An unconventional design proposal to redevelop garages in to a block of three storey houses has been described as being like a ‘prison’ complex.
Dozens of residents have objected to plans to replace 10 garages which sit at the rear of 42-50 Chipstead Avenue and border homes on Quadrant Road, with four detached houses built over two and three-storeys.
The application has been referred to the Planning Committee because of the number of objections, with 47 received against and two in favour of the development.
The main objections are on the grounds of: overdevelopment, the negative impact on neighbouring properties, design, emergency access and the impact on car parking.
The proposed ‘car free’ development will use heavy stone and green corrugated cladding (pictured), which architects Office S&M say they chose as a reference to the ‘historic use of the site as gravel pit’ and the ‘later use as garages’.
Residents on Chipstead Avenue and Quadrant Roads who will be affected by the development have described it “at best as being like a warehouse and at worst prison like.”
At tonight’s 6.30pm planning meeting (Thursday) local resident Simon Carter has been allotted three minutes to speak on behalf of residents opposing the plan.
The applicant, property owner and developer Mr Ayoade, who was prosecuted for the second time in 2019 by Southwark Council for being a ‘negligent landlord’, already has planning permission to demolish two large houses at 30-32 also on Chipstead Avenue. In February 2020 he was given the green light to replace it with a part three-storey, part four-storey building comprising of eight flats (red building pictured bottom left).
The building work has not started for the development which was also designed by Dalston based Office S&M who are known for ‘unconventional and colourful house’ projects.
In granting permission for this latest scheme under delegated powers – which will require approval by a committee of councillors – the Croydon council officer relies on the need for more homes and the precedent set by other neighbouring developments.
The Brick by Brick Flora Court development, which was built on the site of a former nursing home on Chipstead Avenue offers 27 flats over three and four storeys.
Joseph and Margaret Scanlan, who are long term residents of Quadrant Road, said: “In order to squash the houses onto the site the proposed development requires the elimination of the existing lane access and then building hard up against the rear garden boundaries of houses on Quadrant Road.
“To deliver the developers’ desired unit size the proposed buildings end up being of an intrusive height of three storeys.
“In addition to the impact of the excessive and looming height, the development would be located just 10.3metres from the back wall of our property, whereas Croydon’s ‘Suburban Design Guide’ sets out a minimum back-to-back separation of 18metres.”
This picture taken by the couple gives an indication of how the development will impact on them.
They add in a letter to councillors: “We would like to preface our comments by saying we have no ‘in-principle’ objection to a development of this backland brownfield site for appropriate, good quality and safely and well designed housing.”
The garages are accessed by a narrow entrance between two existing houses (pictured) and were originally the location of two houses, numbers 52 and 54, which were destroyed in a Second World War bombing raid. Residents say that the access to site is 2.3metres and should be at least 3 metres for emergency services.
In a letter to the council objectors say they are not being NIMBYs but this is a measured response to a scheme that has “ignored not only your Council’s planning policies and standards, but also the consultative and advisory role of the London Fire Brigade and the developer’s responsibility to its neighbours.”
However, in the report to the committee tonight the planning officer says in conclusion: “Given the significant need for housing within the Borough and the brownfield status of the site, the principle of this residential development is considered acceptable within this area.
“The proposed design would bring forward an innovative and original design of development on a backland site in a residential area and would represent a sensitive and sustainable redevelopment of the site.
“Whilst it is acknowledged that the mass of built form would be greater than the existing garages currently on site, the proposal would be in context with the transition of the surrounding environment.
“The proposal would have no significantly harmful impact on the amenities of the adjacent properties and the application demonstrates that the impact on the highway network would be acceptable. Officers are satisfied that the scheme is worthy of a planning permission.”
*On Companies House Mr Ayoade, describes himself as a property developer and is the director of several companies which are based at 30 Chipstead Avenue including Chipstead Garages Ltd which was incorporated in April 2019. In June of the same year Chipstead Garages Ltd had a Registration of Charge against it with Commercial Acceptances Ltd, which is a loan secured against the business.
It a report in the Southwark News in February 2019 Mr Ayoade was described as a ‘rogue landlord’ after he was taken to court by Southwark Council and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs. He appeared at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court for failing to apply for a landlord license and complaints from his tenants.
A resident living in one of his three flats in Camberwell had complained to Southwark Council about a bed-bugs in November 2017 and then the council learned that a collapsed ceiling hadn’t been fixed after falling in following a leak eight months previously
This wasn’t the first time the council had taken action against Mr Ayoade. In 2013, he was told to pay costs and fines totalling £1,938 over failing to comply with an improvement notice after a various problems with his homes came to light.