June 25, 2014 by Juha Repo
Two controversial planning applications, highlighted by BARD in the past, will be decided by Southwark Planning Committee on 1 July.
First on the meeting agenda is Octavia House in the junction of Union Street and Nelson Square. Here a 14-storey box tower is proposed with little respect for the surroundings. Click on the link above to see how the building will impact on the views from Nelson Square, Applegarth House and Pakeman House, provided by local residents, as the developer has conveniently omitted these.
Also in the same meeting the fate of the Valentine Place townscape will be decided. Here the proposal would keep only the facade of the old bakery building in this conservation area. Read the excellent study of the area by local resident Barbara Grehs by clicking the link above.
Southwark planners are recommending that both applications are approved. This is the first meeting of the Planning committee since the council elections, where Labour strengthened its position. Even if there are many new members in the planning committee, it is expected that as before the election the members will be voting along the party line, with the LibDem members opposing the applications and the Labour members voting for. Generally speaking the Planning committee has only very rarely rejected planning applications.
The meeting details can be seen here on the Southwark Council website. Local residents can attend the meeting and it is encouraged that as many as possible will be there to show that there is a strong feeling about our changing environment around Blackfriars Road. There are very limited times for speaking and people close to our campaign have already prepared presentations that will use the limited time in best possible way.
Most people who have lodged objections or comments on the applications have not been informed of the planning meeting by Southwark Council, but we hope that as many of us as possible will be there in person to support our cause.