Planning Application for flats in Bridge Street.

Planning application – Harrow Council Planning Services reference P/0311/19 – Re:  21b and 29 – 35 Bridge Street Pinner HA5 3HP 

Redevelopment To Provide Part 4 / Part 6 Storey Residential Block At Rear Comprising Of 35 Residential Units (5 X Studio 20 X 1 Bed And 10 X 2 Bed) (Use Class C3) ; Change Of Use Of Ground Floor Commercial Units (Use Class A2 And A3) To Retail Unit (Use Class A1);  bin and cycle stores.

The Pinner Association has submitted the following comments to Harrow Council Planning Services with reference to this planning application:

Whilst The Pinner Association has no objection in principle to demolishing some the existing buildings on this site, which are in a poor condition and do not form a coherent pattern of development, we do have the following objections about this application.  The Pinner Association does not object to development that adds to the local environment and the enjoyment and amenity of current and future residents, however from our review of this planning application it is clear that this proposal will not meet those criteria

Our objections are:

  1.  The proposed density of the total of 35 two bed, one bed and studio flats in this application on this small site of only 0.11 hectare (applicant’s own measurement) is significantly higher than the guidance in the current London Plan for a location with a PTAL of 3.  The impact of this very high density can be seen in the application drawings which show poor quality design and poor quality residential accommodation.  These points are explained further below.

Poor quality design:

2.  The infill in the Bridge Street elevation (archway adjacent to 29 Bridge Street) to create an enclosed residential access may be considered to improve the street scene in Bridge Street.  However, the rest of the design pays no respect to the adjoining buildings and the character of the area.  In particular, the large and bulky six storey block proposed for the rear of the site would be detrimental to the street scene in Bridge Street and would also have a detrimental impact on the neighbouring buildings.  This is evident from the perspectives that are contained in the applicant’s Design and Access Statement.   The maximum height of the buildings in this part of Bridge Street is four storeys and any plans for new structures should respect and reference the size and scale of the surrounding structures.  The excessive height and bulk of the proposed new block would be intrusive to the street scene, not respect the character of the area and therefore would be greatly out of scale with the existing buildings.

3.  The submitted drawings do not show any rooftop plant or the exhaust flue from the central gas boiler; these should be added to show the true position when the development were completed. 

4.  The material chosen for cladding this block would sit uncomfortably with the neighbouring buildings. 

5.  There would be poor vehicular access to the site.  The privately owned service road to the rear would experience a large increase in traffic if this application were to be successful.  The surface of this road is already in a very poor condition and this would only worsen with the increase in traffic.  The road is also not designed to accommodate multiple deliveries to a large number of individual residences and this could result in dangerous traffic conditions including ‘stacking’ of delivery vans in Chapel Lane at peak times.  There are existing designated parking bays along the service road for the businesses for which this road is the access and these could be adversely affected both during the construction of a substantial new block of flats and after the flats were occupied.  This could adversely affect the viability of local businesses and this should be taken into consideration as these provide employment opportunities for residents of the borough.

6.  For the reasons stated above this application does not meet the criteria set out in the Council’s Local Plan policy DM1 – Design and Layout.

Poor quality residential accommodation: 

7.  The proposed residential accommodation would not comply with the Mayor of London’s Guidance and the Council’s policies DM24 – Housing Mix, DM27 – Amenity Space and DM28 – Children and Young People’s play facilities.  Specifically the proposed development would be single tenure and provides no affordable housing;  the majority of the units would be single aspect and many of them would be north facing; there would be no children’s play area and the applicant’s attempt to reduce the impact of overlooking within the courtyard would be ineffective.  The residential accommodation would be further compromised by the small size of the units many of which would have poor internal layouts.

8.  The limited amount of amenity space proposed to be provided at the first floor level would be predominantly north facing and would provide a hostile environment.  Similarly, the amenity space at the higher level on the roof of the four storey section of the proposed development would not provide an attractive environment as it would overlook a busy road and traffic intersection.  The plans show no provision for private amenity space.

9.  Policy 3.8 section [d] of the current London Plan requires that ten per cent of new housing meets Building Regulation requirement M4 (3) ‘wheelchair user dwellings’, i.e. is designed to be wheelchair accessible, or easily adaptable for residents who are wheelchair users.   The submitted plans and documents for the new building proposed in this application do not demonstrate how it would comply with this requirement.

Parking issues:

10.  Such are the constraints of space on this site in the designated primary shopping area of Pinner there is no proposed provision of off-street parking for the residents of the new flats, nor would there be any visitor parking provided for deliveries to the block of flats or the ground floor businesses.  As the public highways around this site are already congested with traffic and subject to extensive parking and waiting controls, and at the rear the access road is privately owned, we request that should this application be granted then it should be designated as “Residents’ Permits Restricted” – i.e. no residents’ parking permits for the Pinner CPZ should be issued for any resident of the new flats – and that this condition is enacted and enforced in practice.

Planning, The Pinner Association.  17th May 2019.