The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

The Planning sub-committee reviews all SE5 planning applications received by Southwark and Lambeth Councils that have an impact on the Camberwell area. Applications are reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate to their surroundings and that sufficient information has been submitted with the application.
Members comments received prior to discussion at the next meeting are always recorded and considered

Regularly we host developers and their designers with their proposals both at pre and at planning application stage and review their proposals and provide considered suggestions.

Through the work of the sub-committee, the Society has been instrumental in saving many buildings of note including Addington Square, Denmark Hill Station and part of Windsor Walk. The Society has also been instrumental in influencing new development to make a positive contribution to the area, and works with local residents and tenants groups where there are common issues. The current composition of the Planning sub-committee is: Tim Gaymer, Anthony Kyrke-Smith, Elizabeth Borowiecka, Jason Leech, Robert Potz, Jonathan Hunt, Paul Cohoon, Somayya Yaqub, Michael Galt and Tom Harvey. Potential new members are welcome to attend a meeting as an observer initially. The Society is currently under represented by members from the Myatt Fields and Brunswick Park areas.

Meetings of the Planning sub-committee are usually held in the evenings at monthly intervals.

If you wish to contribute to the work please contact



Demolition of existing retail and industrial buildings and erection of a car free, part 3, part 20, part 29-storey mixed-use podium building comprising 2073m2 of employment floorspace (Use Class B1 a) and c)) with ancillary sandwich bar/café (Use Classes A1/A3) and site caretaker’s accommodation, an industrial yard of 55m2 and 170 dwellings with associated disabled car parking, cycle and bin stores, and hard and soft landscaping.

The Camberwell Society objects to this application.

The Camberwell Society monitors all applications London SE5, commenting on any of concern, taking account of significant applications in adjacent postcodes.

We object to these proposals and agree with the Herne Hill Society and Brixton Society.We summarise and add to their objections in stating our objections.

1. National Planning Policy: The application is inconsistent with the overarching principles of the National Planning Policy Framework (section 12).

2. London Plan and Lambeth Plan: Contrary to the principles in Policies D1 and D2 of the new (draft)London Plan and Lambeth Plan Q5 and Q7 and Q5 of the new (draft) Lambeth Plan, two towers rising to 29 and 20 storeys are not a positive, or contextual, response to the character of the area. They are wilfully antagonistic to that character, creating densely congested structures with an overbearing presence out of any reasonable scale with neighbouring buildings. The rationale of the design stems solely from the maximisation of housing capacity on a small site, not from any response to local context.

3. Excessive Height and Visual Impact: There is nothing in the Lambeth Plan, or in the proposed Loughborough Junction Masterplan, identifying the site as a location suitable for tall buildings. The repeated attempts to justify by reference to the Higgs Estate proposal is misconceived because (i) the towers show a 25% and 80% increase in height over the tallest building proposed on the Higgs Estate (ii) the two sites are simply not comparable (iii) the latter proposal is a poor precedent, having relied on incorrect application of density criteria and having not taken into proper account the absence of any identification of the site as suitable for tower blocks.

The London Plan and the Lambeth Plan both stress that tall buildings require excellent design. Architectural quality should be of "exemplary standard". The towers stand out for their gross incongruity in the local context not for any outstanding design quality or distinct architectural expression.The scale and height of the proposal also would not fit into the local streetscape and the visual impact would be overwhelming

The proposal will seriously harm heritage assets, dominating and overshadowing the Loughborough Park Conservation Area, the Brockwell Park Conservation Area and the Listed Ruskin Park and the views therefrom. The visuals relied upon are selective, thus undermining the professed objectivity of the Townscape Heritage and Visual Assessment.

The application fails to comply with London Plan Policy 7.7 (new Policy D8) and Lambeth Plan Policies Q25 and Q26.

4 (i).Density: The high density proposed is inappropriate because: (i) The site is in an area mainly comprising 19th century 3-storey housing (some 2-storey) and low-rise industrial units.

4 (ii). Transport Capacity:(ii) City-bound train services stopping at Loughborough Junction Station are at full capacity and would not be able to cope with the significant increase in resident numbers (and the station overcrowded and lacking a lift). Local bus routes are also already overloaded and will become more overstretched with the Higgs Estate development.The development is car free and residents would not have the option of driving to work either.

4 (iii). Infrastructure: There will be increased pressure on local infrastructure (education, health, retail provision) but no indication in the application how this will be dealt with. Another massive increase in resident numbers would cause more pressure on these services and it is questionable if existing schools and surgeries would have enough space to expand.

4 (iv).Overcrowding and Safety: The Higgs Estate proposal already presents a pedestrian safety issue at the junction with Coldharbour lane. This application will exacerbate the problem and create a further problem with a potentially dangerous pinch-point along Hinton Road towards Coldharbour Lane. There are no suggestions for how these problems can in practice be avoided.

5. Daylight and Sunlight: There will be an unacceptable impact on levels of daylight and sunlight, contrary to Lambeth Plan Policy Q2. The normal BRE guidelines for 2- or 3-storey, low-density housing should be followed. It is wrong, as the applicants seek to do, to characterise the area as high-density inner-city urban and thus apply the guidelines "flexibly".

6. Affordable Housing: Policies E7 and H6 of the draft new London Plan state Fast Track proposals which involve the development of industrial sites for mixed use should both retain industrial capacity AND meet a higher 50% threshold for affordable housing. In proposing 35% affordable housing the application fails to meet the threshold.

7. Industrial v Residential: The proposed scheme is likely to lead to loss of industrial floorspace and a detrimental effect on existing industrial activities in the railway arches in Hardess Street, contrary to Policy E7. E2 of the draft new London Plan. The proposed new residential use above the industrial floorspace will not comply with the Agent of Change principle introduced by Policy D12 of the new London Plan.


The Camberwell Society objects to the proposed development because of the severely deleterious effect that it will have on the adjoining SE5 area, dominating and overshadowing public spaces, in no way complimenting or fitting in with the character and scale of the surrounding buildings. As set out, the proposed development does not comply with various Lambeth’s planning policies which taken together with the reasons stated, we submit that permission for this application should be refused.

24/AP/0379 | Temporary display of an externally illuminated shroud advertisement | 17 Camberwell Green London Southwark SE5 7AF
It has become clear that permission granted in the last 5 years for scaffolding with shrouds and advertising panels to be erected on ...
24/AP/0144 | Construction of single story rear extension to accommodate additional seating area. | 49 Camberwell Church Street
Construction of single story rear extension to accommodate additional seating area. 49 Camberwell Church Street 1. No site plan has been ...
24/AP/0023 - 121 Grosvenor Park, construction of a 3-storey 3b5p dwelling
Demolition of an existing single-storey dilapidated workshop building and the subsequent construction of a 3-storey 3b5p dwelling. | Rear Of ...
23/AP/2786 Camberwell Green Magistrates Court
The changes made to this scheme between the consultation stage and the application stage are a disappointment. The old magistrates court ...
23/AP/1661 & 1662 Camberwell Police Station Section House, London SE5 8QU
Proposed extensions, alterations and change of use of the former Camberwell Police Station Section House ‘rear building’ (sui generis) ...
23/AP/0330 10 Love Walk SE5 8AE
Demolition of all existing buildings on site and comprehensive redevelopment to provide a part-three and part-four storey new care home ...
22/AP/3864 Display of a temporary externally illuminated advertising shroud during refurbishment works until the 18/11/2023. | 20-23 Camberwell Green London Southwark SE5 7AA
It is clear from recent past experience that applications for permission to erect scaffolding shrouds and advertisements on the front ...
22/AP/1095 - Construction of a residential block on Wyndam Road and residential block and replacement church on Redcar Street
22/AP/1095 - Construction of a part six, part five storey residential block on Wyndam Road and part five, part four, part three storey ...
22/AP/2497 Land Rear Of 213-215 Camberwell New Road London SE5 0TJ
Construction of two-storey residential mews to provide x2 two bedroom homes with private terrace, waste storage, green roof and solar ...
22/AP/2069 Land Rear Of 163 Camberwell Grove London Southwark
Demolition of a garage and construction of a two bedroom house - re-applicationThe Camberwell Society considers that the revised application ...
21/AP/4490 | 56-60 Comber Grove London Southwark SE5 0LD
21/AP/4490Redevelopment of an existing community centre (Class F) to provide a six storey building with community centre (Use Class F) at ...
COMMENT ON REVISED PROPOSALS MAY 2022Two changes have been made to the proposals:1. Reduction in the height of blocks A and B towards the ...
Champion Hill, Seavington House 22/AP/0174
Demolition of 16 garages and 10 bedsits and redevelopment of the site for the construction of 5 terraced three storey houses and a 19 unit ...
21/AP/1342 | Burgess Industrial Park Parkhouse Street London SE5 7TJ
Application Reference: 21/AP/1342Address: Burgess Industrial Park Parkhouse Street London SE5 7TJProposal: Demolition of the existing ...
21/AP/3255 – 137 Camberwell New Road
21/AP/3255 – 137 Camberwell New RoadErection of a two-storey rear extension in connection to the conversion of a single dwellinghouse ...
219 Camberwell New Road, London SE5 0TJ Ref 21/AP/3278
Construction of mansard roof extension to provide a three-bedroom flat, including the demolition of the existing ancillary buildings to the ...
21/AP/2982 37 Denmark Hill: Conversion of a store to provide a one bed residential unit
There is apparently development potential on this site, but this scheme does not make good use of it. What is proposed is a confusion of ...
21/AP/3468 32 Love Walk: Demolition of existing building and redevelopment to provide 5 residential dwellings
The committee mostly thought this a promising proposal. The new flats would take the place of a very dilapidated house not thought to have ...
Application Reference & Link: 21/AP/1342Address: Burgess Industrial Park Parkhouse Street London SE5 7TJProposal: Demolition of the existing ...