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Grange Road - planning for student accommodation

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Saturday 7 April 2007 8.30am
Hi, does anyone know anything about the proposed student accomodation on grange road - 177-185, which is where offices are now i think. reading the application its for over 100 students with shops / office use on the ground floor.
Sunday 8 April 2007 9.37am
This is the site of Clement & Foster printers. The printing company went into receivership last summer, but the property belonged to the Directors of the Company. They are currently running a small printing business there - I think they have a single photocopier... I do not know whether the site is being sold with planning permission, or whether the Company Directors will continue to own it.

They have indeed applied for permission for 106 student units. These are studio 'flats' - a kitchen and shower room attached to a bedroom. Additional retail units will be at street level.

The architecture is bland to say the least. On 1st May the south side of Grange Road at that point is scheduled to become a part of the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area.

Why student accommodation? I have two thoughts: Firstly there seems to be no requirement for affordable housing, which would otherwise be a requirement for (10%? 25%? - I'm not sure) of the housing on a site that large. That I can only see as a bonus.

Secondly may be tax driven. I understand that certain student accommodation may be the only sort of property to qualify for inclusion in a SIPP. Whether this would, I don't know. Alternatively, running student accommodation may qualify as a 'trade' rather than a property 'investment', thus allowing the Directors to continue to benefit from 10% CGT on the site.

Any other ideas?

On balance, I think there could be worse things put up there; however the architecture was very uninspiring.
Sunday 8 April 2007 11.14pm
Hi Mapmaker -- are you able to give me/tell me where I might be able find more information about that extension of the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area? I can't find anything on the Southwark Council website or via Google. Thanks.
Monday 9 April 2007 5.09am
Mapmaker - thanks for the info. I agree that the proposal sounds ok - nothing wrong with student accomodation in this part of town - but I don't like the sound of the bland architecture. Have you got a link to an artists' impressions?

Monday 9 April 2007 9.05am
You'll need to go to the Council planning offices to look at the plans. Just off Albany Road.

AFAI Can Recall the Bermondsey Street conservation area currently includes at least the Queen Anne houses on Grange Walk and possibly more of Grange Walk. It is, SFAICR, being extended to include much of Grange Road. The North side only as far as Fendall Street; the South side at least as far as the Alaska Building. The proposed extension was recently approved by our local Community Council (whatever exactly one of those is), so now merely requires rubber stamping by the Council Planning Committee. The next meeting of which is - suitably Stalinistly - on 1st May. I am led to believe that it is the intention that it will be put forward for approval on that day.

As for bland architecture... well it doesn't make much of a change, does it?
Monday 9 April 2007 11.13am
I'm concerned about the impact on the area - particularly traffic and local transport that isn't coping well at the moment - the no 1 and 78 bus routes are always overcrowded during rush hour.

In addition, as its student accommodation, people will be comming and going, and it will be more transient in nature, which along with the loss of the opportunity for additional social housing and more 'permanent' residents in the area, I don't think will add anything to the community. Grange road is just starting to benefit from the regeneration around it - with spa park and the artisan building - and the final furlong and bermondsey road sites half way through.

Also, what requirement will there be to only let to students? There is already a hostel opposite the site (crimscott st), do you know if it will effectively be a halls of residence or anyone will be able to stay there?

I've raised this with the planning department of the council - and i'll go and have a look at the plans too.
Monday 9 April 2007 11.48am
Students... Rush hour??? Do you mean between 11 and 1?

As for traffic, there are about a dozen car parking spaces. It is usual for schemes such as this to have zero residents' parking permits allocated. Students don't often have cars.
Monday 9 April 2007 6.16pm
I must say I find it very frustrating that in the age of 'e-government' and open access, etc., the only way to see the plans for a development that impacts us is to take time off work to go to the planning office. Why can't then make the architects drawings available online?

With that off my chest, I share Simon's concern about the regulation of the halls. Ideally they should be tied to a particular institution so it doesn't end up as another 'hostel'. However, I don't agree with the other comments.

Mapmaker rightly points out that the students will have a minimal impact on the transport infrastructure and, in any case, we should be talking about expanding that infrastructure (more buses, etc.) rather than not building because of it. I also think that having students in our area is a good thing. When I was at university, I lived for the first year in halls and the following three years in the area just around the halls. If the students like SE1, they will stay, which increases the number of young people in the area. Students nowadays also have more money than they used to and support local service like cafes, DVD rental places, etc. etc.
Monday 9 April 2007 6.24pm
carmenes82 wrote:
I must say I find it very frustrating that in the age of 'e-government' and open access, etc., the only way to see the plans for a development that impacts us is to take time off work to go to the planning office. Why can't then make the architects drawings available online?

Some Local Councils do. May Southwark are a bit behind times, but it will certainly be a performance target for them to reach to get a good grant!!!
Friday 20 July 2007 6.41pm
It looks like the site is now for sale/let through Kalmars. Perhaps they didn't manage to get planning?
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