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Application 11/AP/1903, 28-30 Trinity Street, SE1 4JE: comments by the Committee of the Trinity Newington Residents’ Association (TNRA) SE1, 9 September 2011

We respond on behalf of the Committee of the Trinity Newington Residents' Association (TNRA) SE1 to the above planning application for the 28-30 Trinity Street site. TNRA is the association representing tenants / residents of the Trinity Newington Estate SE1 (in Trinity Church Square, Trinity Street, Merrick Square, Falmouth Road, Swan Street and Cole Street).

We advise that in our opinion:

1. Winter gardens

This proposal for ‘winter gardens’ to the rear of the ten mews houses allows an additional 11.5 sqm of residential space as an extension to the living room. We believe this constitutes a significant enlargement of the scheme with planning permission.

The developer's planning consultants, Rolfe Judd, state in their covering letter of 9 June 2011 that the amended scheme will "Provide a traditional timber design wholly complementary to the character of the houses". They also say: "The proposed winter gardens reflect a comprehensive approach to the provision of extensions to the rear of the terrace and are more in keeping than the ad hoc extensions which have occurred to the rear of Merrick Square and Trinity Church Square properties."

The designs of the ‘winter gardens’ appear unobjectionable to us. We do, however, have serious concerns about noise and light from these rear extensions. This will impact adversely on the residents of the west side of Merrick Square. They will overlook the extensions from their upper floors (the sections on plan 08-050-D-64C show this rather well) and may hear noise from their gardens. Any extensions should, therefore, be double-glazed which would reduce noise a little. Opening windows and skylights will, however, let noise through. The drawings submitted are not sufficiently detailed to comment fully; more detailed drawings are required.

The wall between the gardens of the houses on the west side of Merrick Square and the 28-30 Trinity Street site was reduced in height during early works for the new scheme. We should now like to see the erection of a trellis on the reduced wall (now the responsibility of the developer) so that plants could be grown, providing some screening from noise and light from the proposed rear extensions.

If the rear extensions were to receive planning permission then it should be with a restriction on further development rights, as Rolfe Judd suggest, but that would probably be a necessary condition anyway as this scheme is adjacent to Merrick Square and therefore to the Trinity Church Square Conservation Area.

We understand that a previous planning application for ‘winter gardens’ to the rear of the mews houses (11/AP/0170) was refused. We are concerned that, despite this and pending a decision on the current application (11/AP/1903), building work appears to have started on these extensions. If this is so, we consider it is an abuse of the planning process and deplore that.

2. Land swap

The drawing showing the land swap between Southwark Council and Trinity House (08-050-D-62-E) indicates six refuse / recycling bin areas at the end of the lane between the east side of Trinity Church Square and the new mews houses. We consider this is an adequate number for the use of Trinity Church Square residents (even with other, earlier agreed provision in the new development, nearer to Trinity Street). On 4 September 2011, for example, there were 24 wheeled bins and one large recycling bin in the lane.

We understand that one of the reasons for refusing the previous application for planning permission for ‘winter gardens’ (11/AP/0170) was that there would be a reduction of private amenity space for each mews house. The developer now appears to be arguing that with the land swap there will be compensatory communal amenity space for the mews houses at the south end of the site. Unless the Council is making more land available there can be no compensatory communal amenity space. The land at the end of the lane is required for additional refuse / recycling use for Trinity Church Square residents.

We therefore object to:

· The inadequate number of refuse / recycling bin areas at the end of the lane

· The potential conflict of use at the end of the lane between (compensatory) communal amenity space for future residents of the mews houses and refuse /recycling space for Trinity Church Square residents

We consider that the brick of the new wall shown in the drawing should match existing bricks and block end (double thickness) bricks should be used on the end coping as single bricks tend to spall off. It is arguable that English Garden Wall bond would be a better bond structurally than Flemish bond for a free standing wall. It would also make sense for the curved sections to be in header bond.

3. Chimney details:

These changes are referred to in the covering letter, but we cannot find any details of chimneys in the submitted drawings. The developer should be asked to explain what these changes are.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Helen Holden

 

On behalf of the Chair, Simon Webster, and the Committee of the Trinity Newington Residents’ Association (TNRA), SE1