Shurgard Development on Blackhorse Bridge
Hello DeptfordFolk. It was agreed at the April 23rd DeptfordFolk meeting that we would oppose the redevelopment of the site on the Western side of Blackhorse Bridge. The campaign saw 65 responses submitted opposing the development including comments from Lewisham Cyclists and The Deptford Society. This was an excellent response and meant the development got referred to Planning Committee C on 19th June 2016. However, we also learned that this is Shurgard's second application* for the same site.
Bear with us here as this now gets a little complicated.
In 2015 Shurgard submitted a planning application to build a storage facility on the site of Trophy House, by Blackhorse Bridge. Lewisham Planning Officers received no local opposition to the 2015 proposal but rejected it for various reasons including allowances for access under Blackhorse Bridge. The developer then submitted another application in 2016 which took into account Lewisham Planning's notes. Whilst submitting the 2016 application the developer also appealed the council's decision on the 2015 application (a tactic known as "twin-tracking"). The Planning Inspectorate could see no local opposition or no reason to reject it so the 2015 development was granted full planning permission on June 2nd 2016. This means Shurgard can now build the far worse 2015 proposal, rejected by LBL planning officers, should they wish to (images below).
Meanwhile, representatives from DeptfordFolk and Lewisham Cyclists attended Planning Committee C on May 19th to object to the developers second application (2016) and got to speak for 5 minutes. As a result of this, the committee deferred the decision and asked Shurgard to meet with DeptfordFolk and Lewisham Cyclists to find a compromise.
DeptfordFolk and Lewisham Cyclists met with Shurgard and gained some concessions on the landscaping in front of the development with a view to opening the route under Blackhorse Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. The long therm goal is to re-open Canal Approach, and allow the creation of a safe way to cross Evelyn Street and improve connectivity not just for local people but across North Lewisham.
Despite the many objections on the grounds of heritage, job creation and the impact of this development on our neighbourhood DeptfordFolk now has to support the 2016 application with the concessions on the external landscaping. If DeptfordFolk continues to oppose Shurgard's 2016 proposal they will probably decide to build the 2015 proposal for which they have been granted full planning permission.
If you opposed the 2016 development you will have received a letter inviting you to the Planning Committee C meeting on 30th June 2016. DeptfordFolk will attend and support the 2016 proposal on the proviso that the changes agreed are included in the application.
It was through this whole process that we learned Lewisham Council were updating the Lewisham Local Plan (LLP). The consultation closed in Autumn 2015. DeptfordFolk were able to work with planning to get an extension so residents could continue to contribute comments until June 30th 2016 by emailing email@example.com. DeptfordFolk will continue to work with Lewisham Planning Officers to ensure residents know about, and can comment on, developments in our neighbourhoods, affecting our communities and the future of our green spaces. Lewisham Planning have recognised DeptfordFolk as a local stakeholder and will engage with us directly regarding future developments. Keep your eyes peeled though, DeptfordFolk only learned of the Shurgard development as a member spotted the notice stuck to a lamp post on Blackhorse bridge!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a comment and to the people who attended the Planning Committee meeting in May. DeptfordFolk will send an update on the outcome of the 2016 Shurgard proposal after Planning Committee C meeting on June 30th.
*if links to the Lewisham Portal don't work just try again later!