Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Change of use due to expire on 216 Kennington Road, preventing possible Tesco arrival

The new Tesco planned for Kennington Park Road has been developed relatively quickly, and permission has been requested to install air conditioning, fridges and lighting.  All of the posts on the matter can be found under the 38-40 Kennington Park Road tag.  I'd guess that the Tesco will be up and running before the end of 2010.

But today, it's heads up to Sean Creighton (known locally for his useful and detailed newsletters) from RCDT/LMHS who has informed us that the original planning permission (obtained back in 2007) to change 216 Kennington Road from D2 (assembly and leisure usage) to A2/B1a (services and business use) has nearly expired.  The original 2007 application is  07/01817/FUL. (It's due to expire on 17/1/2011).  The use of this building as a supermarket (allegedly Tesco) has been contentious from the start, on account of the fact that it was originally set aside under Section 106 for community use, but was missed off the Council's list, and the usage expired.  One interesting point that I've heard reiterated by several locals is that there were a number of nearby community organisations who hoped to use the building.  Whenever anybody telephoned the agents (I tried myself on several occasions), the caller is always told that a tenant has been found and the building is "being held".  Nothing much has happened in the intervening three years, other than numerous alterations of planning applications re. times of shopping delivery by lorry and the numbers of flats that may be built.

If local people from a variety of organistions were to object to the 216 Kennington Road Tesco being re-granted a change of use, and the Council were to agree (tricky, since they granted the permission above ), then there's a chance that local organisations might get a look in again.  The new application for change of use can be found under 10/03318/FUL on the Lambeth Planning database.

I used to be rather vociferously against the use of the site for a Tesco on account of the fact it was intended for community use.  More lately I've pondered that it would be better to be occupied than for it to remain empty.  But sitting on an empty building for three years and failing to develop it means that an organised community campaign (on the basis the building was always intended for the community, and Lambeth Council messed up) might well release the building for locals again.  The key question of course, is whether any local organisation has the money to lease it?


Anonymous said...

Selfishly a local tesco would be good...to make me even more lazy and not walk to the tragic one along the road...

If we think of the poor buggers above that proposed 216...


Anonymous said...

i saw yesterday that there's a planning application laminated card outside 216 to renew the shortly expiring permission. However, although i'm not an expert on planning use, the permission sought is for financial services and general business use - can Tesco open a store under this planning classification? Or is the application perhaps just prevent the loss of the current permission, with a change of use to be submitted at a later date?

SE11 Lurker said...

@Anonymous (1) I concur with both of your points entirely :-)

@Anonymous (2) - You're absolutely right re. the chyange to business services use, which got me thinking. Here's my theory:

The new application (10/03318/FUL) is merely a request for renewal of the original 2007 application (07/01817/FUL) which sought financial services use. I think that one needs A2/B1a use in order then to gain A1 (or retail use).

So, whilst the 2009 application for retail use (09/03384/FUL) still exists, it's only any use if the building remains available for A2/B1a use :-) Thus the 2009 planning permission for retail cannot be implemented if the building ceases to be available for financial services etc.

I'd be really grateful if a planning law expert could give their view though.

Jon B said...

I have seen previous posts but hadn't appreciated the method being used to get this as retail. Sneaky is one way of putting it. There is indeed a permitted change from A2 (services) to A1 (retail) if there is a window display available (although not from B1). However, given that Tesco have applied for the air con etc, to claim that the renewal is still for A2/B1 use is pretty cheeky. Someone wishing to get the renewal turned down could try to argue that given Tesco's application it is pretty clear that A2/B1 use is not what the current intention is and that they should now apply for a straight A1 use.

SE11 Lurker said...

Jon, don't worry, the air con etc. has been applied for by the Kennington Park Road Tesco, which I anticipate will open soon, and doesn't need planning permission as it used to be a shop.

The mystery shop at 216 Kennington Road may well be on hold on account of their permission for A2/B1a use expiring in January 2011. I'm suggesting that without that permission, their 2009 A1 use planning permission (which was granted) won't be valid, but I'm not 100% sure.

The agents did actually apply for A1 usage in 2009 (which was granted), so I can't see why they're re-applying for the A2/B1a use unless they need to have the A2/B1a in order to use the A1. Maybe I'm wrong and they need the A2/B1a for some other reason.

Sid Boggle said...

I don't know much about planning use, but did I read somewhere a while back that Tesco are planning to put 'Tesco Bank' storefronts in some of their supermarkets?

I don't know if financial services count as a different use to retail, but it occurs to me that if Tesco want a 'Tesco Bank' in Kennington, this site might be better suited for it, than trying to shoehorn something into the big store on Kennington Lane.

Jon B said...

Sorry, getting the sites confused. It looks as though they are hedging their bets as you can't change from A1 to A2 (but you can vice versa). Basically they are getting more flexibility for the future use of the site.

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