Street Fighter

In our recent interview with Cllr Alexander, we discussed planning enforcement on our main streets, using the case of Speedicars on Coulgate Street as an example. She promised to look in to the case and keep readers informed, which she has. Here's what she's found out, so far:

Following receipt of three separate complaints a letter was sent to the occupier of 6 Coulgate Road (trading as Speedicars) on 14th May explaining that an illuminated fascia sign and a new shop front, both recently installed would require consent. The premises lie within the Brockley Conservation Area.

A written response was received on 21st May from a Director of Speedicars indicating that, as he understood, the Council had previously granted permission for the shopfront and the sign is a like for like replacement.

The council wrote back on 29th May stating that records do not indicate that any permission was sought let alone approved. The relevant forms were enclosed with the council's response requesting that the necessary submissions be made by mid June.

On receipt of the letter the Director then telephoned asking for an extra 4 weeks to put together an application. The planners agreed to this.

This means we can expect a formal application in mid-July. Given that it seems a clear breach of planning rules, we struggle to imagine on what basis it would succeed, and we hope the Council team work with Speedicars to find a more appropriate solution.

We hope that the combination of the residents' protests and the fact it's on the Councillor's radar will have a Double Impact and that the lopsided plastic sign will receive its Death Warrant soon. But it has proved a Hard Target thus far.

With thanks to Luc Deveraux.