Stop the 5-Storey ‘Infill’ Building at Grange Walk & Maltby Street, SE1
Stop the 5-Storey ‘Infill’ Building at Grange Walk & Maltby Street, SE1
Why this petition matters
Petition Against the 5-Storey ‘Infill’ Building on the corner of Maltby Street & Grange Walk, London SE1
We, the undersigned are strongly opposed to the recently commenced demolition of trees and communal space to make way for a 5-storey block of flats on Grange Walk, London, SE1 3EQ.
We want the demolition and building to stop because we are concerned that there are serious issues with the lawfulness and implication of the planning permission obtained by Southwark Council.
There are planning applications currently under consideration regarding details of condition 5 (22/AP/1279), condition 6 (22/AP/1313), condition 7 (22/AP/1314) and condition 17 (22/AP/1315) of the original planning consent which all relate to archaeological matters. For the avoidance of doubt, we the signatories of this petition object to those planning applications.
At a mere 18 - 20 metres from the surrounding properties on Maltby Street, Grange Walk, Haven Way and Grange Gardens - the proximity of the planned building is far too close.
We are contacting the Planning Enforcement Team, Ward Councillors and other politicians and also intend to seek a late Judicial Review of said planning permission - Southwark Application 20/AP/194 b - Maltby Street Development - Woodville House Site for exceptional reasons.
We also say ‘infilling’ (building on green spaces and other communal amenities) is not the answer to housing needs, especially when Southwark has the 5th highest amount of empty properties in the whole of London.
The signatories of this petition are all residents who live in sight of the site on Grange Walk (directly affected), together with our neighbours and supporters.
The reasons for our very strong opposition are as follows:
- Several of us were not properly consulted. Teams of residents state that we only discovered in recent weeks and days that planning permission for the 5-storey block of apartments had been granted.
- The illustrations for the work currently underway bear little or no relation to reality. All of the existing properties have been anonymised in the illustrations. Some homes including, fences, gates and forecourts have been rendered entirely invisible in the illustration - such as the homes on Maltby Street facing Woodville House and the 3-storey purpose-built apartment building on the corner of Grange Walk & Maltby Street. In addition, the very narrow pavements and roads have been made to look much wider and airier in the illustrations. None of us recognise our neighbourhood in the illustrations.
We believe planning permission was obtained by:
- wholly reckless or deliberately inadequate methods
- bullying those social housing residents who’d raised objections
- stealth (during Covid-19 restrictions in 2020), after the only people to have been notified (residents in Woodville House and some social housing residents), had previously raised objections.
- The building work involves forced requisition of current residents’ car park and lock-up spaces.
- The seizure of the current residents’ car park and lock-up spaces leaves them without long term solutions to their needs.
- The appropriation of the car park and garages for the infilling-creation of new residencies will create twice the need for car parking spaces.
- Forcibly taking commandeering and demolishing the car park and garages which have been available to the residents of Woodville House for over 40 years in favour of a 5-storey building 18 metres from their front doors will on serve to create ill-feeling.
- Parking on the very narrow roads is likely to increase as a result of the new infill residencies.
- All residents should be able to enjoy privacy in their own homes.
At a distance of 18 - 20 metres, the planned 5-storey block is an unacceptable proximity to homes opposite and adjacent.
- The planned 5-storey block height is an unsuitable height in relation to current residences. A significant amount of homes will be dwarfed by the building and be deprived of light and privacy. The new building would dwarf flats on one side of the road by 2 and 3 storeys.
- Residents should be able to enjoy reasonable protection from overlooking private homes and private gardens. The infill building would impinge on that.
- The projected mass is not appropriate for a small constrained site.
There will be a marked deterioration of the living standard of residents, in particular, the people who already live in Woodville House.
- Current residents have a justified expectation of good levels of daylight and sunlight. Residents on the north, west, east and south of the planned infill 5-storey building will be deprived of that.
- Southwark Council, the development team and architects have either no real regard or scant regard for the quality of life of the residents in the area, particularly those in Woodville House. For instance, the facia/cladding on top of Woodville House on the top left has had broken, missing and hanging parts for a length of time, with no signs of repair. The exposed part, underneath broken cladding/facia has clear signs of weather damage and mould.
- Current residents have legitimate fears about their crime and our security. The residents of Woodville House have had continuing problems with strangers trespassing through their buildings for years. Building up the area will increase this issue.
- Residents on Grange Walk have noticed an increase in illicit drug dealing and street drug consumption in the area. Building up the area could cause an increase in this behaviour and also create more blind spots to enable drug dealing.
- The noise, vibrations and dust from the building work during the day will negatively impact the current residents. The Coronavirus’ impact means that many Britons are now working from home. Working from home is more prevalent in London than in the rest of the country (Source: Office for National Statistics )
- Retired residents, disabled residents, parents with young families and the unemployed are also likely to be at home during the day, and highly like to be disturbed by noise, vibrational and dust pollution from the site.
- The demolition and construction look set to go full steam ahead in the summer months of 2022. This is a time when we’d all expect to have our windows open. With several residents’ properties surrounding the site, opening our windows would be detrimental to our health and our peace and quiet.
- The council chopped down perfectly healthy, young trees bordering the site. Many of us feel it’s immoral. It is not in keeping with Mayor Khan’s green vision for the city, nor the fight against global warming. The council say that it’ll plant new trees instead - this is skewed logic.
- The plans regarding the trees bordering the site are misleading.
- The nearest doctor’s surgery and pharmacy are already overstretched.
In principle, we support affordable housing. However, we believe that there are other more suitable solutions.
Unfortunately, there are still many derelict buildings in the borough of Southwark. 1 in 25 homes in Southwark are now empty.
According to charity, Action on Empty Homes, in Southwark in 2021 there was a total of 5,873 unused homes (and rising), of which 2,705 homes are listed as long-term empty properties (unfurnished and unoccupied for more than 2 years). (Source: Action on Empty Homes Report) Out of London’s 32 boroughs, Southwark is top 5 when it comes to the number of empty homes.
We want the council to build affordable housing where there are derelict buildings, rather than take away resources from the current residents such as in the case with the Woodville House Car Park & Garages Site.