood and open land would definitely be detrimental to wildlife. One of the most worrying things is that the driveway is narrow and occurs on a bend, so how lorries/trucks and materials will actually get in there is a mystery to me.

I've sent my comments to Lewisham anyway, and given that we live on the ground floor of 107, I hope they'll be taken seriously.

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