Flats proposed for Catford were rejected by planning officers due to “poor design” and “excessive scale”. 

Developer Grantley applied to build two blocks of flats behind Poundland in Rushey Green, and to partially demolish the warehouse it uses for storage. 

The plans, which stretch back to Hamlet Close, include two three-storey blocks, made up of nine flats in total.  

News Shopper:

According to Grantley’s planning statement because of “changing retail habits”, there is “little need” for the “extensive areas of warehouse accommodation”.  

It states the plans “seek to make effective use of an under-utilised sustainable brownfield site” by way of “reconfiguring the warehouse space” and introduce nine flats to “meet recognised needs for small homes in the borough”. 

“Detailed consideration has been given by the appointed architects to ensure that the retail unit which is extensive in size remains adequately provided with warehouse space, although with changing retail habits and expensive storage space, there is now little need for the currently extensive areas of warehouse accommodation which is underused.  

“In this respect it is confirmed that the existing retail unit, comprising 405 sqm internal floor space will remain unaffected.  

“The rear warehouse, as underused, will be reduced in size from 595 sqm to 185 sqm making an overall floor area of retail and warehouse space of 590 sqm,” it said.  

But the development was rejected over “poor design, excessive scale, plot coverage and close proximity to adjacent buildings”. 

“[It] would be an inappropriate form of backland development for this constrained site that would fail to respect or enhance the character of the surrounding area,” according to the director of planning, Emma Talbot. 

She said the proposals would be “overbearing”, and would result in “significant visual harm” on neighbours.  

Ms Talbot said the application “fails to demonstrate” that taking away the yard area “would not compromise the means of access and servicing for vehicular and pedestrian users within Hamlet Close and Wildfell Road, or the future operation of the retail unit”, which is contrary to policy, according to the decision. 

Ms Talbot also said that the standard of residential accommodation “by reason of the provision of no private amenity space or internal storage for future occupiers including the two wheelchair units, would fail to achieve an acceptable standard” as required by housing standards. 

The developer has six months to appeal the decision, if it wishes to.