A social club will be knocked down and rebuilt after a Lewisham planning committee approved proposals on Thursday (August 6).
Developer Ravensgate will demolish the two-storey Brockley Social Club and replace it with a new venue, along with nine flats reaching five storeys.
The club in Brockley Road, which has 211 members, is available for parties, social events, local community group meetings, and weddings.
Planning officers expect the new facilities will increase full-time staff from six to nine members.
The Brockley Society backs the plans, but some nearby residents raised objections, such as the lack of affordable housing on offer, concerns about increased noise, and loss of privacy.
The club now
A local resident and objector, who lives directly opposite the rear of the site on Foxberry Road, spoke at the meeting, saying his privacy would be compromised.
“The scale and height of the development is completely out of character with the street […] it will overlook all the back gardens of the houses on the opposite side of Foxberry Road, such as mine.”
He criticised the amount of parking and said “residents frequently have issues parking on the street … the addition of nine additional household on the street will only exacerbate the congestion on the road”.
He also criticised the lack of affordable housing, and raised concerns that the developer could find in the future that the club isn’t viable and replace it with flats.
“It’s a tried and tested ruse used by developers to avoid the rules of the provision of affordable housing to develop a mixed nine-flat commercial unit property, only to later put in a request for change of use once the commercial unit is proven to be non-viable a year or so after completion,” he said.
Developers only need to offer affordable housing in builds that include ten or more homes.
Planning officers said they could only deal with the application in front of them and not what could happen in the future.
Planning officers also said there are buildings of similar height nearby, up to six storeys, and said that “the stepped design and inset top level would prevent the building from appearing overly dominant and visually overbearing”.
They also said the balconies will have a winter garden design – enclosed by glazing – so “there would not be any perceptible loss of privacy”.
The report includes recommendations, “which would need to be implemented in full”, to make sure noise levels are acceptable.
Approved last night, they include keeping music at a ‘background’ noise level, and loudspeakers remaining fixed in a certain location.
Staff should be told to keep the entrance doors closed where possible, window glazing should be added, staff should remind visitors that they are in a residential area, and the outdoor terraces should not be used after 10.30pm.
Any potential residents would be warned about the social club in advance.
“However, the welcome pack cannot restrict a resident’s right to report noise disturbances as that is a statutory right,” according to the report.
Cllr Mark Ingleby put forward a motion to approve the proposals, which included an extra condition that proposed gas boilers “only be put in as a last resort”, after Cllr Louise Krupski raised environmental concerns earlier in the meeting.
The application was approved seven for and one against – Cllr Suzannah Clarke, who did not give it the green light, had concerns about the height of the build.