The Crown and Sceptre redevelopment



The Crown and Sceptre pub on Friendly Street in Deptford (but Brockley ward) is currently being redeveloped for residential use. The Brockley Society have again ventured beyond the conservation area to ensure that the planning conditions intended to preserve the character of the building during the conversion process are being adhered to. BrocSoc's Robert explains:


Permission was granted last year to convert it into residential flats, including a large extension to the rear. Part of the agreement of the consent was that the external appearance of the building should not change – as it is an important end building in a row of remarkably preserved early Victorian terraces. I have a particular interest in these buildings, as my grandfather grew up in a (now demolished) terrace house opposite. My Great Grandfather use to frequent the Crown and Sceptre, and my grandfather had a “job” running betting slips from the pub to the local bookies as a boy!

When the works were on site, I notice that they had started to strip all the original tiles off the front of the building. I spoke to the foreman, who explained that they had to do this, otherwise the building will still look like a pub. I told him that this was the point, and explained why this was a serious breach of their planning consent, that would likely have repercussions. I went back the next day, and the entire lot had been stripped.
Having raised the issue with the Planning department, it has now become an enforcement issue. I recently received this note from Jan Mondrzejewski from Planning:

“The owner has told us he will replace the tiling. My colleague Rebecca Lamb in Conservation is dealing directly with him on this issue to ensure that as far as possible we replicate the original tiling. The tiling should never, of course, have been removed and the owner has also been reminded that he should also have discharged all outstanding planning conditions requiring submission of details before commencing work.”

34 comments:

elsiemaud boy said...

I'm glad Broc Soc are looking towards the other conservation areas and 'helping out'. It's something we all could do when we notice a redevelopment in the area. It would seem that Lewisham's planning dept is not applying the proper focus, probably due to understaffing. If we don't help out the conservation areas are goign to be gradually erroded.

Headhunter said...

Well done Broc Soc. Planning permission was applied for (and granted?) back in around 2007 I thought... Perhaps they didn't actually go ahead with the conversion at that time because of the housing market. I'm glad that Lewisham BC has acted on Broc Soc's complaint but whether they actually follow up on this and ensure the tiles are replaced remains to be seen...

Danja said...

Why are LBC planning being bitched at? It sounds to me as if they have been exemplary (so far). They can't supervise every minute of every building site, rely on people reporting stuff to them. It's what they do when that happens which counts.

Danja said...

*they have to* rely

elsiemaud boy said...

Danja - my post said that we should all help out - we can't rely on the dept to regulate the conservation areas.

Headhunters post wonders wether it iwll be enforced - this is also a valid point as many guidelines aren't, and recently the dept themselves said they did not have the manpower to enforce everything.

No one is bitching really.

TJ (O) said...

I'm sick of developers and householders who ignore planning entirely. Recently we have had both the La Lanterna and now this - where developers have significantly deviated from the planning granted.

There must be some reason why they think they can get away with it - perhaps because they often do.

Brockley Nick said...

@Danja - I agree, in this case, BrocSoc and Lewisham Planning both appear to be doing things right and the right result will be achieved. Well done all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Broc Soc for looking at this! I'm a resident on Friendly Street and completely unaware of the details of the planning permission - so it's a good reminder to check things out and keep a close eye on the building works. Cheers!

Danja said...

OK, I guess I misunderstood the "It would seem that Lewisham's planning dept is not applying the proper focus" as criticism of them in this instance.

I don't think they are beyond criticism by any means, quite the contrary it is often well earned (but as you said, probably down to resources much of the time). But credit where credit is due, like here.

Yes, well done to Broc Soc/Rob as well.

I agree TJ(O). People busk it, and get away with it.

Geddes being a case in point. The fact they improved their shopfront doesn't make it less anoying that they bypassed the PP system entirely by just doing the work without PP, and then refused to even apply for retrospective PP so all the costs of trying to get them to comply with the law fell on the Council Tax payers.

Anonymous said...

Will they be the original tiles or some bought from B&Q,Its hard to remove those old tiles without breaking them,lets see shall we.

Anonymous said...

@Danja

sorry but Lewisham Council has one of the worse track record in London in terms of conservation and enforcing. It is a fact, and not an opinion.

If they started to give real signals that they follow through with enforcement that probably developers would start to change their attitude.

Someone mentioned on another thread that Lewisham Council should charge developers the time spent by Council planners to deal with their requirements and enforcement. I agree with this idea, I also think the Council should have the power to heavily fine developers that deviate from the approved plans.

Does anyone know what is going on with La Lanterna? The development has stopped.

Lou Baker said...

Not content with running riot in their own area the conservation nitwits have now started expanding their empire.

If these people have their way we'll all have to jump through burdensome bureaucratic hoops everytime we want to undertake even the most cosmetic of changes to the outside our homes.

This blatant power grab should scare us all.

Headhunter said...

Absolutely Anon 15.27. I think it's probably too late for the original tiles. I doubt the builders were incredibly careful in removing them and I bet they got chucked without much care into a skip, so how likely it is that they will be replaced properly remains to be seen....

Anonymous said...

Lou Baker - you so funny

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 15.31 - more on La Lanterna tomorrow!

Robert said...

Ha ha.
Apologies Lou, but you already have to jump through such beurocratic hoops to change the front of your home. There is an article 4 directive for the conservation area that requires planning consent for all such changes. Which road do you live on? I'm going to keep an extra close eye out!!!
Nit-wit indeed...

Danja said...

sorry but Lewisham Council has one of the worse track record in London in terms of conservation and enforcing. It is a fact, and not an opinion.

Is that a measured kind of fact out of interest? Or the assertion kind of fact?

I ask because I would not be surprised to find out that many councils are just as bad.

Paddyom said...

OMG what an idiot the developer must be to not realize the value the traditional tiling would have, even as a Resi conversion... well done again BrocSoc

Lou Baker said...

@Robert

Alas I am in Telegraph Hill. It is a different bunch of nit wits altogether.

I understand you conservation types are well meaning - but it's a simple fact that well meaning people are responsible for most of the world's problems.

Anonymous said...

Exactly HH, I cant wait to see what tiles he replaces them with.

Anonymous said...

"but it's a simple fact that well meaning people are responsible for most of the world's problems"

Sorry, but that is a witless comment. Second only to "simple ideas are always the best"

Anonymous said...

oh Lou Baker - you SO funny - and not a litlle bit stupid

John said...

This is great news. I stood there watching them take the tiles off while the developer (I think) turned up in his Ranger Rover. I didn't know that they were in breach of anything other than taste. If someone breaches their planning application aren't the Council able to demand that the whole development gets put back to it's original format?

Shame the pub couldn't have been preserved though.

Monkeyboy said...

Apart from the legal aspects, why would you want to remove the tiles? Any half competent archetect could incorporate them, assuming the client wants something other than a bland generic development.

Not In My Name said...

Sorry - this seems to be 'Rob' not 'Broc Soc'. After the debacle at Gordonbrock he may not think that there is a difference; but I am sure many of us resident in the conservation area do.

The most worrying thing in his report is "My colleague XXXXXXX XXXXX in Conservation"; which suggests that he has a professional interest that has not been declared. (He might also care to reflect upon the ethics of naming an individual.)

There were some very important questions asked of Broc Soc during the Gordonbrock incident. And 'Broc Soc' have still yet to answer them.

Brockley Nick said...

@Not in my name - I don't think there is any need to "declare interests" in this case. Even if he were a supplier of specialist tiles to historic pubs, that's irrelevant. The terms of the planning permission were being breached and he notified the Council to put the matter right. Good on him.

As for the Gordonbrock issue, there are plenty of threads to discuss those issues on.

lb said...

Just to clarify, it was the planning officer asigned to the case who referred to "my colleague [...] in Conservation". So no conflict of interest there.

On the other hand I kind of agree about the Gordonbrock business, as I'm sure I said on the threads in question.

Brockley Nick said...

@LB - thanks for that clarification, very important point.

TJ(O) said...

This is a Broc Soc thing - I was at the Broc Soc meeting where this was brought up and Rob said he was taking it forward.

How about joining us 'Not in my name' so a) you would know what is happening and b) you could help out?

I'm tired of this reaction towards someone who works hard for this area.

TJ (O) said...

As for the ethics of naming an idividual - the name of the COnservation Officer is not a state secret, nor is she working in a private capacity. She is a council officer. Her name can be found in Lewisham literature and on their website and is freely given to all who call the Planning Department.

I would think she would WANT her name to be known.

Brockley Nick said...

Also, the ethical judgement was mine, rather than Rob's. I published the article.

Bonzo said...

Couldn't the builder read the spec,surely it said tiles not to be removed,or maybe he couldn't read English.

21five said...

I received an email from Lewisham Council today stating that:

"The Council recently served an Enforcement Notice relating to the removal of tiles and replacement of windows and doors from the front of the above premises.

The recipient of this notice has decided to appeal to the planning inspectorate and we now have to notify neighbours of this appeal."

On and on it goes...

21five said...

I'll post an update to the more recent article: http://brockleycentral.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/plastic-crown-and-sceptre.html

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