The Old Stables, Geoffrey Road [UPDATED]

A plan of the proposed new housing
The Old Stables is a collection of ramshackle buildings, squeezed between the back gardens of Geoffrey Road and the railway line. The place is barely used as a stables any more, so it's not surprising that its owners are seeking to redevelop it as housing.

Residents are opposed on a number of grounds, most notably that back gardens will be overlooked, the development will eat up the natural habitat provided by the green corridor that runs along the railway line and that the narrow entrance via Geoffrey Road will cause access problems on a busy road.

The developers are certainly trying to fit a lot on to the site. They are going beyond the footprint of the buildings to build on a very tight plot of land, further up and down the railway track. Houses that previously had trees behind them (and a railway line beyond the trees) will have new neighbours. The trees, which shield Geoffrey Road gardens from the trains, cast a lot of shadow beneath them. The current plans would result in homes with very little natural light. When and if the buildings are occupied, it's easy to imagine the pressure there would be from new residents to thin or chop down more trees.

Brockley needs to do its bit to accommodate more housing, but this looks like overkill. Limiting the project to the redevelopment of the existing building would be more appropriate.

UPDATE:

This proposal has now been refused by the Council, on the grounds that:

The proposed development would considerably increase the intensity of use of the narrow site access road to the detriment of vehicle and pedestrian safety while service vehicles, unable to use the site access road, would place additional demand for on-street parking in Geoffrey Road, which is already very heavily parked, thereby further prejudicing vehicular and pedestrian safety in the local area.

20 comments:

terrencetrentderby said...

But where will I stable my horse now?

bobblekin said...

This reminds me of the manwood rd proposal - cramming small boxes onto any bit of spare land. Bad for existing residents, bad for new residents, doesn't solve the housing crisis, doesn't add anything to the community. The only winner is a landowner of low value land who literally wants to turn mud into gold. I hope the council can be resilient and support housing that offers descent accommodation in a suitable location. I hope the council don't support everything and anything just to fill up a new homes quota.

Tim said...

So the problem is that some trees might need to be chopped down?

Dobbin said...

Yet another neigh sayer.

Headhunter said...

Those do look very tightly packed but no more so than the small 1 bed units behind the cedar clad buildings further up the road. Did anyone take a look round the cedar development during Open Studios? The tall ones facing the road are quite nice inside but the 1 bedders out back are quite dingy inside, crammed in like little rabbit hutches, especially the ones in the corners of the plot. Also the front of each unit is completely glass with about 2 metres between the front of them unit so unless you keep the curtains drawn at all times (increasing the lack of light), your neighbours will be able to see exactly what you're doing all the time - literally every room is fronted by glass, it will literally be like living in a fish bowl....

Shamoan said...

What Brockley needs are more family homes with gardens, not more pokey flats over train lines... and developers wonder why we don't like them? Seriously, when will they start thinking about their end user target audiences' needs instead of lining their pockets to the detriment of the property market and living standards for children - during a baby boom too.

Pozzi said...

Not everyone wants a family home with a garden, and not everyone has a child! Decent sized one or two bedroom flats would suffice. Where are all these family homes and gardens going to go anyway, Hillyfields?

Headhunter said...

Admittedly Brockley conservation area is largely full of large Victorian villas sub divided into smaller flats but outside the conservation area Brockley, Crofton Park, Ladywell, St John's even New cross/Hatcham conservation area are all full to the rafters with 2-3 bed Victorian houses.... Not everyone can afford or wants a 2-3 bed house...

JPM said...

This is following the same policy of Ashby Mews; increased heights of one storey units, overlooking neighbours, 24/7 living - only here, at least, there seems to be some outside space.
I feel sorry for you. But perhaps you shouldn't have remained so silent (or supportive?) on the Ashby Mews approvals.
Set a precedent there. And now you have to live with it.

Tim said...

The phrase "beggars can't be choosers" comes to mind. This country and capital needs housing, and whether it's one bed flats or 5 bed houses, it all adds to the supply. I have little sympathy with those who might be overlooked. Empty land in cities needs to get built on and you live in Zone 2 - deal with it.
What this city needs is more intelligent apartment blocks and high rises. If you go to Holland or other sensible countries, you will see large apartment blocks that are desirable and aspirational places to live. That's because they are well built, with decent interior materials and space.
Sometimes I wish that teenagers would wake up to the generational theft that they are victims of and demonstrate against the fact that politicians are in the pockets of the more mature voter - who bothers going to the voting booth. Final salary pensions, house prices that have risen above inflation for decades.. and now they want the young to pay for their care homes!!

JPM said...

"Generational theft"? Oh Lord.
Build on every available building.
High Rise Brockley. Like it!

Monkeyboy said...

...and the pensioners paid for the education of previous generations. society innit. perhaps we should not be racing for the bottom and promoting a generation war based on an arbitrary division. at what age should the resentment start exactly?

hmmmm said...

Agree that what we need is quality, desirable, aspirational-but-not-luxury apartments. Not high-rise but 5-6 storeys (some of the highest density residential areas are not high rises but the mansion blocks of Notting Hill /Kensington)


Not saying that we should turn Brockley into Kensington (as if) but that we should think about how to get the most out of land available.


I'd love a 3-bed house with a garden but I know that that building more of them is not a very sensible way to use scarce land in Zone 2. How much space would you have to take up to house the number of people that want to live here? Sure fire way to constrain supply and push up prices.....


As for this site, tend to agree with Nick that it tries a bit to hard to squeeze in more units. Better to find sites where we can have quality new accommodation to decent standards. Maybe redevelop some of the 80s/90s-built housing that is pretty low density - some owners could make a killing if given the right offer....

Brockley Badger said...

I agree, this is essentially nimbyism of people that prefer trees to flats which is fair enough if they would only admit it.

Headhunter said...

What a ridiculous attitude! So you're saying that basically no one has any rights and that if you've in vested a lot of money in a home then if someone else fancies building something right on top of you then that's your hard luck?! You're saying that we need to keep building, building, building until everyone is living on top of everyone else and we have Victorian slum like conditions again? Is that not a retrospective step? I get that we need more accommodation in London and that using brownfield sites is preferable to building ever outwards but there's a limit... Why are Londoners "beggars" anyway?


The UK needs more power sources as well as more homes. Does the same "beggars can't be choosers" rule apply when they decide to build a nuclear power station or a wind turbine next door to you?

Headhunter said...

Huh? Not sure what you're on about....

JPM said...

Headhunter, my response wasn't to you. But to those who forever harp on about the erosion of other people's residential amenity; simply because those residents are more fortunate than they due mostly to when and where they bought.
Y'know the sort? The build build build in Zone 2 Brigade.
Though why a TfL banding is relevant to whether one should have someone at the end of his or her garden or a glassbowl shoebox construction in Geoffrey road is a mystery in need of solving.
Lord forbid that TfL should ever include Brockley in Zone 1 - they'd be undermining the ground your property was on.

They call us NIMBYs. I call them "GEMs".
It all seems to have a touch of the Green Eyed Monsters after all. But up close, that sparkle in their eyes is ENVY.

JPM said...

I understand that the developer who did the "Cedar Mews" site is now focusing on 1-3 Ashby Road. It will be interesting to see what council visionary Louise Holland allows there.

guesty said...

A good decision and for the right reasons.

anon said...

a good decision for a change

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