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36 Honor Oak Road (ex Hamilton Lodge Care Home)
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Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2014
Post: #121
08-04-2015 09:09 AM

If this change of use is approved and goes ahead then it will change the whole neighborhood.
For what it’s worth below is the address of the planning office, if people do not object it is as good as saying you approve as far as the politicians are concerned.
They need to know that they will be held accountable if this hostel damages our community
or overloads our local services.

Lewisham Council
Planning service
Laurence House
1 Catford Road
London SE6 4SW

Re: DC/15/91664 (Hamilton Lodge) and DC/15/91663 (118 Canonbie Road)

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Posts: 116
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #122
08-04-2015 11:34 AM

Before I write a response to the official planning application. What are some of the main points worth bringing up?

I think the fact that Forest Hill already takes on its fair share of those in need. Ie: Miriam Lodge. And that adding high density homeless hostels will create a burden which is too much and unfair for the area to handle. And will change the dynamic of the area too much.

Concerns over the population density of the area / existing services already reaching breaking point. GP services and schools, traffic and public transport.

Concerns over the management, security and monitoring of the people occupying the premises,which we know from Miriam Lodge is never ideal and ultimately leads to the residents of the area having to accept more anti social behaviour

Any more?

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Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2015
Post: #123
08-04-2015 04:04 PM

Why has my last post (post 119, posted last night) been edited?

I was making the point that Cllr Upex had started a new thread to inform us the planning application had gone in. I saw this as a blatant attempt to silence this thread and all the concerns detailed herein. This is my honest opinion, so why has it been removed? Cllr Upex’s post now miraculously appears above mine, and the new one he started has, equally, miraculously vanished. This is not democracy. This is dictatorial censorship, and we should not tolerate this at all.

There are no site notices on or near Hamilton Lodge, and no notices have been served to adjoining owners or occupiers. I do believe these are statutory requirements of planning law, so perhaps this Council believes it is above those laws.

This maladministration will cause injustice.

Decker - take a peek at the Planning Portal, this lists all the 'material' objections possible.

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Posts: 407
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #124
08-04-2015 06:30 PM

You complained about a new thread being created on the same topic. I agreed and merged the threads. You then complained about them being merged. Confused

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Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2014
Post: #125
11-04-2015 11:21 AM

Hamilton Lodge

In the 19th century we in Great Britain had the workhouse to house destitute families.
In socialist Russia there was the gulag.
Now here in Forest Hill we will have “The Hostel” to accommodate families
who for what ever reason have fallen on hard times.
It is easy to understand that the council has to do something about the
growing housing crisis and the option of sending people to “The Hostel”
will probably deter quite a few desperate people from knocking at Lewisham councils door in the first place.
For those who go through with what will seem like a punishment process with overcrowding, shared toilets and bathrooms and communal cooking, not to mention noisy sleepless nights. There will be the hope that at the end of this nightmare there will be affordable housing made available to them.

So for all of the local people who are saying not in my back yard and all of the smug
People who are saying it’s not in my back yard, maybe our thought’s should go to the
future inmates of “The Hostel”.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #126
16-04-2015 01:13 PM

While I have a lot of sympathy for homeless people, it does worry me that (1) the council plan to cut down the large Horse Chestnuts along the path infront of the home and (2) if you include 118 cannonbie rd, there will be an additional 100 people in the area. Cars will be a nightmare. Pressure will no doubt be added to doctor and dental practices, police, schools and public transport. Not to mention the anti social behaviour that comes with the territory.

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Posts: 45
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #127
16-04-2015 02:32 PM

Am in total agreement with you gingernuts:

I am not against these properties being used for homeless households, however, the Council is not providing any additional facilities or resources for this additional capacity in schools/health services/roads/parking etc etc

The Council's view is that these people will be "in and out before we know they are there ".

We already have staff/visitors/parents from Cabrini School; Fairlawn School & the new nursery at Christian Fellowship Centre parking on Honor Oak Rd, Dunoon Road,Canonbie Road, Tyson Road & Horniman Drive. The car park facility on the Tyson Road estate is so full that they are now parking on Canonbie Road ( at the top). This was before the works started on the estate & has also made the situation worse. We did a survey 2 years ago and 70% of the cars parked on these roads in the vicinity of the schools between 7.30 am to 5pm during term time were parked there by staff from these schools. Some local authorities are now asking their staff not to drive to work or where possible not to use roads around the school to park their cars as they are getting lots of complaints from residents.

Traffic and car parking around this area is horrendous - with these new additional households it will get even worse. I am against Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) in residential areas, but we are reaching a stage where a CPZ may be necessary around these roads.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #128
16-04-2015 02:41 PM

jaradras, not sure CPZ parking will resolve this if all residents apply. You're not guaranteed a space, only the right to park.

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Posts: 3,228
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #129
16-04-2015 04:31 PM

I don't think parking is likely to be severely impacted by a hostel for homeless families. Although some homeless families may own a car, I could imagine that many have other priorities on their expenditure. A few parking spaces will be available in Hamilton Lodge for residents.

But on the wider issue of transport, there are a few strange items in the transport statement. First I did a PTAL look up on and found that although Hamilton Lodge is just within PTAL rating 3, the site at 118 Canonbie is shown as having a PTAL rating of 2 (lower). This is because the coordinates used by the council survey uses the same coordinate for both sites!

Why does this matter? According to their planning statement - section 9.19: "these types of facilities should be at least in PTAL 3 as there is a high dependency on public transport."

Section 6.11 of the transport statement includes bus services that are within 400m, however, they have taken the liberty to extend this to over 500m to include bus stops on London Road.

Section 6.10 states:
"The development site is served by 2 scheduled bus services; the P4 and P12 with the nearest bus stops located within 50m of the site. The CIHT document ‘Guidelines for Public Transport in Developments’ dated March 1999, states that the maximum walking distance to a bus stop should not exceed 400m and preferably be no more than 300m. Other bus stops located within this distance are served by numbers 176, 185, 197 and 356. Clearly, the bus stops near to the development site comply fully with these criteria."

The P12 stop is at least 400m from the site, and the 176, 185, 197, 356 are all beyond 500m.

Section 6.4 states (including spelling mistakes):
"buses with sto close to the site serve the town centre"
I assuming this is meant to mean that the P4 serves Forest Hill town centre, which it does not.

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Cllr Paul Upex

Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #130
16-04-2015 05:13 PM

I just wanted to flag this up

All comments and any objections need to be received by the planners by the 23rd April 2015.

If there are more than ten objections then the planners will then arrange a consultation meeting.

Michael thanks for the information regarding public transport.

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No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #131
16-04-2015 09:01 PM

Well spotted Michael but I am sure our ever flexible planning officers will say that this is not a significant flaw in the planning application.

You will also know how defensive John Miller's merry men and women can get when some interfering amateur (not that is my opinion of you) points out that they might have got something wrong.

It is one of the many frustrating things about the local planning process that if the planners have made up their mind up to approve an application they have plenty of scope to say that such and such a factor compensates for another factor.

PS William Hill have stopped taking bets on whether the application will be granted.

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Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2015
Post: #132
16-04-2015 10:35 PM

The planning application submission by PPM Planning Ltd was dated 02 April, the same date as the notice to owners/occupiers. Is this a record turnaround time for our planning department? Nicely buried into Easter too – only over 200 pages to wade through, with some quite detailed plans! And I’ve only counted 6 external consultants so far. Is this why this entire development is costing £9.6M?

The BREEAM Pre Assessment is for New Constructions, which neither of these sites are. The document states, “Under the Lewisham Council Core Strategy (adopted June 2011), Policy 8 ‘Sustainable Design and Construction, and Energy Efficiency’, all minor and major non-residential development will be required to achieve a minimum of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard”.

They seem to be confused as to whether this is a new build, non-residential development, or a refurb for residential purposes. Anyway, they conclude that an excellent rating would not be achievable. So they just ignore their own policies.

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Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2015
Post: #133
20-04-2015 03:39 PM

118 Canonbie Road - part of the Hamilton Lodge proposals - is part of tonight's Panorama programme, 8.30pm, BBC1.

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Posts: 116
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #134
21-04-2015 11:57 AM

So many documents to read.

The transport assessment as mentioned above has mistakes in it. They include bus 176,185 etc which are outside the maximum distances.

No mention of the site being on a hill. Walking distance are above acceptable but below maximum. However it's a difficult walk.

No mention of Mariam Lodge, which is located in SE26 (but they use SE23's town centre and transport).

No mention of a lack of GP services in the area and no GP services close to the site.

No mention that the P buses do not service the town centre.

BREEAM assessment breaches Lewishams own policies.

I don't know... I couldn't read it all. It's too much. I'm going to put in some comments on the planning application but unfortunately I don't have the energy to pour through every document. And obviously in this country you have to be careful with comments because of the ridiculous libel laws.

This post was last modified: 21-04-2015 12:01 PM by Decker.

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Posts: 513
Joined: May 2012
Post: #135
21-04-2015 06:03 PM

I'm shocked and horrified. This is a link to the BBC iPlayer site with the Panorama programme which highlights a Canonbie Road landlord. If you don 't want to watch the whole, stomach-churning thing, start at around the 14 minute mark.

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Posts: 116
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #136
21-04-2015 07:03 PM

If you can't be bothered watching basically what you'd expect. Double the amount of people allowed living in horrid conditions (unsafe live wires etc) . On one property he was collecting £12,000 a month in housing benefit. He had 7 properties.

The fine the council could issue? £5,000. Just a cost of doing business the council worker said. They can't do anything.

Pathetic on both sides. The council and the landlord. By the council I don't mean the individuals that work on the front line, they do all they can. But the parameters they work in and the resources they have are obviously not good enough.

This post was last modified: 21-04-2015 07:06 PM by Decker.

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Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2015
Post: #137
22-04-2015 08:51 PM

The deadline for comments and/or objections to these proposals is tomorrow, Thursday 23 April.

A few days ago I emailed all the Parliamentary Candidates for Lewisham West & Penge, and all the Forest Hill ward councillors, and the Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents’ Association, asking each if they fundamentally supported or objected to these proposals.

I had one fairly prompt reply from Alex Feakes, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate, who, given the concentration of hostels in the SE23 postcode, supports at least Hamilton Lodge being used for school provision.

The other candidates, councillors and TLERA have all not bothered to reply. Make of that what you will.

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Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2012
Post: #138
23-04-2015 09:58 AM

I too contacted all the parliamentary candidates and, again, only the Lib Dem replied. To his credit, he supports opposition to the hostel. I did manage to get a reply from TLERA but it is now a largely inert organisation and has done nothing about the hostel. This is their rather pathetic reply:

'Thank you for contacting us about this issue. Since this was first proposed by Lewisham Council late last year, and the consultation meeting they held to allow local residents to understand more about the intended change of use for the sites, the proposals have been discussed at our committee meetings.

The committee members' views on this issue has been divided, and from discussions with members we feel that as there is no consensus among members, we cannot represent either viewpoint. Therefore the Association's position is that it will not be responding to the two planning applications, but can assist members who wish to object to the applications.'

I sent quite lengthy comments and objection to the planning applications. We shall see if this and others have any effect.

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Posts: 116
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #139
23-04-2015 10:19 AM

Put my comments in last night. I noticed the website only allows 1,000 characters which is tiny. So I just emailed them.

Got a reply, it says you may have to appear in person? Anyway - watch this space I guess.

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Cllr Paul Upex

Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #140
23-04-2015 02:04 PM

My view on the proposed use of Hamilton Lodge - Cllr Paul Upex

Since being elected as your Forest Hill Councillor last year I believe it is my responsibility to represent every one of the thousands of people who live within Forest Hill Ward, not just those who vote. I believe I have a duty to listen to your views on issues and any local concerns. As a Councillor I also believe that I have a duty to stand up for what I believe is right and make difficult decisions based on conviction and a belief that what we are doing is the right thing to help those in need, families who may not have a voice, but through no fault of their own, find themselves in tough times and without a roof over their head.

I’ve read with dismay recent figures obtained through the Parliamentary library by Tessa Jowell detailing there are 2,800 children without a permanent home in Lewisham. The figure for Lewisham children in temporary accommodation during the last quarter of 2014 is up by nearly 1,800 on figures for 18 months earlier. Make no mistake this is a London wide issue with a total of 80 per cent of those children in England living in temporary accommodation found in the capital, with a child in London five times more likely to be without a home than a child in the rest of the country.

I believe that the use of B&B accommodation is expensive, inadequate and has unacceptable long-term effects on homeless families, as they are often shut out of their accommodation during the day, causing huge disruption to daily routines of school and work. It is my opinion that every child deserves a decent home to come back to after school, where they feel secure, and where they can sit down to do their homework. That is what at least temporary accommodation provides.

It’s heart-breaking to see so many children in Lewisham growing up without the basic necessity of their own home. Inequality is robbing these children of their childhood. We are a city of billionaires and millionaires, yet child homelessness is disgracefully high and rising. This is why I believe that the option being put forward to use Hamilton Lodge for temporary accommodation over the next 5 years is a better option than subjecting families to B&B. London has both the most expensive housing and the largest number of people living in poverty in Western Europe – and incomes are falling as the cost of housing is rises.

The Mayor of Lewisham has taken some steps in addressing the issue of the lack of permanent housing within the borough as we have started to build Council homes for the 1st time in 30 years with a target of 250 as a minimum by 2017. The General Election on the 7 May and London Mayoral Elections next year in my opinion will have a huge impact on the future of housing within the capital and it is an issue that must be addressed.

I appreciate and understand the concerns that local residents may have regarding school places. This year the council is investing around £1m in Horniman Primary School not just in providing an extra form entry at Horniman School (further details outlined below).

The works comprise the design and construction of a new build kitchen within an external under croft area, with internal remodelling and refurbishment works to provide an additional classroom, improved learning spaces and toilet layout. The works are inclusive of mechanical, electrical and structural alterations to suit the revised layouts and associated external works.

I will continue to monitor any pressure that the proposed usage of Hamilton Lodge may or not place upon primary school places within the area.

I will also work with the Council, Safer Neighbourhood Team and local residents to ensure that effective reporting mechanism and tough penalties are in place for any person found to be contributing towards anti-social behaviour whilst a resident of Hamilton Lodge.

I know a number of residents may not agree with me, but I would like to assure local residents that supporting this scheme is not a decision I have taken lightly – last year for instance I opposed the extension of Miriam Lodge and would do so again. However I believe with my heart that faced with the increased number of homeless families that it is better to provide decent temporary accommodation than subject them to the roulette wheel of unpredictability that B& B accommodation provides. I believe we need a long term aim of providing more truly affordable housing for residents or the option of rents that people can actually afford to pay and on tenancies that let them create a home.

Finally I would urge local residents to take part in the consultation and let the Council know your views either for or against.

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