1332-1338 London Rd
I have objected to two sets of planning applications along the Norbury High St stretch of London Rd. The two proposals will further change adversely the nature of the High Rd at the very time that the residents associations have started their Love Norbury Campaign. They will add yet another unwelcome betting shop unit, and increase the density of the population and the competition in the side roads for parking. The former offices above in the block in which Paddy Power operates is already being converted into flats with inadequate car parking provision.
Paddy Power’s application to extend its betting shop at 1421 into 1423
Paddy Power is planning to extend its shop at 1421 London Rd into 1423, a corner unit on London Rd/Stanford Rd which used to be an Indian café.
I have objected on the grounds that
(1) It increases the dangers of criminal activities.
(2) There is no provision for waste disposal and recycling storage.
(3) The plans are detrimental to the character of the St Helens LASC.
(4) They are contrary to Council policies on shopping parades.
(4) There is inadequate provision for disabled access.
Objections are also being considered by local residents associations.
Arguing against betting shops is very difficult. have also objected to their application for a gaming licence on the two shop units.
Nine One Bedroom Flats above 1332-1338 London Rd
This stretch of property is a two storey building which has four ground floor shops, a barber, a nail bar, a sewing centre and a restaurant. There used to be a restaurant above on the first floor. It is confusing what exactly the owners are applying for. The Council summary states ‘Alterations; use of first floor as 3 one bedroom flats; formation of juliet balconies at rear.’ The application states that there are existing 6 units. The plans show two extra stories and conversion of the first floor to create 9 one bedroom flats. I cannot find previous planning application details on the Council planning register.
This application presents difficulties because it is a mixed scheme of conversion of a upper floor restaurant to housing and two floors of new build for housing on top. This presumably means that the scheme should be assessed in the light of the principles of policies regarding conversions and new build. While it appears to have merits as a Living Over The Shop’ which usually benefits ground floor shopkeepers who have stories above them, it is in fact a scheme in which the applicants are trying to maximise its residential income by creating 9 one bedroom flats. The only potential economic benefit to the shops on the ground floor may be from having extra customers. The risk for the shopkeepers is that the value of the building will go up and this may lead to increased rents for their units, pushing them out of business. This could therefore have a detrimental effect in respect of the Council’s policies on shopping parades and the mix of Class A1-5 units. It involves the loss of an A3 unit on the first floor.
In my objection I have suggested that this application does not appear to comply with the Revised UDP Policy UD3 aim to ‘achieve the highest possible standard of environmental benefits to ensure cost effective, comfortable and quality homes with relatively low utility costs.’ I point out a number of concern relating to:
The potential number of Number of occupants, the inadequacy of the internal stairway access, the apparent lack of fire escape provision, inadequate rubbish storage, windowless bathrooms, noise problems, dangers of internal flooding, lack of car parking, inadequacies of cycling store provision, and lack of energy efficiency measures.
Given all these inadequacies, this application is clearly one that fails to comply with Council planning policies and represents over development and therefore should be rejected.