Housing Group Pulls Out Of Sutton Court Road

Withdraws application to demolish house


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One Housing Group has withdrawn its application for planning permission to demolish a Victorian house in Sutton Court Road to build a new residential centre for people with mental health problems.

Over 200 locals in Barrowgate Road and surrounding streets had objected to the plans saying the house is of heritage value. However residents say they believe a renewed application may be made in the future by the housing group.

If the group does resubmit an application it will effectively constitute a new application and therefore locals will need to submit new objections as all previous objections only count against that specific application. A recent change in planning law means that a developer no longer requires a separate application for the demolition of an unlisted house in a conservation area.

Revised plans for the house with trees removed for clarity - image OHG

The historical interest in this site has been considerable and a heritage report has been compiled by neighbours championing the retention and conservation of this building which sits at the gateway to the Wellesley Road Conservation area.

While locals say they appreciate the need for social housing they say they want it to be considered in the context of respect for local conservation and that developers be prevented from not just exploiting the commercial value of the site but also from changing the character of the area by creating an over concentration in a small vicinity.

In a statement last month the housing group had said it was committed to providing supported housing in high-quality buildings and had changed the design to one which they believed was more sympathetic to the conservation area (see above)

However, the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society and local groups had rejected the revised design from the housing group and said it would still have a "negative impact" on the character of the area. They wanted retention and renovation of the existing building which they say is of historical and architectural merit.

They say they will also press on with their request for additional assurances that any proposed scheme that may be approved, will provide detail regarding the profile of residents. They say that as yet OHG will not give any assurances that future residents will be precluded from living at the scheme if they have an offensive behaviour or sexual offences conviction - they have confirmed that the house will not be a bail hostel but rather supported living for Mental Health patients.

"Given the strike history with front line staff within OHG, neighbours will ask the planning authority to assist in getting assurances on these issues, similar to those given elsewhere by OHG" said a spokesperson for those objecting.  

We have contacted One Housing Group to ask them if they wish to comment.

Changes made by the Group included redesigning the overall bulk and height of the building, increasing its space from the road, redesigning the entrance, frontage and bay windows, changing the brick colour and incorporating more planting. One Housing group is a developer and provider of housing care and support and manages almost 15,000 London homes in 26 boroughs and surrounding counties. A public exhibition of plans was held last January.

Previous coverage of the item can be read here


October 18, 2013

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