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LSI to replace south London garages with homes

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Croydon Council has approved plans by LSI Architects to build four homes on the site of derelict garages on a residential street 

The south London local authority granted consent, subject to conditions, for the AJ100 practice’s two-storey scheme at 196 Sydenham Road, despite a three-storey or taller development being permitted in the local plan.

Backed by family-run developer Prime Homes, the proposals also include an overhaul of the existing mansion building on the site, which will itself then provide eight homes.

A cut-back in the footprint of the mews house closest to 198 Sydenham Road overcame concerns that there could be a ‘jarring’ juxtaposition between the two, said planning officers.

‘It is considered that the design of the mews has carefully considered the amenity of adjacent neighbours in terms of its siting, layout and form,’ they said in a report. ‘The height of the mews for the most part would not be significantly higher than the height of the existing block of garages.’

Aside from the replacement of the garages with four homes, the detached four-floor residential building on the plot will be given a major refurbishment. Interior and exterior changes will include creating a mansard roof and a series of alterations to increase the number of flats from seven to eight.

Eight objections were received to the overall scheme, with concerns including overdevelopment, loss of privacy and the new homes being out of character. But the council ruled that the scheme conformed with local and national planning policy.

Dean Gibson, from the development and environment department at Croydon Council, said the scheme was ‘highly regarded’ by the local authority’s planning team.

‘In particular, the new mews houses in the rear of the site epitomises our ambition to optimise the potential of existing residential land through original, innovative and high-quality sustainable design,’ he said. 

Aerial 2

Aerial picture of site

Aerial picture of site

LSI director Peter Courtney said a collaborative attitude to planning engagement had resulted in ’a sensitive, well-rounded design solution to enhance the community’.

If under-used garage sites are to be used effectively we need to put individual isolated concerns to one side

‘If under-used garage sites such as this are to be utilised effectively to help meet the demand for new housing, we all need to recognise the common benefit and put individual isolated concerns to one side,’ he added.

‘The default reaction from neighbours, for example, should not be an automatic “no”. There is a real need for more constructive engagement and consultation, combined with a more streamlined, consistent and simplified approach to planning engagement.’

Lightwell section 2

Lightwell section 2

Lightwell - section

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The latest example of ingenious use of unpromising urban 'backlands' - with two storey housing sunk halfway into the ground in a way that's probably easier and more economical in the surface geology of Greater London than some other areas of the country.

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