Fires of Development Hell Burn on Malpas Road

A typical fire on the site of 232 Malpas Road

A resident of Upper Brockley Road has been in touch regarding the large fires that are regularly lit on the site of the old scaffolding yard, 232 Malpas Road. The smoke from the burning industrial waste comes in to their home as often as three times a week, making the whole place reek. Combined with the illegal fires in neighbouring mews, it's very bad for the local air quality in a city where air pollution is a major killer.

She writes:

"I am sure we are not the only ones being affected and wondered if you could add a posting to the site so if other neighbours want to complain then they can contact Lewisham environmental protection. We have already complained and will be complaining again following another large fire being lit recently, which led to the fire brigade being called again! Smoke filled gardens and burning waste is not what any of us want."

If you've been affected and would like to complain, please call 0800 80 70 60 to speak to the Environment Agency incident hotline or call the Lewisham Council switchboard and ask to speak to the Environmental Enforcement Group.

The problem is made all the more depressing by the fact that the site has been the subject of repeated planning applications, to convert it to office use - the most recent of which was rejected in May on the following grounds:

1) The proposed development by reason of its scale, bulk and location would appear as obtrusive and overbearing from the neighbouring properties

2) The proposed second floor balcony areas would result unacceptable loss of privacy to the neighbouring residential properties

3) The proposed development by reason of its location within the site would present an unacceptable relationship to the existing townscape

You can see the designs for yourselves here. We don't much care for them, but the roof line is not much higher than the existing houses on Malpas and lower than that of Upper Brockley Road, so we don't understand why the scale is deemed unacceptable. Set back from the road, it wouldn't appear to have much of an impact on the townscape, which makes objection three a little odd.

With this project stuck in development hell, the development rejected time and again by the Council, the alternative is the status quo, which is a delapidated wasteland, where people have been able to light fires with impunity.

Meanwhile, a "to let" sign stands outside the site...