Breakspears Mews developers appeal failed bid to build new units

Developers whose plans to knock down and redevelop garages on Breakspears Mews (which runs between Wickham and Breakspears Roads) were rejected have launched an appeal against the decision. The scheme is for:

The demolition of the garage building and shed at Ashby Garages, Breakspears Mews SE4 and the construction of a single storey building comprising 5 work units and a block of 7 garages, together with the provision of a bicycle store and bin storage.

The developers argue that they are doing nothing more than replacing old garages with new ones and that the site has always been used for workshops and storage. The Council refused the plans in May on the basis that they would increase traffic on an unpaved road and intensify commercial activity on site, to the detriment of local residents.

Local residents who want to register their opinion about the plans should contact Vicky Williams in Lewisham Council.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hows the Breakspears Mews community garden coming along?

kolp said...

There's a sense of inevitability about the all Mews in the conservation area sucuumbing to development.

All those who care about the conservation area need to stand firm and stand together to ensure that the best possible buildings are built and that any section 106 money benefits the area.

Anonymous said...

Is there a link to the planning application? I can't seem to find it.

Anonymous said...

As a mews-dweller whose 80s home would presumably not make your standards: all I can say is that I'm glad I've got a (just) affordable home!

Mb said...

"succumbing to development" one persons untouched bit of urban greenery where bats and badgers gaily romp in sundapled peace is another's bit of shabby brownfield full of falling down garages riddled with asbestos. Underused land in London where land for housing and employment is lacking. Don't think any one on the left/right spectrum is arguing that there is a surplus of land available to be developed is there?

Not saying either description is especially accurate. I'm JUST SAYING!

Anonymous said...

Usual Lewisham Crap!

kolp said...

Naff buildings don't benefit anyone except for the developer perhaps.
There's some mews homes in the conservation area where the garden is 4 foot. This means conflict over tree heights, with neighbours.

The homes tend to be small to get through the planning process in the first place and so a few years down the line along comes a planning application for extentions and loft conversions and more conflict.

I am increasingly of the view that the so-called green belt needs to be loosened. Rather than squeezing more and more people into established areas.

Anonymous said...

Kolp - I'm the mews dwelling anon...not sure where you're getting this...we have had all of that without conflict, and out neighbours are happy to cut their trees...

Robert said...

These are for work units - not residential. The owner of the land, Mr Lewis, lives abroad. He has been trying to get something built here for about ten years now.

For anyone who has not ventured into Breakspears Mews recently - it has become a pretty sorry sight. It is awash with unlicenced car-breakers and mechanics, who have littered the mews with tyres, knackered cars and general rubbish. They work late, and on Sundays, and have little regard for the people that live around them. About five years ago, gas canisters belonging to one of the mechanics exploded, causing many people to be temporarily evacuated from their houses.

This is why residents around the mews are so concerned about bringing more workshop units in - and it is also why there have been moves afoot to try and instal different uses for the mews, such as the community garden initiative.

headhunter said...

I don't understand why these illegal car breakers are allowed to Continue in business... Why haven't they been shut down? Utterly ridiculous....

Ron said...

@Robert

"About five years ago, gas canisters belonging to one of the mechanics exploded, causing many people to be temporarily evacuated,' etc.

What a marvellous statement!

So what do artists who sculpt work with - gas canisters?

Robert said...

Headhunter,
I didn't say they were illegal - just that many are unlicenced. Ie. they are not holding ASE certification, or the relevant insurances. If anyone uses any of the mechanics in this mews, ask them to show them their certification and see what answer you get! There is also a suspicion that some are avoiding the payment of business rates to Lewisham. This may well be illegal - not too sure on the ins-and-outs to be honest.

However, our economy is still in thrall to the cash-in-hand culture. The obsession with avoiding tax and set-up costs leads many to turn a blind eye, from financial barons to car mechanics - it's the same story.

I think Lewisham would rather avoid collecting the relatively small sums owed by these businesses in rates, in order to absolve responsibility for keeping the mews in order - even though some of the land is owned by them.

Robert said...

Ron.
The fact is - this gas cannister belonged to a mechanic, not a sculptor.

I have yet to hear of a mews being blown up by an artist in Brockley. If you know otherwise, feel free to elaborate.

kolp said...

I'm in favour of Mews being kept as what they were built for - working spaces rather than living spaces. It sets up conflict otherwise.

A 4 foot garden is going to create issues. The person that buys that property will always be pushing for what they don't have, more space, light etc.

Robert said...

Kolp - the only part of the mews in Brockley that was orgiginally built for workspace and business use was the northern end of Ashby Mews. Breakspears Mews was only designed to provide rear access to the large properties on Wickham and Breakspears Road.

Uses have changed over the years - and that's fine - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep talking about it, and making refinements and changes if appropriate.

kolp said...

I'm against naff buildings whatever they're used for.

Anonymous said...

Kolp, agree re green belt having to be relaxed for various reasons.

What is a s. 106 notice please, anyone? Thank you.

JP said...

Robert said...

"on. The fact is - this gas cannister belonged to a mechanic, not a sculptor. I have yet to hear of a mews being blown up by an artist in Brockley. If you know otherwise, feel free to elaborate."

Just seen this, so would like to respond...

Err, actually Rob, I am yet to hear of 'a mews being blown up in Brockley' - by a mechanic.

I know of the fires. I have lived through them. You, on the other hand, in Geoffrey road, would not have this problem.

However, if you know where a mews has been 'blow up' by a mechanic then pease feel free to elaborate.

I am not I should add 'pro mechanic'. But I must confess to using those opposite your house - which I acknowledge may be troublesome: to you.

"Breakspears Mews was only designed to provide rear access to the large properties on Wickham and Breakspears Road."

Manor Avenue and Upper Brockley Road 'were only designed to provide rear access to the large properties' on them.

Please do some research.

The only difference being... Brockley Society Committee members are not living on these roads - and where they have been they also object.

To anonymous who enquires about Section 106..

This allows the council to enter into an agreement, a covenant, with the developer. In which the latter undertakes to invest in community.

It's also used to introduce restrictions on the sale of property or land. These though can be overturned.

Anonymous said...

What we need in these Mews projects is a bid manager. JOB DONE.

fabhat said...

JP - the explosion of gas canisters in Breakspears mews (between Wickham and Breakspears) that Robert is talking about did happen. It must have been more like 6 or 7 years ago - just before I moved to my flat in a converted house that backs onto the mews. According to my neighbours the house we live in had to be evauated as did St Peters Court and the house next door, whose garden was also completely trashed by the (necessary) use of it by the emergency services to get to the fire.

Our block of flats only has half a garden - the half adjacent to the garages has been held onto by a developer who is very keen to one day realise his assets and sell the land for residential development. Until then, we have a overgrown, junkfilled area backing onto our garden which is used to dump rubbish in. The garages also use our mains water connection - apparently without the knowledge of Thames Water until it began leaking recently and was investigated. So the businesses there are not without problems in their current state...

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