Tuesday, 16 August 2011

8 Albert Embankment - planning application resubmitted

(All photographs in this post taken from (C) Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands drawings on Lambeth Planning portal)

Plans for demolishing and replacing the Fire Station at 8 Albert Embankment have been resubmitted and consultations sent out locally.  The original 2010 Fire Station consultation (complete with photos of the display boards) on the 8 Albert Embankment proposal can be found here.  The plans for 8 Albert Embankment will significantly change local landscape on account of the fact the development involves seven new buildings.  If you wish to comment on the new proposals, you can click "Submit Comment" from the 2011 application here, but you must comment by the 16th September 2011.  The proposal has received 84 comments to date.

The 2010 planning process stalled when, amongst other objections, local Princes ward councillors noted that the plans submiteed by developers proposed only 10% affordable housing (Lambeth target is 40-50%).  Lurking about SE11 hosted the original discussion on the proposal and Transport Mark and I had a discussion over whether any additional transport was required for the development.  Also, I seem to recall that some Londoners objected to adding an extra layer on top of the current building on account of architectural aesthetics and the potential view from Westminster.

The original 2010 proposal can be seen at 10/00318/FUL and the current 2011 proposal is 10/04473/FUL.  Let's see if there are any superficial differences.  Initially, we had:
"Demolition of the brigade workshop/office buildings to the rear and construction of 7 new buildings ranging in height from 5 to 16 storeys for mixed use purposes...  To provide a total of 360 residential units, 7,214sqm of commercial floorspace and 181 parking spaces."
Now we have:
"Demolition of the brigade workshop/office buildings to the rear of the fire station. Construction of 7 new buildings ranging in height from 5 to 15 storeys for mixed use purposes... The development would provide a total of 276 residential units, a 2,721 sqm fire station, 8,554 sqm of commercial floorspace (use Class B1), 696 sqm of retail/A Class floorspace and 161 car parking spaces."
It appears that they've lopped off a storey, so the building has been reduced from 16 storeys to 15 storeys.   84 residential units and associated parking spaces have been lost.  It seems that they're making up for a loss of residential housing with 1340sqm of commercial floor space.

Indeed, the fine print confirms as much, since the associated Addendum notes:
"In broad terms, the revisions include a significant increase in commercial use and a reduction in residential use from the scheme submitted in December 2010.  These revisions are as a result of discussion with the Council with regard to the appropriate balance of uses across the site."
Also, following discussion with English Heritage, the width of the roof on building A (the fire station on Albert Embankment) will be decreased.  The section in the orange boxes on the photo below will be removed:

The additional storey was removed from building D, which will sit behind the Fire Station (building A) and poke over the top when viewed from the north.  Removing a storey will improve this slightly).  Floors one and two in the orange box below will be residential, instead of commercial as in the original plan.  There are more diagrams in the Addendum showing how the commercial space has been replaced and added on a different building.  Here's how Building D will now appear next to the beautiful Royal Doulton Building.

Any throughts from readers here?


New on Whitgift Street said...

I think the proposals are shocking.

Are locals aware of the contents of the sunlight and daylight reports?

The Developer’s ‘Transient Overshadowing Results’ (Appendix 17.6) shows a shocking loss of light; taking 21st March illustrations, approximately half of Whitgift House will be in shadow from 9.00am until midday and then again from 3pm until 5pm, thus for the majority of core daylight hours, there will be habitable rooms which are substantially overshadowed and for individual units this will be approximately half of these core hours. If you look at the December illustrations it appears that we are in shadow 100% throughout the day on virtually every single flat.

I have drawn these conclusions from the drawings however, the daylight analysis data shows average percentage losses at best 30% and early 30’s, but for homes on the 2nd, 1st and ground floors it is around 38 – 40%, with one at 42%!

Vertical Sky Component losses on main windows are extreme for all residents, at best around 41% and at worst 58% with the majority I estimate around 50% - a reduction of half.

Most unacceptable is the sunlight analysis in winter dropping from around 17-25 on main windows to 0-11, with units on the ground floor reduced to only 0-2.

Though I am not an expert it appears that the Winter Sunlight levels, certainly at Ground Floor and First Floor are potentially below standard minimums. On the ground floor the loss of winter sunlight is between 89 and 100% and the resulting index for all flats is below 5, when I believe it should be above. This will I believe contravene planning policy, is wholly unacceptable and potentially breaches a legal Right to Light.

The lack of sunlight during winter months is also likely to lead to a lowering of room temperatures for residents and subsequently an increase in heating costs. There are potential issues of increasing fuel bills and in addition the block (south facing) will no longer be ideal for Photovoltaics. The Council and residents will lose for ever the current potential for some alternative energy, the value of which must be substantial and individual tenants will pay for this.

I would argue that even where minimum standards are reached there is a substantial loss of amenity and a more reasonable proposal is possible for the development of this site that is less degrading of existing amenities.

I also think the development on the Fire Brigade Workshops pays no respect to the historical context of the two Grade II Listed Buildings, a further degradation that could be addressed through reduced heights and more sympathic design.

In fact the loss of amenity to local people in its wider meaning is also shocking, with significant impacts on noise, traffic, parking, privacy, crime and the useability of Lambeth Recreational Park, once it is also overshadowed.

It's important locals go onto the Lambeth Public Access Website and object to the application (ref 10/04473/FUL) or write to the Planning Officer Mr David Smith, dsmith1@lambeth.gov.uk

Although the Planning Committee date is not yet confirmed (to the best of my knowledge) I believe it will be 27th September, 7pm at the Town Hall. We should go!

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the previous commenter and to Lurker, I knew nothing of this plan and am quite shocked by it, living on Black Prince Road I can see the impact this could have on services (such as the tiny 360 bus!). The 360 bus is often packed at present so I can see this having a damaging impact on that service, as well as yet more residents using the tube and roads in the area.

Aesthetically it overshadows some historical and beautiful buildings and the whole site seems like extreme over-kill.

I have put in my comments and objections to the council.

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