It's unusual for me to refer to the 'Town Planning Appeal Decisions' that come before my Committee. The paper I am referring to is available from here.
The first item I'm interested in is 32 Arbuthnot Road, DC/08/69828. This was turned down by my committee last year. One of the grounds that we referred to was
"the adequacy of the garden area for future occupiers"
I recall at the meeting that we were quite clear that the garden was small and was inconsistent with planning policy. It is chilling therefore to hear what the Planning Inspector thought:
"He found no evidence that existing residential amenities would be compromised and whilst acknowledging that the garden area set aside for the future occupiers of the development was limited, he considered that the prospective residents would best be able to make their own decision as to whether this would be sufficient for their needs."
Lewisham's planning policies look at a whole range of issues dealing with the residential amenity of future occupiers with the aim that we don't repeat the errors of the past - building homes that are too small, where people don't have easy access to good outdoor space, homes that people can live in throughout their lives (so-called lifetime homes) - so I find it depressing that this planning inspector has sought to ride roughshod over the views of the committee and our belief that the standards set in our planning policies represent good standards for future residents of Lewisham. I guess he's not a local!
The other decision in this report is one that will of interest to Brockley's residents - it's the dismissal of the appeal against the nursery at 60 Manor Avenue. This planning inspector upheld the decision of that Planning Committee - so perhaps they're not all bad! The inspector's comments should influence any future proposals for that site and ensure that its change from the current social club use to something else will have the support of local residents.