Hackney Society Planning Group Comments 2014

The Hackney Society Planning Group (HSPG) made the following observations on planning applications during November and December 2014

November 2014

2014/2543 17 Stanway Street N1 6RS Retrospective application for six storey building comprising 16 residential units (8 x 1 bed, 4 x 2 bed and 4 x 3 bed) and 476sqm of office floorspace along with associated external works including landscaping, refuse store, cycle store, disabled access and the provision on 1no disabled persons parking space (application includes alterations to existing building). (Officer: Barry Coughlan Submitted 13 Nov 2014)

Given the significant size and impact of this building on the neighbouring buildings it is unacceptable that the applicant did not follow its statutory obligations via the planning process.


Had this been a fresh application, the position and height along Stanway Street would be supportable however the footprint of the building does not follow the general grain of the estate: the extension towards Rosalind house is unsatisfactory; besides the technical ramifications it leads to a bulky and chaotic building form. The elevations are of poor quality with ungenerous window and detail designs. In summary, the building does not enhance the wider context in any way.


Habitability of some of the living spaces and bedrooms should be questioned and demonstrated though an audit against the London Design Guide such as furniture layouts, activity zones etc. It should also be demonstrated how the proposals meet the Lifetime Homes criteria. Full details of refuse and cycle storage enclosures should be submitted to ensure these elements enhance rather than are detrimental to the existing landscape and boundary designs.


2014/2524 Bentley House 2-26 Bentley Road N1 4BY Change of use of part ground floor from storage (B8) to office (B1) and retail (A1), first floor from B8 to residential (C3) and B1, second floor from B8 and offices ancillary to B8 to B1 and C3 together with the erection of a roof extension at third floor level, the erection of a part one, part four storey rear extension with stair enclosure at ground to third floor level and the creation of a mezzanine at ground floor level in order to provide a total of 2128sqm B1 space, 403sqm of A1 space and 18 residential units (11 x 1 bed, 3 x 2 bed, 4 x 3 bed) and the addition of private balconies on south elevation at third floor level; alterations to elevations; relocation of existing loading bay; (Officer: Ronan O'Connor Submitted 6 Jan 2015) Application Granted - Standard Conditions


The extension and conversion of the warehouse building is supported if it achieves much needed residential accommodation without loss of workspace or the introduction of design/ heritage concerns.


Impact on adjacent occupants

The most significant impact of the development will be felt by the occupants of the upper parts of no.s 5-17 Balls Pond Road, some of which may be in residential use. It is important that implications on privacy and light are thoroughly reviewed. The new extension is proposed to be within a 40º line struck from the existing parapet: if this figure is not made with reference to current BRE guidance then it is arbitrary. Rear windows should be plotted so that full loss of light calculations can be provided.


Affordable housing

The applicant is proposing that only 50% of the additional units over and above those approved under a recent permission will be affordable. Irrespective of the detail of previous approvals, any exception to fulfilling Hackney’s target of 50% affordable housing should be supported by a viability report that is to be made available to the planning committee for consideration.



The proposed layouts of the flats do not fulfil Lifetime Homes requirements nor the less onerous Building regulations Part M; it is not considered that the limitations of the existing building fabric preclude the applicants ability to meet their obligations in terms of access.


Flat layouts

A two-person one-bedroom flat requires reasonable acoustic separation between bedroom and kitchen/living/ dining which cannot be achieved with bifold partitions without huge expense. This detail should be reconsidered.

A curious glazed triangular prism is proposed to achieve room partitions out of alignment with the original external glazing bars which introduces risk in terms of acoustic separation and quality of detail as well as the loss of floorspace within the flats. A simpler solution might be to black out the glass at locations of partitions with concern for external appearance.



2014/3378 Land at Rear of No.9 Navarino Grove and bounded by Navarino Grove and Navarino Road, E8 1AJ Demolition of 3no single storey structures on land to the rear of 9 Navarino Grove and erection of 8no three-storey residential units (8x4 bed) with associated landscaping and bicycle/waste storage; provision of access from Navarino Grove; provision of 2no disability car parking spaces. (Officer: Barry Coughlan Submitted 8 Jan 2015) Application Refused

We posted comments on the previous application ref: 2014/1285. We continue to support the creation of a new terrace of family houses and can see that consideration into context has been taken in the buildings’ design and scale. We believe the amendment to reduce block size and retain the cluster of trees against the railway have benefitted the overall layout and quality of this development.


We reiterate our previous comment with respect to affordable housing, particularly flagging up the shortage of intermediate family units in the Borough and query if, despite the scheme falling below the threshold, there is any scope for providing shared ownership dwellings on the site.


December 2014

2014/3632 67a - 71 Dalston Lane E8 2NG Variation of Condition 1 (Drawings) attached to permission 2012/3558, dated 27/02/14 to include use of brick as external facing material, balcony re-configuration, creation of basement to house cycle storage, plant facilities and uplift of 227sqm B1/A1/A3 use and 743sqm B1 use along with alterations to landscaping and disabled parking layout (Officer: Gareth Barnett Submitted 2 Feb 2015) Application Granted

The image at 2.4 'Visuals of proposed scheme' demonstrates that the proposed development is dense and unremitting and as such is inappropriate in the context immediately adjacent to two conservation areas. Where attempts to disguise the bulk of the buildings was made in the original proposals with the use of tone-graded Trespa panels, this cannot be said of the brick clad offering. The replacement of the Trespa cladding, as requested by Hackney planning, is welcomed and brickwork/ steel balconies appears to be a reasonable material choice in the context. However, the Hackney Society cannot support the monolithic form of the buildings as represented in brick, and so have to object to the material change. This position does not equate to support for the original Trespa cladding but exposes an urgent need to revisit the massing of the proposals.


2014/3707 24 Warwick Grove  E5 9HU Erection of full-width front dormer extension to main roof incorporating three windows; erection of rear dormer extension to main roof incorporating one rear-facing window; erection of single-storey extension at second-floor level above existing rear outrigger incorporating one rear-facing window and one side-facing window. (Officer: Nick Bovaird Submitted 9 Jan 2015) Application Refused

We consider the proposals to be unacceptable as the design is overbearing and detrimental to the appearance of the property and terrace in general.


We can see that there is a history of a similar type of dormer being built along the street frontage which should not be considered to form a precedent as the general quality of these are poor.


Clearly the proposals are at odds with Hackney’s Supplementary Planning Document on Residential Extensions and Alterations.


2014/3750 19-24 Kinnoull Mansions, Rowhill Road, E5 8EB Excavation at lower ground floor (basement) level to create two rear and two side lightwells as well as habitable internal areas; subdivision to establish two additional residential flats (one 1-bedroom, 2-person flat and one 3-bedroom, 6-person flat); and establishment of cycle storage areas. (Officer: Tim Wild Submitted 9 Jan 2015) Application Appeal Lodged

We are concerned about the habitability of the proposed new dwellings. These basement flats are to rely on small light wells for natural light, they will not have any outlook other than the retaining structure forming the lightwells and occupants’ privacy could easily be compromised from ground level. Measures to provide privacy to the basement dwellings and containment for the ground floor external spaces will further compromise the available light in the units. We suggest a daylight / sunlight study should be undertaken to demonstrate that these dwellings achieve adequate natural light.


The elevations appear largely unchanged from the street therefore we do not have any concerns on the proposals’ external visual impact however we are concerned about the physical affect that such extensive excavation could have on the existing building and those adjacent therefore suggest that obtaining a method statement for the works is critical.


2014/3837 12 Milborne Street London E9 6RD Erection of single storey extension at 2nd floor level. (Officer: Barry Coughlan Submitted 9 Jan 2015) Application Refused

We do not believe it is possible to fully judge these proposals off a single drawing. This extension would be the first of its kind along the street and needs to be properly justified through a design and access statement and more detailed analysis into why the proposals would be of benefit rather than detriment to the street scene. There is no context shown on the drawings which is key to demonstrating the proposals.



2014/3845 3 Fletching Road London E5 9QP Insertion of a front and rear lightwell; insertion of new windows to the rear at ground and basement level; insertion of two flush velux windows to the front and rear main roof slope; for the associated conversion of the existing dwellinghouse into 1 x 5 bedroom flat (occupying the ground floor and above) and 1 x 1 double bedroom flat at basement level. (Officer: Nafis Rashid Submitted 9 Jan 2015) Application Granted

We are concerned about the habitability of the proposed new basement flat which will rely on small light wells for natural light. Although there is sufficient precedent for basement flats in Victorian properties in the borough, this is a new dwelling therefore we believe the applicant should be required to demonstrate the new unit will have sufficient outlook; that occupants’ privacy will not be compromised from ground level and that natural light levels meet the requirements of BRE.


We also query the proposed fenestration design to the North elevation as the drawings do not demonstrate any synergy. We suggest more detailed window elevations should be produced to demonstrate how the new windows are tied together aesthetically and how they complement the existing examples.


2014/3998 9 Dalston Lane  E8 3DF Erection of a hip to gable roof extension; erection of a front and rear dormer; erection of a part single, part first floor and part 2nd floor rear extension with rear external staircase and first and second floor rear terraces, increase in basement floor space and change of use of the premises from a caf? and maisonette to ground and basement floor caf?, 3 studio flats, 1 x 1-bed flat and 1 x 2-bedroom flat. (Officer: Roland Sheldon Submitted) Application Withdrawn

The property, on the corner of Dalston Lane and Ashwin St, is significant as a part of the remaining historic premises on Dalston Lane whilst also being opposite the transport hub of Dalston Junction. In this regard we would be supportive of moves to repair and restore the building however we are deeply concerned over the proposals contained in this application.


The design and access statement underlines how the proposals seek to align with the disordered extensions of nos. 5 and 7 Dalston Lane however does not contain justification for the design along Ashwin street. We believe that this street is an important part of the character of this area and the proposals appear to have removed the historic detail and replaced it with a bland and ill considered elevation. We think this is a missed opportunity to turn the street corner and activate this side of Ashwin Street.


We are also concerned about the habitability of the proposed new dwellings. With the exception of flat nos. 3 & 4, three of the flats are bedsits with GIA below 40m2. Flat 1 enters straight from the street into the sleeping area without a lobby, which is questionable in terms of habitability. The other flats require means of escape from bedrooms via the kitchen which will not meet building regulations and will inevitably require re-design.


We also suggest that the proposals for storing refuse and recycling in a redevelopment of this nature is unacceptable and that integrated street-level storage should be provided for all properties.


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