Birds' threatened conversion opposed

Renovation work has begun on-site at 253-255 Malpas Road, the buildings that were once home to Birds Dress Agency. The developers are seeking to convert the building to residential use, a plan strongly opposed by the Brockley Cross Action Group and the Brockley Society.

A planning application has been submitted to the Council the alteration and conversion of the site to use as two dwelling houses, incorporating extensions to the rear as well as the roof. This application is invalid however and the Council has informed the agent that any work carried out prior to planning approval is at the risk of the owner and may be subject to enforcement action. The building has use class 1A, which means it can be converted from retail into a "dwelling house" with relative ease.

Birds is a well-preserved Victorian shop, and although a number of units in Brockley Cross have lain empty for some time, recent developments have shown that commercial space in this spot is viable: an estate agent recently moved into The Tea Factory, while the former newsagent is reopening shortly as a deli (more on that story soon). The Broca Food Market also came close to moving to Birds earlier this year.

With thanks to Robert for the information.