Planning applications

What we do

The Society, through its elected committee, considers that, if the Society is to play any part in the democratic local planning process it needs to be able to express views on behalf of the Society and to do so transparently. The weekly lists of applications issued by Lambeth and Southwark Councils are monitored and where it is felt that a comment might be called for, the application is referred to the Society’s planning group. Once a response is agreed the Society puts in an objection, a comment in support or says nothing. The vast majority of planning applications are not controversial and do not call for comment. The Society welcomes views expressed by members on planning issues.

Lambeth 18/05425/FUL, Higgs Industrial Estate, Herne Hill Road

In the view of the Society, the proposal to redevelop on the basis of 1,036 hr/ph represents a considerable over-development of the site. The Society is especially concerned about the height of the blocks along Herne Hill Road. These buildings, by their position, can be said to impact more on the local community than the tower block which is set away from the road. A historic opportunity is being lost to make a coherent improvement to this part of Loughborough Junction.

You can read the full text of our objection here [PDF]

Southwark 18/AP/1626, land at Red Post Hill

The Society’s planning group objected to a proposal to develop part of the garden of ‘Lyndenhurst’, the 18th century house at the junction Red Post Hill and Village Way, a listed building and part of a conservation area. Some would say this is more Dulwich than Herne Hill, but we felt that important principles were involved, and before commenting we also asked the Dulwich Society whether they had anything against our doing so. They did not. We objected because we felt the proposal plainly contravened Southwark’s Conservation Area Appraisal for this garden land and their own planning policy with relation to conservation areas and ‘backland’ development. There were also issues regarding access and loss of amenity for the houses at 1–9 Red Post Hill.

Lambeth 18/02303/FUL, 30 Herne Hill

We objected to an application for approval for converting a house in single occupation to three flats. We were of the view that the application was defective in misstating the ‘existing’ state of the premises and that the applicant first needed full planning permission for extensive alterations to the house that would be required to accommodate multiple occupation. The application has been withdrawn.

Lambeth 18/02703/FUL

We objected to a conversion of the ground floor of a shop to residential, on grounds of the poor design quality. Many Victorian buildings designed for shops (with residential accommodation above) are no longer feasible as shops and the shops are turned into ground floor flats. More or often than not the design quality is wretched. The present example is not the worst, but it could be so much better!

Dee Dee’s, 77 Herne Hill Southwark Licence Application Ref 863345

These premises have been a source of contention for many years. We opposed an application by the licence holder to extend the opening hours, on the grounds that the premises are in the wrong position for the sort of late night business that the applicant wants to promote. Southwark’s own policy for a bar in a residential area is to limit the hours to 23.00. But they have now allowed a variation granting an additional hour.

6 Fawnbrake Avenue, Lambeth18/00024/FULREF

We informed Lambeth that we supported their decision to refuse permission for alterations which included an inappropriate triple basement window in the front elevation. The owner appealed the decision and we asked Lambeth to make our view known to the planning inspector.

14 Elfindale Road

Our attention was drawn by a local resident to a substantial “outrigger” loft conversion carried out without planning permission, but which Southwark said, after construction was complete, came within permitted development. We lodged an official complaint to Southwark, saying their decision was not based on a proper interpretation of the legislation. Southwark continued to seek to justify their decision and rejected our complaint. We consider Southwark to be wrong and their decision to be based on expedience rather than a correct interpretation of the law.

11 Wingmore Road, Lambeth 17/05598/FUL

Wingmore Road is unusual for retaining throughout the street its original “London” or “buttefly” roofs, i.e. gently pitched roofs concealed by a parapet. We objected to an application to introduce the first mansard and dormer roof extension in the street, causing the loss of its original historic form and character, something that is becoming increasingly rare due to the popularity of such extensions. Lambeth has permitted the development.

194-198 Railton Road, Lambeth 17/06222/FUL

We supported an application for the enlargement of this building by the addition of two storeys. The project has Lottery funding and from the Mayor and will encourage arts-based employment and skills in BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) communities. We felt the design, by Brixton-based architects Carver Haggard was of high quality and appropriate for the location.

Milkwood Road (Redwing Coaches site), Lambeth 18/01018/FUL

Shurgard Self-storage have applied to build a large unit on this site. Due to local pre-application concerns the appearance and bulk of the building has been modified in some respects. Given the existing land use in this location, we felt that objection in principle was misconceived, but we have stressed the need for better landscaping detail along Milkwood Road to reduce the impact of this substantial building and to improve what is currently an unattractive access.

Park’s Edge, 49-51 Norwood Road, Southwark18/AP/0384

We objected to a proposal to site a BT “Inlink” unit 3.9m tall on the pavement outside Park’s Edge restaurant in Norwood Road. We said the installation contravened Southwark’s own policies and damaged views to and from Brockwell Park, a conservation area. Southwark have given permission.

Peckham Coal Line

This is strictly outside our area, but we felt it to be a public realm issue affecting the wider South London community and therefore posted an objection to an application that could jeopardise an imaginative scheme to convert the old Peckham Coal Line into an elevated public park, providing a welcome green oasis in a heavily developed part of London. Details of the Peckham initiative can be found at

26 Sunray Avenue

The Society had objected to what was felt to be a back extension that was far too large in the context of what are small houses with good-sized gardens designed in the garden suburb tradition. There was particular concern that the scale of the proposal did not respect the character of the Sunray Estate Conservation Area. Southwark has allowed the proposal. Given an earlier decision allowing a large back extension it can be predicted that the Sunray Estate will now see many more such extensions and, the Society fears, a steady erosion of the Estate’s special character.

179 Mayall Road

Mayall Road provides very good examples of Victorian artisan housing built shortly after the railway arrived in Brixton and Herne Hill. They are remarkable for their intactness and distinctive decorated parapet with concealed roofs behind. The houses deserve conservation area status. We therefore objected to a proposed mansard roof extension, not because mansard roofs are in themselves undesirable, but because these houses will lose their historic integrity. However, the pressure on local authorities to allow house extensions is inexorable. Lambeth allowed the proposal, as they have done in nearby streets with similar, albeit not so distinctive, houses (e.g. Effra Parade and Barnwell Road). In a few years mansard roofs in these streets will probably be almost universal.

Bath Factory Trading Estate

There was a public meeting on 19 April 2017 convened by the Herne Hill Forum to discuss the future of this site (i.e. the Norwood Road shops, the railway arches behind and the land between them). The meeting generated considerable interest, partly it seems because many attending thought an actual scheme was under discussion. What in fact was under discussion were the planning policy proposals for the site in the draft New Southwark Plan. These proposals support redevelopment that preserves the current amount of employment floorspace,  a new link (through the railway viaduct) that would improve the “permeability and legibility” of the site and good quality frontages for Norwood Road and the railway arches with the possibility of residential development above the Norwood Road shops. We have indicated support in principle for these policy proposals, since this an area that clearly needs regeneration and there would be great advantages in having this part of Herne Hill better integrated with other parts of the area. But everything would depend on the detail of any actual scheme.

Carnegie Library

We objected to the scheme that would see a gym installed in the basement with associated works. Essentially, we argued that the scheme goes against many of Lambeth’s own planning policies and signally misses the opportunity to come forward with a truly innovative and practical plan that uses the great potential of the building and its garden land to best advantage, while respecting the building’s historic quality. In spite of our objections, and those of other organisations and local residents, the planning application was passed.

You can read the full text of our objection here.

Herne Hill Neighbourhood Plan

A group set up by the Herne Hill Forum is making progress with a Neighbourhood Plan. In July 2017 the submission seeking approval of the Forum as the body responsible for preparing the plan and seeking approval of the Herne Hill boundary was accepted by both Lambeth and Southwark. The Councils will decide in early December whether to designate the Forum and agree the area. This process has taken much longer than anticipated, in part because of the need to agree the boundary with other neighbourhood groups, such as those representing Loughborough Junction and Norwood.

For your information: What is an S106 agreement? [external link]

Reader Comments

Posted by David Taylor March 21, 2012

Peabody are keen to hear local views. I have seen the outline scheme and am impressed. It has fewer units than the previous scheme and is designed in terraces to match the Victorian houses opposite on Milkwood Road, although in a contemporary style. There is still no car parking, as it so close to the station so let’s hope the CPZ soon comes in.

Posted by Patrick Roberts March 21, 2012

Peabody might make for better neighbours, but if there’s no CPZ in these streets, residents in that development could freely park in Gubyon and Fawnbrake: mayhem!!

Posted by Annie Park September 28, 2012

The parking in Gubyon Road is already a nightmare and dangerous, especially in the morning with commuters parking, others using it as a rat run, the Herne Hill School run mums parking willy-nilly. The residents of the new development must not be allowed cars!

Posted by Chris Schuler June 04, 2015

As a long-standing resident - I have lived in Holmdene Avenue for 25 years - I would be among the first to object to any development that I felt threatened the character of the area.

I visit Dee Dee’s perhaps once or twice a week, and walk past it almost every evening. Over the past two years, I have not seen the slightest evidence of any disruptive or unpleasant behaviour. It is a friendly, welcoming, orderly and well-run establishment. The bar attracts a friendly and mixed clientele of locals of all ages and backgrounds. The staff are polite, personable and totally professional, and always close within the prescribed licensing hours. The music and poetry evenings they put on make positive contribution to the cultural life of the area. The music is not played at an excessive volume and is hardly audible from the street.

In short, I believe that Dee Dee’s has enhanced the neighbourhood and its sense of community. I wish it every success, and hope it continues to flourish.

Posted by Bianca October 04, 2015

Have you responded to Bullfinch Brewery’s application? Comments close today / tomorrow? Applied to play music and sell alcohol 7 days a week till 11pm. Very inappropriate location on Rosendale Road.

Posted by Colin Wight October 06, 2015

Yes the Society has commented and the Bullfinch has withdrawn music from their application.

Posted by Nancy Buckley November 26, 2018

I live on Dulwich Road and have recently become aware of a planning application for a loft conversion. As it is in a conservation area, if this is allowed to go ahead, others will follow, consequently the Edwardian characteristics of the row of houses will be lost.

Please, I would appreciate it if you would take time to look at this proposal Ref 18/04666/FUL

To see full carbuncle picture, it is labelled under “parking provision” mistakenly as this is the front and rear proposal picture of the building.

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