Added on: 30 March 2016 at 15:02:17
28 Battersea Square, 2016/0299
The Battersea Society objects to this application for the change from commercial to residential and to the proposed unneighbourly over-development of the property. The proposed change of use is in conflict with the London Plan, Council policies and with the character of the Square as noted in the Draft Battersea Square Conservation Area Appraisal. There is no evidence that the property has been marketed as set down in Policy DMTS7B. Change of use would run counter to the recently issued Conservation Area guidance from Historic England in relation to the need to maintain retail viability (p.31 and local character (p.36) .
There is little detail to suggest that the applicant intends to follow the recently issued Basement Guidance note nor is there justification for the necessity to add a gym, changing room and obtrusive terrace to a small domestic property.
While not specifically identified as a Town Centre, the Draft Appraisal correctly identifies the Square as the ‘historic heart of Battersea’ a village area which ‘has a mixed use character and the retention of small businesses is key to its economic buoyancy” (p.24). The Council’s Town Centre SPD point 7.6 p20. refers to the London Plan policies in that
2.15: ‘planning decisions should enhance the quality of town centre retail and consumer services’
4.8: the need to support ‘a successful and diverse retail sector’
and, most relevantly here,
7.1: the importance of ‘creating lifetime neighbourhoods [which] make a positive contribution to quality of life, local character and quality of the urban realm’
While specifically related to Take-Away outlets these are equally relevant here. The loss of this retail outlet would add to the sites already lost and contribute to a loss of footfall which would endanger the viability of the remaining businesses. Recent losses include:
- Businesses at Cotswold Mews and offices fronting the Mews
- Dentist in Ship House – despite our understanding that there was a dentist very keen to take over the practice
- Thai on the River restaurant
- and soon to go, the Royal Academy of Dance
The decision of Gail’s bakery to open an outlet here should help the marketing of this property as a retail outlet and is a welcome exception to the erosion of retail and office space within the Square.
This application is not justified and, if agreed, would damage the Conservation Area and the economic viability of the area. It should be refused. The consequent changes to the property are an over-development and out of character with Conservation Area.
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