PLANNING and DEVELOPMENT Bulletin No.6, 17 October 2017

This is the latest in our series of updates on planning matters in and around the Copers Cope Area.

If you feel strongly about any of the planning applications below that are currently being considered by London Borough of Bromley, you can leave your comments by clicking the links provided, then clicking on the comments tab.  Don’t forget to give your name and address, otherwise your views may not be considered.


84 Albermarle Road 16/05788/FULL1

A fresh application has recently been submitted to demolish the existing large house on the site and replace it with a three and four storey block of flats, comprising 7No two-bedroom and 2No two-bedroom flats, plus parking and landscaping.

Planning permission was granted in March this year for a smaller, three-storey block comprising 6No one-bedroom and 3No two-bedroom dwellings.

Carlton Court, 23 Beckenham Road 17/02890/FULL1

A large residential development at Carlton Court, a two-storey block of six two-bedroom flats, diagonally opposite the Fire Station, on the corner with Hayne Road, was refused planning permission at Committee last week.

The planning application proposed the demolition of the existing building and garage block and the construction of a four-storey block of 30No flats comprised of 11No one-bedroom, 18No two-bedroom and 1No three-bedroom flats.

The existing block provides accommodation for up to 24 people, whereas this new proposal would have accommodated up to 88 people, however only 15No car parking spaces were provided for future residents.

This was a significantly larger scheme than the one granted planning approval last autumn, which was to add one storey to the existing building, providing 4No additional flats.

At the time of writing, the decision and the reasons for refusal had not been published.

61 The Avenue 17/01955/FULL1

The latest in a string of planning application for this site has been refused permission by the Council.

The scheme, for the development of two blocks each comprising 3No two-bedroom flats on the site, was rejected on the grounds that the proposal by reason of the size, height, bulk and massing of the buildings, would result in an overdevelopment of the site and would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Downs Hill Conservation Area.

This was the fourth application in as many years and came, oddly, after a successful application last year to develop the site to provide two new family houses, which in our opinion is more suited to the particular location than flats.

56A Foxgrove Road 17/00624/OUT

The Council has, subject to a legal agreement, approved an outline planning application for the demolition of the existing 6No flats and garages and the development of a three to four-storey block comprising 18No flats, with car parking and landscaping.

45 Beckenham Road 17/02701/FULL1

A planning application has been approved for the conversion of the semi-detached house to a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

8No bedrooms are proposed over the ground, first and second floors, comprising 7No double and 1No singles, providing accommodation for up to 15 people.  Occupants share one kitchen/dining room and several bathrooms.  Only two of the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms.

Crystal Palace FC Training Ground, Copers Cope Road 15/02616/FULL

An application to demolish a number of single-storey office buildings and replace them with a two-storey extension to the existing main pavilion building, plus rationalisation and enlargement of the parking area, has been refused by the Council.

The reason given was that it was considered an inappropriate development on an area of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) which would result in a loss of openness detrimental to the area.

Chinese Garage, Wickham Road 17/03273/RECON

Planning and Listed Building Consent was granted in December last year for the conversion of this landmark building from a car dealership and garage to 2No ground floor retail units and 2No two-bedroom flats on the first floor.

The drawings submitted with the original application 16/02988/FULL suggested that the two retail units would be occupied by Pets at Home and Majestic Wine.   However this more recent application, for extended operating hours in the morning and evening, makes clear that Tesco now intend to take the lease, instead of Pets at Home.

There has already been much concern among local residents about the effect this proposal may have on the traffic congestion around the area of the roundabout where the building is located, increased noise and pollution, increased frequency of delivery vehicles, and the possible negative effect a supermarket would have on the parade of shops and businesses opposite.

At the time of writing there had been over 600 letters of objection to the proposal.

Land at the Junction with South Eden Park Road and Bucknall Way 17/00757/OUT

An outline planning application for a large residential development on the plot of open land at the northern end of the old Glaxo Smith Kline site, close to the Chinese Garage has been refused permission.

The scheme comprised of 3No blocks of flats, each three to four storeys high, accommodating a total of 52No flats, plus 15No four-storey terraced townhouses.  The flats would have faced onto South Eden Park Road and the houses towards the south and west of the site.

The applicant has appealed against the decision.

An application for a smaller development on adjacent land facing onto the Chinese Roundabout, known as Jacanda Lodge and owned by the same applicant, was also refused permission in September last year.  This development involved the demolition of the two existing houses on the site and the erection of 8No three-storey, 4-bedroom townhouses built in crescent formation.

Change of use from Commercial to Residential

Three years ago, the Government relaxed the planning laws to make it very easy to convert office premises to residential use.  Over this period, the majority of office space on Beckenham High Street, much of which was fully-let and in demand, has been given approval to be converted to flats.  Minimum space standards required for new-build or conversions do not apply to dwellings converted from offices, so many of these flats can be very cramped.

The largest of these sites include St Brides’s House (now complete), Marqueen House, Ironstone House and Provident House on Burrell Row, Kelsey House at Thornton’s Corner and Burnhill House on Burnhill Road.  As a result, many thousands of square feet of purpose-built office space has been lost and cannot be reclaimed.

Burnhill House, 50 Burnhill Road (Kelsey Square) 17/03675/FULL1

At the end of July last year Bromley Council granted ‘prior approval’ consent for the last remaining office building in the Beckenham High Street area to be converted into flats.  Burnhill House, situated adjacent to Lidl supermarket, was the subject of an application to convert the offices to 14No one and two-bedroom flats in 2015.  The council initially refused to grant consent, on the grounds that the proposal had inadequate provision for car parking, and would cause problems with highway safety on such a narrow section of the road.  An appeal by the applicant was dismissed, however a new application for the same scheme, but accompanied by a blank legal agreement promising the flats to be ‘car-free’ dwellings, was submitted and regrettably the Council capitulated and the application for the conversion of the office space to 14No flats was granted.

CCARA objected strongly against this application as, in our opinion, it provided an extremely poor standard of living accommodation, particularly in terms of space, privacy, noise, natural light and amenity.

Earlier this year, the building owner made a fresh application for no less than 24No one-bedroom flats.  There were no drawings to show how ten more flats could be shoe-horned into the limited confines of the building, but thankfully the council refused the application.

Astonishingly the owner has since made yet another application (17/04077/RESPA), this time to squeeze in 22No units comprising 14No 1-bedroom flats and 8No bedsits.  There appear to be three separate entrances to the development and internal corridors leading to individual flats are long, with many changes in level. Less than half of the 1-bedroom flats meets the minimum space standards for new flats.  Four of the seven flats on the second floor have no proper windows, only sloping roof lights and several of the bedsits are just 3 metres wide.

In August, a further application was submitted, this time proposing an additional 9No new flats ‘bolted-on’ to the second floor and roof and substantial alterations of the existing building.  If granted permission, this would again bring the total number of flats the site to 24 (two existing flats on the first floor being retained and one flat originally proposed on the ground floor being sacrificed for bike and refuse storage) enabling up to 54 people to live there.  We have just heard that this application has been refused by the Council, on the grounds that the scheme fails to provide a satisfactory layout and standard required for good quality accommodation.  The poor internal layouts and outlooks of two of the proposed new flats were particularly criticised.  In addition, the proposal fails to provide any off-street car parking, thereby increasing the demand for on-street parking on local roads.

Applications on the High Street:

218 High Street (old Ardec shop) 16/04171/FULL

Earlier this year, permission was granted at appeal for the change of use of the old Ardec shop to a restaurant on the ground floor with an extension to the rear (15/02489/FULL).

A further application for kitchen extract equipment and drainage proposals was granted consent over the summer and hoardings have since been erected, indicating that work underway inside.

The application for a rear extension at first floor level an alterations to the ground floor extension, permitted under a separate consent, was approved last month.

210 High Street (old Clark’s shop)

The owner submitted three further planning applications last month, following enforcement action by the Council:

17/02751/FULL Introduction of seating to the first floor.

17/02755/FULL Retrospective application for external seating at the rear of the establishment for the purposes of consuming hot food, the construction of new fencing at the rear and a retractable awning over part of the rear external area, all of which had been installed without permission.

17/02753/FULL Retrospective application for the continued use of the property as a restaurant and the installation of kitchen extract equipment introduced without permission.

After an application 17/00050/LAPRE was made by the owners to vary and extend the current premises licence 16/00633/LAPRE at Two-Ten, the establishment had its licence suspended on 26th April for three months.

The decision followed a number of apparent breaches of its existing licence since the restaurant opened in December last year.  The owners had been ordered to address several matters including noise, the sale of alcohol, building regulations, fire regulations, compliance with smoking laws and installation of a cctv system.

206 High Street (old Chas Norman camera shop) 16/05707/FULL3

Following the approval of a retrospective application for the use of the first floor as a one-bedroom flat, and for shop front alterations including a roller shutter, new entrance to the flat above and shop window alterations, the art gallery/shop on the ground floor abruptly and closed last month.  Curiously, the shop had no name during its short occupation.  We wait to see what takes its place

162 High Street 17/01568/ADV (old Horts Boutique shop)

Over the summer, the Council took enforcement action against Tech Check, the new occupier of the shop unit for changing a shop frontage and installing solid security shutters in a conservation area without planning permission.

The owners submitted a planning application in June, but made the alterations two weeks later, opening the shop at the end of the month.

The above application for internally illuminated fascia and projecting signage was refused in August.  The reason for refusal was that the size, scale and design of the signage would result in a prominent over-proliferation of advertisements which would fail to respect the scale, character and appearance of the locally listed host building, and wider Beckenham Town Centre Conservation Area.

12A High Street 17/00911/FULL1 (Coady’s Estate Agent)

Permission was granted in May for the change of use of the estate agents office on the railway bridge to a cafe. Owned by the locksmiths and called ‘Poached’, the cafe opened last month.

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