Thursday, 28 May 2009

216 Kennington Road

It appears that planning consent is being sought (as from yesterday) for change of use on the ground floor of 216 Kennington Road from D1 (Assembly and leisure use) to Classes A1/A2/B1/D1 (retail or financial and professional services or business, office or community). Do look up reference 09/01201/FUL on Lambeth Council Planning database.

Additionally, permission is requested to build eight flats (and two new windows) on the first and second floors.

I don't think additional flats are necessarily contentious (although I'd be grateful for comments), but local residents have many times made clear that they do not support the ground floor being used for non D1 purposes (most notably retail purposes). Originally, I understand that the ground floor was intended for community use under an old Section 106, but I think that may now be lost to history.

I was emailed about this planning request by an informant (who I shall refrain from naming) who also adds: "Most interesting is that application is made by Gallaghers but these are acting on behalf of TESCOs so presumably they are intending Tesco express or Metro - so impact on local retailers won't be good"

I don't know how the information that Gallaghers are acting on behalf of Tesco emerged, so I shall have to leave that as merely hearsay for now, although I have no reason to doubt its veracity.

So, it's time for the people of SE11 to unite again... You know what you have to do. Click here to comment on the proposal and submit your objections. I see no reason to object to the housing (it's in keeping), but only to the change of use requested for the ground floor. However, if somebody leaves a comment with a good reason to object to the proposed housing, I'm happy to consider it and amend this post.


John M said...

Actually, I would welcome the flats and, indeed, the addition of a retailer to this long neglected spot at the Kennington Road corner of the Metro Apartments.

It is a surprise to me that many people (or I suspect it is just the most vocal ones within local forums) would rather see space continue to go unused - adding to something of a ghost-town feel to the neighbourhood - rather than welcome in new retailers that can add variety and choice and generally perk up the area.

So: I welcome the flats, I welcome the retailer.

Tempering that enthusiasm, if the rumour of Tesco is correct then I will be a bit disappointed. Given that we have a large Tesco store nearby this would not feel like an addition of new competition or variety in the neighbourhood (in contrast to say a Sainsbury's Local, M&S Simply Food, or an independent retailer, etc.). But even a Tesco convenience store is still better than a boarded up building, which appears based on recent years of experience to be the alternative.

Three wheeled one said...

As I noted, it's not the flats I object to, but a large retailer occupying the lower space. I don't wish to continue to see the space unused (hence consider in favour of the flats), but I presume that the developer has deliberately set the price per square foot too high in the lower space in order that a D1 occupier could not be found and consequently to apply for change of use in order to make more money from a retailer. The space has been "under offer" for about a year now and closed to other applications (I called the agent) whilst this mysterious "retailer" sit on the land and apply for change of use to A1/A2.

I run this blog in order to encourage local debate, to further civic society and bring more strangers together in the world of SE11. The area is not well occupied by technologically literate people, and it's sometimes difficult to hear any voices at all. Attendance at local hustings recently for the bi-election was tiny. It may well be vocal people that object to this plan, but it's the vocal people who get together to talk and discuss, so it's useful to hear your voice of disagreement. As you can see, nobody else has posted comments on the topic so I'm not too sure what the general sentiment is. If people agree with you, then the permission will be granted, but there are always two sides of an argument.

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