Planning wider issues

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Introduction

There are many planning applications for development and redevelopment in Peckham town centre. Each is a separate planning application which the Council considers and decides on as a separate case. And yet approval of individual applications can build up small aspects and have wider effects when taken together.

Wider issues and cumulative effects

The PPN (Peckham Planning Network) has been tracking these issues and identified some that need investigation. These include:

Peckham Rye station overcrowded

Housing

  • affordable housing: the lack of social and intermediate housing in private developments, and the lack of information about the viability assessments used to justify these deficiencies.
  • impact on local services: the lack of public information about the increase needed in local services for the increased numbers of residents – eg doctor & dental surgeries, nurseries, school places, open spaces and play areas, bus and rail services.

Townscape

  • townscape character: the cumulative effect of the multiple separate developments on the nature of the townscape especially in the Conservation Area – building heights, materials, design, mass.
  • public realm: need for a clear design policy for the town centre public realm to create coherence over separate developments.
  • biodiversity & green space: the need for connected spaces for natural habitats, and publically accessible green spaces not reflected in individual plans.
  • car parking: the overall impact of the Council’s policy of no private car parking in new developments and no parking permits for new residents in them, and the lack of public awareness of these policies.
  • waste storage and disposal: the need to ensure that all new developments have appropriate waste storage and disposal facilities. This has been a severe defect of previous developments in the town centre.

Community engagement

  • participation processes: there is little satisfactory or effective community engagement in planning policy or planning applications, nor will there be with existing approaches.
  • planning procedures:
    • need to improve the council’s planning portal for applications.
    • need to know when decisions are going to be taken.
    • possibly address cumulative effects by automatically referring to the Planning Committee certain decisions affecting the town centre conservation area eg if there are applications for change of use, new buildings, increased heights, alteration of historic features.

Discussions with the Council

PPN representatives met with Cllr Nick Dolezal Planning Committee Chair and a Lane ward councillor to have a first discussion about some of these matters, and with Cllr Mark Williams accompanied by Cllr Dolezal some weeks later. The PPN took a deputation to the Peckham & Nunhead Community Council on 29th June, to present these matters to the local councillors and suggest that some of them could usefully feature in the forthcoming year’s meetings. Here is a copy of:

Follow up action will be posted here. If you wish to be involved please email info@peckhamvision.org

Conservation Area

Planning applications are now being approved which do not comply in the view of PPN with the Conservation Area. The Council disputes this. The PPN is exchanging emails on this point with Cllr Mark Williams. [emails to be uploaded]