March 2019

We acquired the Stable Yard site with a planning permission that was difficult to implement from a viability perspective; however, with a clear objective of delivering the development we submitted a revised planning application.

April 2019 – July 2019

Several objections were raised by friends of the Peckham Coal Line (PCL) and the community in May, to the scheme initially submitted.  As a key stakeholder community, with a mission to develop a linear park for residents and with strong ties into the wider community, we began working with representatives from the project immediately to redesign our scheme.

We and our design team engaged extensively with PCL team as well as Southwark planners to understand how to amend our proposals to both address the concerns raised but also to help deliver the first section of the Peckham Coal Line.

We looked at the height and density of the buildings themselves, the use of light and materials to enhance the mixed use of the site, the way we could balance privacy for future residents with public space and importantly how we can transform this currently unused site into a bit of the local community.

Our new proposals, which we unveiled in July benefitted so much from the views and feedback of local residents – and we are proud of what we have together arrived at by way of a final scheme.  We’ve summarised in the table below the ways in which we responded to the original objections, raised in May:

Objections Picfare’s Response
There is a lack of clear commitment to developing the first part of the Peckham Coal Line, as safeguarded in the new Southwark Plan. The interaction with PCL trustees and planners, has resulted in a design that includes wayfinding and features for the Peckham Coal Line throughout the public realm space. We have also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing to further public engagement to influence the final appearance of the public realm space.
There has been no active engagement with the local community to inform the design. We have signed the MoU with the PCL team to engage the community. We have already attended the Peckham Festival to discuss design ideas, materials and landscaping and plan to do more on site in collaboration with the PCL, once construction commences.
The design and proposed construction is of a significantly lower quality, including smaller windows, less detailing and cheaper materials. The balconies have been revised from glass to steel to better reflect the area’s character and heritage.Hit & miss brickwork has been added to provide sight lines to the north and make the feel of the site more contemporary.

Detailing to the elevations has been incorporated and a change of brick to assist with breaking up the bulk.

Use of black bricks to the standalone commercial building near the Consort Rd entrance, as envisioned by the PCL team.

Copings, Canopies and Window Frames will be in black to add character and grit to the elevations.

The landscape plan submitted alongside the revised plans has been copied from the last design but does not match the revision. The landscape plan which was formulated as a result of the engagement activity undertaken in conjunction with the PCL is now the baseline scenario. This is the minimum that will be delivered.

We will be using the feedback from the Peckham Festival in September to build on that base-case. Residents shared lots of ideas about how to use planting or different materials like paving to help make the space work for different users. We will want to tap into those ideas again once we are on site.

The public access through the development is reduced and not implicit. The surface treatment of the public access through the site (road, paths and amenity) is varied in order to clearly demarcate their respective uses, as with the previously approved scheme.

Ground level openings and ‘Stable Yard’ signage above canopy level on the commercial stand-alone unit at the Consort Road end will ensure there is a focal point for the public access through the development.

Commercial Use has been split so that there is a presence at both ends of the site to encourage through flow from either end of the public thoroughfare with more active frontages.

Worryingly, we also consider that the proposed new design does not meet GLA guidelines for new homes, which will diminish quality of life for future residents. These are in section D4 (E) and include but are not limited to: All units will meet and, in some cases, exceed GLA guidelines.
These were noted in the pre-application advice given by the council. The very small, north-facing windows do not make the most of the views and will offer too little ventilation to mitigate the enormous heat gain from the unshaded south-facing windows. These flats will be ovens. The windows in the north elevation have been enlarged.

Internal layout of the dwellings has been arranged to ensure that primary habitable rooms such as living Rooms and bedrooms have predominant views to the south (facing the public realm) to maximise light and outlook.

The dwellings will be mechanically ventilated, to enable fresh air to constantly be circulated. In any this is required to attain Building Regulations approval.

The two top floor flats and all four houses have terraces which run from North-South providing clear sight lines of through the development and provide dual aspect amenity space for residents to enjoy.

Furthermore the site’s relationship to the surrounding area is weakened and the ambition falls short of the previously agreed proposal. As previously alluded to there have been several design changes to better suit the development with the local area and its historical context, such as:

  • Metal balconies
  • Black Brick on the commercial unit
  • Stable Yard signage to the commercial unit near the Consort Rd entrance
  • Retaining the warehouse unit to the eastern end of the site and converting it into 2no. commercial units

September 2019

We showcased the amended plans at the Peckham Festival 2019. We were proud to be joined by some of the PCL team who joined us to talk about how the site fit with the wider route, we were also delighted by the positive and encouraging feedback we received from the community.

The feedback from that event – which is summarised below – will help to inform future community engagement in the delivery and landscaping of the site.

Surfaces and pavements

  • Lots of comments on making the car free route/public realm space look like the Chelsea High Line in New York. Though it must be noted that several of the respondents didn’t appreciate initially that this was at ground level and not elevated.
  • Respondents wanted to see paving tiles with plant growth in between, to give it a more natural feel.
  • Some locals were keen on having a cobbled surface to the car free route, though others were equally conscious of the fact that the surface should allow for cycling.
  • Several comments seemed to hint that the use of different colours on the surface treatment of the public realm to demarcate areas would be a good idea.

Development Mix & Uses

  • Lots of respondents welcomed the mixed-use nature of the development. 
  • For the commercial uses (especially Units 1 and 2), some of the comments received seemed to indicate a wish to see Units 1 and 2 to be converted into a small shop/bakery etc.
  • It was suggested that the communal amenity space to the west of the site under the Sycamore tree and also next to the refuse & recycling be turned into a play area and/or have a water feature.
  • Some respondents asked what we would do with the public realm area to the east of the ‘Peckham coal line storage’, would there be any planting/landscaping there? Currently indicated as paving.

A follow up engagement event with the community will be held once construction of the site has begun, it is intended that landscaping plans will be finalised after this event.

October 2019we need your help

Since revising our plans we have received positive feedback. Our revised plans, which have been under consideration with Southwark since July, have received no objections.

Now we need to capture and document that support in order to help us move from planning into delivery.  Because the original design received 77 detailed objections, the councils requires that these are either withdrawn or superseded by supportive comments (please see below in red suggested wording for the comments).

Having moved the scheme on significantly from where we started, we don’t want to delay getting on with delivering the first built section of the Peckham Coal Line.  If you agree, and you were one of the people of who originally objected, we would really appreciate it if you can let the Planning Team at Southwark know and write to your local council lead for Regeneration, Cllr Johnson Situ.

If we can get at least 10 people who originally objected to say they are now in support of the scheme, planning consent will be decided under delegated powers in the next few weeks. If we can’t, then the application will be referred to a planning committee for their consideration.  Whilst we have no issue with a committee reviewing the new plans, the resulting delay will significantly impact our cost and schedule and – being a small business this risks stalling development all together. We don’t want to see construction delayed into 2020, which would also push back delivery of the first built section of the Peckham Coal Line.

We need your help to get this development moving. Please let Southwark Planners and your local councillor know that you are in favour of the new scheme – especially if you objected to the original plan but agree that the new scheme meets the communities needs better.

Emails supporting this scheme should be sent to:

Councillor Situ – johnson.situ@southwark.gov.uk

Lasma Putrina – Planning Officer – lasma.putrina@southwark.gov.uk

Suggested draft:

Dear Councillor Situ / Lasma Putrina

REF: 19/AP/1203

I previously objected to this planning application 19/AP/1203, requesting that the design and material choice be reassessed to create better living conditions for residents that comply with GLA guidelines set out in policy D4 Housing Quality and Standards.

Since my objection, Picfare have worked with the PCL team and local residents to enhance the planning proposal, scheme design, landscaping strategy and approach to community engagement. 

As a result, I am in support of the revised scheme (which overtakes my earlier objection to the older version).