63 Sandycombe Road (Richmond Council ref 16/2307/FUL and 16/4845/PS192)
The application for change of use from B2 (light industrial use) to B1 (office) has been approved.
The application has been refused by Richmond Council on grounds of loss of B2 employment use, no affordable housing provision, over development and excessive scale, loss of amenity for neighbouring properties and transport issues. We are pleased to see that the Decision notice from the Council includes comments from Network Rail on the need for security along the track side and maintenance of the boundary, issues we raised in relation to graffiti deterrence.
A further application (Richmond Council ref 16/4845/PS192) has been submitted for change of use from B2 (light industrial use) to B1 (office space).
We have objected to the plans for what we consider to be an over-development of this site on Sandycombe Road, formerly Smith Brothers garage. The developer has referred to 119-123 Sandycombe Road as a precedent to justify the heights and density here. The previous development is not a good example of how housing and employment space should be provided here. The site is constricted and adjacent to low rise Victorian housing and replaces single storey sheds. The heights and massing here, including the proposed roof terrace, will result in loss of amenity for neighbouring properties.
We welcome the re-provision and increase in employment opportunities at the site but have asked Richmond Council to verify there is sufficient demand for the proposed office use and to confirm the adequacy of parking as well as the traffic impacts of the scheme. We have also suggested that any employment use should be protected into the future, perhaps though an Article 4 Direction.
The high density also results in a lack of soft landscaping which could be remedied by a smaller scale re-development.
We have also asked the Council to consider whether this, or any future more acceptable proposal for this site, has designedin as effectively as possible deterrence from graffiti along the rail track side of the development.