267 Sandycombe Road redevelopment (ref 15/3945/FUL and APP/L5810/W/15/3133726, 16/1483/FUL and 17/1864/FUL)
We have commented on the latest application for this site – reference 17/1864/FUL – to demolish the existing building and replace with a 2 storey building over a basement providing 4 one bedroom, 3 two bedroom flats and commercial floor space. A number of the observations we made on the previous application for this site (reference 16/1483 – withdrawn) remain unresolved in the current application. The Appeal Inspector’s decision to refuse the initial application (15/3945/FUL) described seven issues on which he judged the scheme, some of which also remain unresolved, including parking provision which remains a significant concern on Sandycombe Road and its side roads. We have also raised concerns over the bulk of the scheme experienced from the western elevation which would excessively dominate the Sandycombe Road street scene. Whilst we support redevelopment of the site in principle, we have called for a reduction in the intensity and bulk of the current proposal.
The applicant has now withdrawn the second application for this site. We will keep an eye out for any new application.
The appeal for non-determination on the first application for this site has been dismissed by the Inspector who commented adversely on the bulk and massing of the plans, the failure to comply with the local character of the area as set out in the Kew Village Plan Supplementary Planning Document, the loss of employment space, the need to contribute to affordable housing, and the unacceptable impact on street parking and traffic. We had made a number of these points. The second application – see below – is still under consideration.
A new application (16/1483/FUL) has now been submitted for 3 houses rather than 8 flats, though with the same number of beds, and 3 parking spaces. The architectural treatment onto Sandycombe Road is an improvement, more in keeping with the area. We have commented to say that it is a pity that the developer has submitted multiple applications rather than engaging first with the community on what might be acceptable. We have asked for clarification of how cars will enter and leave the property given the confined space at the front and the busy road, for conditions on vehicle sizes so that they do not dominate the front elevation, for no access to CPZ permits and for car club membership to be offered as suggested in the Transport Statement accompanying the application. We are pleased to see that the developer’s financial viability assessment has been published and have asked to see the Council’s assessment of this and for conditions to be imposed to review the financial contribution for affordable housing on completion of the project. We have also asked for clarification of the rear treatment, including graffiti deterrence measures on the rail track edge of the plot, and for surface run-off to be considered for the sunken rear gardens from adjacent properties. We also asked for permeable surfaces to be specified for the front and clarification of greening in line with the Royal Horticultural Society campaign on this: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=738
The developer has submitted an appeal on this application for “non-determination” – the Council not reaching a decision within its guideline timescale. We are commenting to the Inspector to say we regret that the applicant has taken this action rather than engaging with the local community and the local planning authority to consider acceptable scheme changes.
We have objected to the proposals for re-development of this site. We do not oppose the re-development in principle at this location which has been a car sales parking lot for some time. But the designs proposed are not, in our view, of good quality and not in keeping with the surrounding buildings. 8 flats are proposed which we consider too high a density of build. The plans here should be reviewed alongside those for the nearby 275 Sandycombe Road. We have also asked for the off-street parking proposed to be reviewed in light of the current plans for traffic calming on Sandycombe Road which will result in some reduction in parking spaces on the road. And we also question the financial viability assessment used to justify a very low contribution to the Community Infrastructure Levy.