What do you think?
October 2022: PA/22/02181/NC
Proposed change of use from ground floor rear storage to residential unit of 588 Roman Road E3 5ES
Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum objects to the application which it believes would be detrimental to sustainable development in the Roman Road Market conservation area and further erode the viability of the local economy through a reduction in class E use.
Its grounds for objecting are based on the following Council policies:
Article 4 Direction
The council confirmed an Article 4 direction to remove permitted development rights for changes of use from Class E uses to Residential (Class C3) uses in certain parts of the borough. This came into force on 18 August 2022 and the map showing the areas covered by the direction includes the Roman Road East District Centre in which 588 Roman Road is located.
Policy S.SG1 Areas of growth and opportunity within Tower Hamlets
The borough’s town centres will continue to be the focus of shopping, leisure, cultural and community activities and will include a broad range of uses that are accessible to a significant number of people via foot, cycle or public transport.
Policy S.TC1 Supporting the network and hierarchy of centres
The proposal fails to meet the requirements in paragraphs 2 and 3 below of the policy supporting the hierarchy of centres. The proposal would reduce the amount of Class E space and undermine the future function, vitality and viability of the district centre.
2. New development within the Central Activities Zone, Tower Hamlets Activity Areas and Major, District and Neighbourhood Centres will be expected to support the delivery of new retail and leisure floorspace to meet identified needs.
3. New development must contribute positively to the function, vitality and viability of the Major Centre, District Centres and the Columbia Road and Redchurch Street Neighbourhood Centres.
Roman Rod Bow Neighbourhood Plan
The neighbourhood plan strongly supports the Roman Road as a business area whilst encouraging more diverse class E uses. It does not support the conversion of ground floor business space in this district centre into residential accommodation.
Policy LE1: Encouraging flexible use of premises
‘In order to support the Bow economy, proposals to deliver class E uses that are capable of supporting maker spaces, cultural or leisure activities and social enterprises will be strongly supported.’
Roman Road Market Conservation Area
The management guidelines (page 11) for the conservation area state: ‘The fragile character of Roman Road has been eroded in the past by unsympathetic alterations and re-building, and further attrition of this character must be prevented.’
The heritage statement accompanying the application asserts the following: ‘It is argued that the effects of the proposal on the Conservation Area are beneficial and do not harm and the effects on the character and appearance of the Conversation Area are acceptable and accord with the relevant policy.’ No evidence is offered to justify how the proposal is beneficial, and no indication is given of what ‘the relevant policy’ might be.
In the application’s heritage statement the reason for the works is given: ‘The proposed works aim to improve and reinstate the quality and character of the existing buildings.’ This is at odds with the description of the works provided in the application which says it is about the ‘proposed change of use from ground floor rear storage to residential unit.’
Additional specific concerns
The Forum has additional concerns over specific points in the application, which lacks detail, omits key information and shows no awareness of local community life and the challenges Roman Road businesses and the market currently face:
- The proposal seeks to convert 39 sq. metres of Class E ground-floor storage space at the rear of the premises. The addition of an entrance passage to the proposed new residential unit and reconfiguration of the stairs to the upper floor would reduce the shop area to approximately a third of the total ground floor area.
- The application answers ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do the proposals cover the whole existing building.’ However the area covered by the proposed works are stated as only covering 39 sq. metres.
- The development is described as ‘apartment or maisonette’ but comprises one habitable room and one bedroom. It is unclear therefore if the intention is for the proposal to be a one-bedroom flat or linked with the accommodation on the upper floor as a maisonette.
- The works are expected to start in November 2022 and be completed in January at an estimated total cost of up to £2 million. This timescale is unrealistic and the cost is in effect unspecified.
- The method of foul sewage disposal is stated as ‘unknown’, and it’s ‘unknown’ if the development will connect to the existing drainage system.
- There is no green sustainable drai
One thought on “Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum objects to proposed change of use of 588 Roman Road”
The street is effectively suffering from creep, bit by bit it’s turning into a row of buildings that are neither shops nor homes, and no one seems to care, it just Dear, Dear me
When will locals wake up to the fact that there is no community anymore and very soon there will be no shops, the market is dying on its feet and should be put out of its pain, admit we just don’t want to know anymore if it is not about ME, ME.ME.