The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

OPINION - Mission Care development


Richard Donnell, Chair of the Grove Lane Residents Association on planning irregularities emerging from the consideration of the Mission Care development.

The proposed redevelopment of the Mission Care site in Love Walk, SE5 continues to rumble on. Legal agreements have not yet been finalised to enable the official grant of planning permission to allow work to start. The deadline was extended to 31 October 2023.

One reason for the extension is that further irregularities with the planning process have come to light. Southwark Council’s planning team were required, by law, to notify Historic England about the proposals and seek their views regarding the impact on the Conservation Area. They failed to do this. They have now rushed in a retrospective request to Historic England the day after a query was raised as to why this had not taken place.

This isn’t the first material omission by Southwark Council’s planning team. Officers’ chose not to refer the scheme to Southwark’s Design Review Panel, despite the scheme meeting the required criteria and a request to do so earlier this year. The planning officer’s report, recommending the planning committee to approve the scheme, failed to include any assessment on the impact of the proposals on disabled residents at 11a-11f Love Walk as they are required to do by law.

GLARA is hopeful Historic England provides a similar critique of the scheme’s design credentials to that supplied by Southwark’s Conservation Area Advisory Group and the Camberwell Society’s planning committee. Both described the scheme as poorly designed and out of scale and proportion to the local area. The independent expert advice GLARA obtained was on similar lines, describing the design as “poor”. We await with interest the report from Historic England and how Southwark’s planning team respond.

It's still not too late for common sense to prevail. The local community remains supportive of the principle of redevelopment but hopes Southwark Council and/or Mission Care senior management send the proposals back for a redesign to improve its external design and reduce the height and massing and negative impact on the local community.

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The Camberwell Society was formed in 1970 and is the recognised amenity society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell.

The Society’s objectives, as defined by our constitution, are: to stimulate public interest in Camberwell, to promote high standards of planning and architecture in Camberwell, and to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Camberwell.

We are a charity and raise money for local charities. In the past we have raised money for Southside Rehabilitation Association, St Giles Trust, Cambridge House, the CamberwellCommunity Choir, the HollingtonYouth Centre and the Camberwell Arts Festival