Flats proposed on top of Barclays Bank, Beckenham, June 2016

3 Beckenham Rd Front
Beckenham Road elevation

A recent planning application has been made to build three additional storeys of flats on top of the existing Barclays Bank on Beckenham Road, near to the war memorial.

The application incorporates a scheme for two additional residential storeys that was granted consent more than three years ago, but which expired on 10th April this year, 13/00407/FULL1 , plus a fifth storey penthouse apartment.
(Note: the drawings also indicate an unconnected scheme for the site at 436 Croydon Road, currently a temporary furniture showroom.  This has not been built and the Council are understood to be investigating the current planning status)
CCARA has written to the Council, objecting to the application and expressing the view that the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area.  Whilst the Association does not have any major objection to the four-storey scheme previously consented, we consider the newly-proposed fifth storey in the current application an unwelcome addition, for the following reasons:
1. Most buildings in the area are either two or three storeys high, with a few being four storeys.  Allowing a five-storey development would set an undesirable precedent with regard to other sites in the immediate vicinity that hold the potential to be redeveloped in the future.
2. The site is in a sensitive location, right on the edge of the Beckenham High Street Conservation Area and sitting opposite the Grade 2-listed Odeon Cinema and the Post Office, a locally listed building.
3. The design of the building would dominate this important junction in the town and dwarf the adjacent Victorian houses on Beckenham Road.
4. The wave-shaped profile of the penthouse roof results in a fifth storey that would be nearly 5 metres high, further accentuating the visual height of the building.  The elevation drawings suggest the building would be nearly 17 metres high, at its highest point.
5.   No indication appears to be given regarding the materials, colour or finish of the cladding.  The presentation of the drawings seems to suggest a light-coloured render to the third and fourth storeys and a profiled metal roof to the penthouse.  Both materials would be inappropriate, detracting from the importance of the existing key buildings at the junction.
6. Assuming employees at the bank would still permitted to park their cars in the car park at the rear of the building, there would seem to be an inadequate number of parking spaces overall.
If you wish to view the proposal, click on this link, 16/02218/FULL1 , where you can also submit your own comments.

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