by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 15 November, 2021
An application (No. DM2021/02062) has been received for ‘prior approval’ for the construction of two additional storeys on top of the existing Helena House building, to provide twelve new studio flats. A similar application was turned down by the Council in December last year.
The Conservatives relaxed the planning rules two years ago to allow the construction of two additional floors on top of office blocks, for flats. This is all part of the Conservatives’ plans to make it easier for developers to build without needing planning permission. However, the developer is required to apply to the Council so that it can determine whether they would give prior approval on issues such as transport, flooding, and impact on the neighbourhood.
Last year’s application was turned down as it would have increased the scale and massing of the existing building to an 8 storey development. It would result in the building being a ‘dominant and imposing form of development’ which would be highly visible in the local area. The new application incorporates windows into the north and south elevations to address the issue relating to the two blank elevations. Otherwise it seems to be little different from the previous one.
At the same time, the developer has appealed against Sutton Council’s decision to refuse planning consent to build an up to 8 storey block of flats on the site. The Appeal is being heard by the Government appointed Inspector in Bristol and we are waiting for the result.
Your ward Councillors have heard from many residents about the applications for this site, and like you, we would like this eye-sore developed, but any application must be of high quality and pay attention to its important location opposite the Green, and at the entrance to the town centre.Leave a comment