Irresistible enforcement to meet indescribable object

The recent history of 179 Brockley Road (aka La Lanterna / Alby's Place / Villa Toscana) has been a sorry mess. Alby's Place recently closed after a retrospective planning application appeared in their window for building work carried out without permission. Then, work began on Villa Toscana, without any sign that the problems with the original work had been addressed.

Now, Cllr Johnson has sent us confirmation that the Council intends to serve an Enforcement Notice against the property, so that the owners deliver what was originally promised. The Council's letter confirms:

A planning application was submitted on 21st September 2009 for the change of use of the upper floors of 179 Brockley Road to a hotel (Use Class C1) together with the construction of a part one/part two storey extension at the rear to provide additional restaurant area, a new extraction flue, additional hotel accommodation and a self-contained two bedroom flat accessed from Harefield Mews, alterations to the front and rear elevations, including the retention of a dormer window to the front roof slope, replacement windows and a new shop front. 

An enforcement complaint was received on Friday 22nd June 2012 for unauthorised building works and questions regarding the use of the premises. The lawful use of the premises is a hotel.

Unfortunately the earlier reports regarding the works to the rear were held up as the Council received complaints regarding the use of the building. It was considered that all breaches of planning control at the premises should be reported to Planning Committee. A report is being put together to be presented at planning committee to get authorisation to take enforcement action.

Mr Lockett will be reporting the unauthorised building works to the Planning Committee next month with a view to serving an Enforcement Notice. 

In response to the letter, Cllr Johnson commented:

"When I first moved to Brockley over a decade ago this was one of the few places to eat in the area so it has been sad seeing it sitting there empty for years. But residents are right to be concerned about the recent planning breaches and I hope the Planning Committee agree to clear enforcement action. It would be good to see a well-run local restaurant here and I sense that's what most people in the area would like."