On Monday, the Planning Board rejected the new application for the site at 10 Orangery Lane unanimously. The new development had undergone very minor changes and did not reflect the feedback the developer or architect had been given, by the public at a consultation meeting held by Cllr Charlie Davis in August, or the reservations of the board when they initially rejected in September.
A number of local residents, primarily from Dobell Road, spoke eloquently against the application and the effect it would have on their lives and properties. A very serious and important point was made by Eltham Church of England School, the plots largest neighbour, who had not been consulted at all during the application process. Their primary concerns related to the impact on the safety of pupils during the construction period (with Archery Road and Orangery Lane already incredibly busy at peak times) and the fact the building would overlook the school from its east elevation.
Further concerns were relayed regarding the impact the development would have on local public services and infrastructure. Eltham CoE are already heavily oversubscribed and did not believe they would be able to offer places to any families moving into 10 Orangery Lane. Residents also mentioned concerns regarding the impact on public transport, local GPs and parking (although residents would have been barred from applying for permits in the surrounding CPZs). A number of objectors (including the Eltham MP, Clive Efford) referenced the Eltham Masterplan in their criticism of the application, pointing out that the original plan for the Orangery was the creation of an Orangery Square – however, as with any document that is now four years old elements of the Masterplan can no longer be applied. This is a point that your local Conservative Councillors have raised on multiple occasions in Council with the Cabinet member most recently saying that ‘resident’s don’t want bits of paper’ (maybe Clive didn’t get the memo?).
The battle may not be over for neighbouring residents, with it being revealed on the night that the applicant was currently in the process of appealing the original decision made back in the autumn. Hopefully, the Council will defend this case better than other appeals in the last year. It would be great if there were a new report guiding the future of Eltham to prevent a similar situation happening in future, your local Conservative Councillors will continue to press for this and ensure your views are heard on the Council – not the Council’s views pushed in Eltham.