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Title of Report DEVELOPMENT CONTROL Address


Change of use from rangers base/visitors centre to a Rangers Office & Visitors Centre, Southwark Park, Gomm Road SE1 new cafe with small extract grille and brick refuse store to rear. Ward Rotherhithe

PURPOSE 1. To consider the above application which is for Committee consideration due to the number of objections received. RECOMMENDATION 2. To grant planning permission. BACKGROUND 3. The application site is a single storey detached building located a few metres north of the Gomm Gate entrance into Southwark Park. The building is located within the park, which is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and Listed, and has most recently been used as a Park Rangers' hut and a visitor centre. The rangers' base, although is in use, is very bleak and the surrounding vegetation is unkempt. At the rear of the base there is a vacant plot of land which does appear to be the curtilage of the base but is not in any formal use. To the north and north east of the site are the dwellings located in Gomm Road and Ann Moss Way which flank the park's boundary some 12 metres from the application site. There is a long planning history on the site which pertains to various buildings within the park and use of part of the Park as a Memorial Garden. There is however no planning history which is relevant to the consideration of this application. This application refers to the change of use of the existing park rangers hut into an A3 use (food and drink) together with an extract grill and the relocation of the refuse storage. The grill and refuse storage will be located on the north west elevation of the building. The existing glazed panelling in the front elevation (south west) is also proposed to be removed to allow the insterion of a double door. The proposed cafe will seat sixteen customers and provide a take-away




service, the lavatories and baby-changing facilities will be available to any park user. The operation will make hot beverages available throughout the hours of service and serve one hot meal per day. The Park and Leisure Department of Southwark Council intend that the facility is run between 10.00am and 6.00pm. The operator of the use will be selected on the basis of the menu and price. FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION Main Issues 7. The main issues in this case are the impacts of the proposed use upon the status of the park as a Listed park and garden, upon the appearance building, upon the residential amenity of surrounding occupiers and upon the open character of the MOL. Planning Policy Southwark Unitary Development Plan 1995 [UDP]: E.2.3 Aesthetic Control - Complies, the proposed external works are minor. E.3.1 Protection of Amenity - Complies, the building is considered to be a sufficient distance from the nearest residents. E.4.11 Historic Parks and Gardens - Complies, the change of use will not adversely affect the character or setting of Southwark Park. C.5.6 Metropolitan Open Land - Complies, the proposal will not result in the loss of MOL. C.5.7 Use of Metropolitan Open Land and Green Chain Walk - Complies, the proposal will enhance the open nature and character of the MOL. S.1.6 Hot Food Outlets - Complies, adequate refuse and ventilation proposed. T.1.3 Design of Development and Conformity with Council Standards and Controls - Complies, the refuse storage is within 10 metres from the park road and a condition preventing take-away delivery from the site. The Southwark Plan [Revised Deposit Unitary Development Plan] March 2004 Policy 3.2 Protection of Amenity - Complies, the building is considered to be a sufficient distance from the nearest residents. Policy 3.11 Quality in Design - Complies, the proposed external works are minor. Policy 3.15 Conservation of the Historic Environment - Complies, the change of use will not adversely affect the character or setting of Southwark Park. Policy 3.25 Metropolitan Open Land - Complies, the proposal will not result in the loss of MOL.



Consultations Site Notice: 25/10/2004 Consultees: 73-91 Ann Moss Way SE16 2TJ 114-138 Ann Moss Way SE16 2TJ 4-46 Gomm Road SE16 2TX 91-95 Gomm Road SE16 2TY Press Notice: Not required.

21-35 Gomm Road SE16 2TY 37-75 Gomm Road SE16 2TY 77-89 Gomm Road SE16 2TY ALL CONSECUTIVE Traffic Group Public Protection 10. Replies from: Public Protection The location of the ventilation system may cause an odour and noise nuisance to adjacent residential properties. 91 Ann Moss Way Objection to the change of use on the grounds that the proposed use would result in an unacceptable level of noise and fumes. Concerns as to whether there are any plans to landscape the vacant land adjacent to the rangers base and make it an open access which would be intrusive. 46 Gomm Road Concerns regarding the closing time of the proposed use and if there will be vehicular access allowed. 49 Gomm Road Full support of the proposal. Conservation Officer If the works to the external appearance of the building are minor then they are not considered to affect the special character of the listed park and gardens. PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS 11. Principle of the Change of Use The proposed change of use is judged to be acceptable in principle. The development will not result in a loss of MOL as the building footprint is not increasing. It is judged that the proposed use, a small cafe that will display park information and events and offer lavatory access, is acceptable within MOL and will respect its open character and nature. The site at present is very bleak and the visitor centre is unwelcoming. The proposed A3 use is considered to be a compatible with the Council's aims to encourage people to use the Borough's parks and to ensure that there are facilities which compliment the parks' function as a recreational area. Additionally making the provision of WC and baby-changing facilities and the display of information pertaining to the park available to all park users further compliments the wider use of the park. The proposal is therefore considered to accord with the Council's MOL policies. Aesthetic Control The proposed alterations to the appearance of the hut are considered to be minor. The replacement of the glazed panels on the front elevation with double doors and the refuse storage area adjacent to the north western elevation are



not judged to have a detrimental impact upon the appearance of the building nor spoil the special character of the park which is Listed. The extraction grill in the north western flank is 600 millimetres square which will ensure that it has a similarly unobtrusive visual impact upon the builidng and the park. Generally it is concluded that due to the minor physical alterations to the hut the proposal is acceptable in design terms and respect the special character of the listed park. Impact upon Amenity The proposed use is not considered to have an unacceptable impact upon the amenity enjoyed by any surrounding residents or building occupiers. Notwithstanding the comments from Public Protection the grille is 21 metres from no.46 Gomm Road, the nearest residential unit. This is considered a sufficient distance for the residents not to suffer undue noise and disturbance from the extract grille. The proposed extract grille is located on the north western elevation of the base which is orientated away from any residential unit. It will not therefore result in a loss of amenity through either noise or odour pollution. It is judged that the modest nature of the extract equipment, the limited amount of cooking on site, and the open location of the hut means that there will not be a significant loss of amenity of the park users. The proposal makes no allowance for vehicular access and can be conditioned to prevent a delivery service from operating. The proposed change of use will not therefore result in a loss of amenity from vehicular movement. The proposal does not make any provision for landscaping or specific use of the land to the rear of the hut which abuts the boundary with no.46 Gomm Road. It should however be noted that the land to the rear of the hut is fully accessible to the public as it forms part of the park and is designated MOL. The hours of operation can be restricted to the hours of opening of the park in order to ensure that the use does not result in any late night or early morning disturbance. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IMPLICATIONS



The proposal provides disabled toilet facilities for all park users. LOCAL AGENDA 21 [Sustainable Development] IMPLICATIONS


The proposal will bring back into use an under utilised building.


Séamus Lalor

Charlotte Yarker TAP/139-G Council Offices, Chiltern, Portland Street SE17 2ES

Interim Development and Building Control Manager [tell. 020 7525 5405] [tell. 020 7525 5402]

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