Khan calls in Leegate plan

Leegate plans

The Greater London Authority has refused to give the go-ahead  for the planned development by St Modwen of the Leegate shopping centre.  Although the plans were approved by Lewisham Council the GLA said it did not meet the requirements of the London Plan. The main stumbling block is housing.  The current proportion of affordable housing, about 16%, should be nearer the affordable rent/ intermediate  60%:40% targeted by the London Plan.  The number of 3-bedroom units, just 9% of the total, also needs to be increased. Other areas of concern are transport and access. The conclusions of the judgement are listed below.

London Plan policies on housing, urban design, inclusive design, climate change, and transport are relevant to this application. Whilst the principle of mixed use development is supported, a number of strategic concerns are raised, and consequently the application does not accord with London Plan Policy. The following could address these deficiencies:

  • Principle of development: The principle of the proposed mixed use development on the applicant’s site is strongly supported. But assurance is required in relation to the relocation of the evangelical church and decanting of existing business and residential tenants.
  • Housing mix: The proposed residential mix does not provide for a reasonable provision of larger units with just 9% three bed units, whilst 35% are one bed dwellings and 56% are 2 bed dwellings. The overall percentage of larger units should be increased to create a more balanced housing mix.
  • Affordable housing: The initial 15.7% affordable housing offer is supported by a viability assessment this report should be independently assessed on behalf of Lewisham Council to ensure the maximum is being achieved on-site and the findings shared with GLA officers prior to stage 2 referral; Lewisham Council should confirm the agreement over the affordable housing mix because it is GLA officers opinion that whilst the provision of town houses is a welcome part of the scheme the applicant should increase the proportion of 3 bed units and that the affordable rent/ intermediate for sale should closer to the 60%:40% targeted by London Plan policy; and the applicant has received offers from two registered providers for a slightly different housing mix and GLA officers require that any correspondence be made available to review in context of concerns raised in relation to the affordable offer.
  • Retail: The applicant should provide further details on the businesses response to the decanting strategy for existing businesses and set out the options explored to where existing retailers can be relocated.
  • Urban design: The approach to the development masterplan is strongly supported.
  • Access: The applicant should provide justification for two type 2.25 ground floor duplex units to the south of cores F and G being elevated for visual privacy and flood protection that are not Lifetime Homes Appendix 1 compliant; increase the variety of wheelchair dwellings; and the applicant should also illustrate what design features that will be incorporated to ensure that all shared surface areas are safe and usable for disabled people.
  • Children & young person’s play: The applicant has provided this strategy but has not completed detailed work on the child yield using the Mayor’s Shaping Neighbourhoods: Play and Recreation SPG (2012). The applicant should undertake this calculation work and the findings should relate to its play space strategy and Lewisham Council should consider if funds should be provided for the enhancement of existing facilities for off-site play provision.
  • Sustainable energy: Based on the submitted energy assessment the carbon dioxide savings exceed the target set within Policy 5.2 of the London Plan however the comments set out in this report relating to verification information should be addressed in full before compliance with London Plan energy policy can be accepted. This information should be provided before stage 2 referral.
  • Flood risk/ surface water: All flood risk and surface water run-off mitigation measures should be by condition.
  • Transport: It is recommended that discussions should continue between TFL, the applicant and Lewisham Council to resolve issues relating to Eltham Road/Burnt Ash Road/Lee High Road/Lee Road junction. The applicant should also respond in full to issues raised by TFL in relation to access and parking, trip generation & mode split, walking cycling, public transport and freight and travel planning.


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