BrocSoc slams Ashby Mews changes

The tarmac-covered north end
Following the installation of a gate across the north end of Ashby Mews, some residents have now decided to tarmac the surface, changing its historic character to something which more closely resembles a business park.
The southern end of Ashby Mews is untouched
The gates, which we were initially promised would be left open for pedestrians, are now permanently locked to anyone but residents. As a result of this action, the Brockley Society, which exists to protect the heritage of the Brockley Conservation Area, has issued the following statement:

Brockley Society is aware of the installation of gates at the northern end of Ashby Mews and has advised initiating mews residents (frontagers) that:

  • a retrospective planning application is needed
  • otherwise LB Lewisham will start enforcement action as the gate is too high
  • even though the Mews is privately owned, all mews frontagers along the whole length should have been consulted and a management strategy should have been agreed to ensure free access is maintained for pedestrians as well as delivery and emergency vehicles

Despite this advice being given to the organising mews residents it seems to have fallen on deaf ears as they have now had the mews access lane resurfaced early this week with black tarmacadam at the northern end.

As this destroys the rural character that is such a unique characteristic of the Conservation Area (CA), the Society has escalated its concern via Ward Councillors so as to extend the request to LB Lewisham:

  • for enforcement to be investigated or
  • to require that planning consent be obtained to stop this 'suburbanisation' threat

On this Brockley Society considers that:

  • the resurfacing work fundamentally affects the status of this part of the CA such that it could be withdrawn
  • other more suitable traditional solutions should have been considered via the Society to avoid this possibility
  • as the work is defined as 'a hard surface' within the curtilage frontage of each property bordering the affected area then the Article 4 Direction protecting the CA should fully apply and the planning applications already granted/in consideration for bordering properties should be reappraised in view of this ill-considered change
In contrast to original reassurances, the pedestrian gate is now locked