Infill application rejected on Lancaster Avenue

Last month we submitted an objection to application 19/00092/FUL – a proposed 2-storey infill at 25 Lancaster Avenue.

We’ve had a number of issues with the Longwood Hotel site and were concerned that this was an inappropriate development that may exacerbate these. The two one-bed flats proposed were too tiny, the height, scale, siting, bulk, massing and design were not in keeping with the conservation area, and the design did not meet sustainability or energy standards.

We’re really pleased to learn this weekend that planning officers agreed – the application has been refused!

The decision to refuse sites:

  • The proposed development, by reasons of its height, scale, bulk and massing would close the space between the buildings of 23 and 25 Lancaster Road and result in a dominant development that would be out of keeping with the established pattern of development in the area;
  • The development would result in less than substantial harm the character and appearance of the Lancaster Avenue Conservation Area, and this harm would not be outweighed by the public benefits flowing from the scheme The proposed development, by reasons of its height, scale, bulk and massing would close the space between the buildings of 23 and 25 Lancaster Road and result in a dominant development that would be out of keeping with the established pattern of development in the area;
  • The proposed development would fail to promote sustainable methods of transport;
  • The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the scheme has been designed in accordance with the London Plan energy hierarchy and, in order to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of 35%.

B&Q site acquired by the council

B&Q recently advertised the freehold of their store on Norwood Road, and this has been acquired by the council.

This forms part of the council’s wider work in West Norwood, especially the aspiration to redevelop Site 18 – which includes the derelict laundry site behind B&Q. Currently, land ownership on Site 18 is very fragmented and the council has been working with local businesses to help assemble the site into a more coherent redevelopment proposition, as per the Local Plan and ‘manual for delivery’ consulted on and published over the last few years.

B&Q as the tenant will continue to operate as they do currently until such a time as all wider redevelopment options have been assessed – and even then any redevelopment would remain contingent on B&Q’s agreement to vary their lease, ensuring they are partners in any local change.

As local councillors, we know that many residents rely on B&Q both as customers and at staff, and we hope that in any future redevelopment B&Q will remain in West Norwood. It’s important to ensure we retain the shops we need as part of a diverse and vibrant high street.

However, we’re excited that progress is being made on Site 18 – it’s so wasteful that, at a time crisis in our local and London housing markets, derelict private land sits there undeveloped. The acquisition of the B&Q freehold is demonstration that as a Labour council we’re taking proactive and positive steps to improve West Norwood and tackle the housing crisis.

Rosendale Playing Fields update

In the latest development the planning based public consultation ended in March 2018 having been extended because of our work along with officers to give residents more time to engage in the proposal. This included letters being sent to residents, print signs being placed along the proposed fence route, and the local press being notified.

We are pleased to inform the local community that based on resident feedback the planning department wish to investigate further into the proposal to better understand resident questions specifically about the level(s) of the fence around the site. Therefore, further drawings have been requested by the planning department before a second planning based 21 day public consultation is to be held.

As and when we know more about the dates of this future public consultation we will update this page accordingly. If you have any questions please contact us.

Action taken on dangerous building site on Deronda Road

We have been very concerned about the state of the plot of derelict land on the corner of Deronda Road and Norwood Road. While planning permission was granted for 4 new flats (Ref: 16/05859/FUL), all that seems to have happened is a dangerous demolition job. We are unhappy that it blocks the pavement and that the rubble and dumped rubbish is open, unsafe and unsightly. 

We have made regular complaints to officers in planning enforcement regarding this site, and are pleased to share that we have been successful in getting a s215 notice issued. This is a legal notice forcing the land owner to clear the waste, rubbish and debris from the site; to secure the side and rear access with proper hoarding; and to maintain the land in a tidy and safe condition. 

While we are waiting for the landowner to take action following the legal notice, we have worked with the Highways department to get temporary safety barriers put up around the site.

Please continue to send any concerns to us – we will continue to raise this issue until we are satisfied that the landowner has taken all necessary steps.

We have been working to get the site on the corner of Deronda Road and Norwood Road cleared up – it is spilling into the pavement and the rubbish and rubble is dangerous and unattractive.

We have spoken with community safety and planning enforcement officers who are on the case.

A number of site inspections in relation to the current state of the land have been undertaken. Planning permission (16/05859/FUL) was approved on 5 May 2017 for the erection of a 4 storey building including a mansard roof storey plus a lower ground floor level to provide 4 self-contained flats.

The commencement of works is subject to discharge of several conditions and officers have written a strongly worded letter to developer in respect to this matter. Currently, works on site appear to have cease and officers expect the submission of further details concerning the demolition to the Council before works on site continue. 

However, even if works have paused, the remedial work to clear the pavement and secure the site have not happened and it continues to be unsafe and unsightly. We have written to officers again requesting stronger action taken to bring the landowners into line.

Our support for the Norwood Planning Assembly

Today, Lambeth Council will consider the application from the Norwood Planning Assembly to designate West Norwood and its surrounding neighbourhood as a neighbourhood planning area. This means local people get a greater say in how the area develops.

As your local councillors, we have been very proactive in working with the Norwood Planning Assembly volunteers and the wider community to develop the proposal – in particular, in his role as Norwood Area Lead, Fred has been busy liaising with officers, providing feedback from residents, helping to agree boundaries with other neighbourhood planning groups in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill, involving stakeholders like Brockwell Park and providing support in developing the final plans.

We have submitted the following statement on behalf of the West Norwood councillors in support of the final proposals being considered by the council today –

Norwood Planning Assembly Application for Designation


1. This is a combined submission from all Norwood Councillors in the three wards making up the Norwood area – Gipsy Hill, Knights Hill and Thurlow Park wards – to the application for the Combined Neighbourhood Area and Forum Application submitted by the Norwood Planning Assembly (NPA) on 8 March 2017 for designation for a local plan under the 2011 Locality Act.

The NPA and its composition

2. The NPA is formed of two longstanding local groups the Norwood Forum and the Norwood Action Group (NAG). These groups have a strong local presence and have since the summer of 2015 engaged in constructive work to make the plans for the local community known to the wider area. This has included a range of activities including public meetings and engagement through different networks and they have work closely with the Masterplan refresh process from 2015-2016 and used the data gathered in this process to inform their application, which as a consequence has a strong evidence base.

3. They have a presence across all three wards and Councillors have worked with members from this group. The requirement that membership be drawn from different places in the neighbourhood area concerned and from different sections of the community in that area has been fulfilled by the NPA in the preparation and submission of this application.  All other requirements for designation under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 section 61F(7)(a) are met by the text of this application.

The area for designation

4. Part of the process described in paragraph 3 above was the negotiation and confirmation of precise boundaries of the area beginning in 2016. This took the administrative unit of the Norwood Ward boundaries as a starting point and then worked to assess whether these related to planning considerations and the public identification of the area.  The boundaries represent an accurate picture of the Norwood Area.

5. After consultation the and public engagement the following boundaries were agreed with other neighbourhood forums

a. In the South of the area – the boundary traverses a significant part of the South of Gipsy Hill Ward, which falls into the Upper Norwood and Crystal Palace forum. This boundary reflects both surveys of the area and the work that other forums. It also would pose no real impediment in planning terms.
b. In the North of the area  – this area covers the streets in the Brockwell Park and Rosendale Road area of the Ward.  Door knocking, residents association consultations and survey data placed this area in Herne Hill and as a consequence will come within the Herne Hill local plan.  

6. The NPA has agreed MOU’s with the Tulse Hill forum who are working on a neighbourhood plan to the west of the proposed designated area and with Brockwell Park Community Partners (which given the final boundaries is no longer relevant).  

7. The boundaries represent an area that would be known and recognised as West Norwood and the final boundary has been arrived at through a process characterised with high levels of public engagement.  


8. Norwood Councillors support the designation of the NPA and the boundaries of their local plan set out in their designation documents.

Proposed Dalton street planning development refused

Cllr Fred Cowell has recently been busy working to investigate a development application that covered 21-27 and 28 Dalton Street, SE27. It’s the forth such development attempt over the last three years.

The new development project was for 17 luxury flats in a 4-storey build plus a basement building, to a height of 12m. Despite planning objections made in 2016 around issues of height, density, traffic/parking, daylight/sunlight restrictions, overlooking balconies, loss of commercial space, employment and negative impact on local amenities the new development plan did not seem take into adequate consideration these concerns within the new proposed scheme.

The plan was strongly opposed by local residents of Dalton Street, Lancaster Avenue, Chatsworth Way and Hawkley Gardens, all of whom would of been negatively affected by this proposal on a number of grounds. Cllr Fred Cowell worked with residents and the Planning Committee to share their concerns and we are pleased that this proposal was refused.

While we, and many local residents, support new housing in Lambeth we would also like to see schemes that reflects and enhance the adjoining areas and we will continue to work for, and behalf of, residents to this end.

Norwood Planning Assembly – local input in planning

The Norwood Planning Assembly (NPA) was established by the Norwood Forum and the Norwood Action Group. It is hope that such an assembly will allow local people to decide where future shops, houses, community and workspaces should be and what they look like, and press for property to be more affordable too.

Cllr Fred Cowell has been working with the above group as well as with other residents to help enable local people and businesses to have a greater say in planning development in our local area.

Having received an update towards the end of January 2017 at the NPA public meeting about the bid for designation, ratification of the NPA constitution and the election of officers, plus the creation of a volunteer led sub-groups to develop aspects of the neighbourhood plan, the NPA is now going to public consultation.

It is expected that the decision on whether to formally designate the NPA will be made by the Council’s Cabinet in July 2017.

The map of the area covered is available here –

You can support the application whether you live in the area of the NPA or not. The more support that can be demonstrate in and around the area, the more representative we can be of our community. Please respond by 15 May 2017. 

You can send your views by email or respond by post:


Post: Planning Strategy and Policy Team, London Borough of Lambeth, 1st Floor, Phoenix House, 10 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LL

Details of the application can be found on the Lambeth website –

Printed copies of the application are also available for inspection at West Norwood library during their normal opening hours and at the Council’s office at Ground Floor, Phoenix House, 10 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LL from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

More information can be found on the Norwood Planning Assembly website  –

The Regeneris report on Norwood, produced after extensive consultation, which includes the Commonplace map can be found here –

Pushing for stronger planning enforcement in Tulse Hill

We have been concerned by recent changes in Tulse Hill – the use of the space on the corner of Thurlow Park Road and Norwood Road, and changes in use from retail to residential of shops and cafes on Station Rise. We have been pushing planning enforcement officers to address these issues.

Officers have visited the neighbourhood and written to the used car business on the corner of Thurlow Park Road. The proposed car wash being installed has been halted as it did not have planning permission, the area which was paved without permission has been depaved and damage caused by cars on the pavement to the electrical post by the bus stop has been reported to the Highways team. We believe that further work is required to check that car sales is a legitimate use of the site, to remove paving and to require that discarded concrete is removed to make the area less unsightly. We also want to ensure no part of the property is being used without authorisation as an HMO.

On Station Rise, we are worried about the apparent trend to convert retail units into flats. The Streetworks project will hopefully create a pleasant town centre space where people can use shops and cafes – retaining active shop fronts is important for this.


Planning Enforcement update – Winter 2016/16

In line with government guidance, the key focus of the Lambeth team is to resolve cases informally without recourse to costly and time-consuming formal action – this is how the majority of cases our solved.

In terms of activity in Thurlow Park at a property along Croxted Road officers negotiated the removal of excessive noisy air-conditioning units from a residential property.

Otherwise, a large residential property on Norwood Road was in a dilapidated state and has been left empty for many years. As a result, formal section 215 notices were served requiring a range of remedial works to the premises. This will ensure the condition of the property is drastically improved and is hopefully brought back into residential use.

If you have any planning concerns please let us know.