The contentious planning applications by the Southwark Community Sports Trust for Council approval of a new nursery on their ground, and to use the former caretaker’s flat for rent on the open market, were passed by Southwark Council’s Planning Sub-Committee B on 11 February. An addendum report circulated before the hearing is now available online on the planning register.
There was a good turnout from Turney Road residents at the hearing but, once again, the evening highlighted the problems for Dulwich arising from recent Council policy to abolish local planning meetings. Since then, residents wanting to object, or support in person, have had to travel to Tooley Street to present their concerns to councillors who, in the main, do not represent this area. This happened once again on Tuesday as the panel (without Dulwich councillors) struggled to get to grips with the workings of the Dulwich Estate, and the value of sports grounds in Dulwich. Thanks to Village Ward Councillors Michael Mitchell and Toby Eckersley who did their best in their allotted 3 minute slot to elucidate Dulwich-specific issues and focus the minds of the committee on the key issues for the decision.
The only positive aspect was that the consent for both the nursery and flat was made personal to the applicant, SCST. The use of the nursery will cease if SCST cease operations on the ground – and the flat will revert back to D2 auxiliary residential accommodation.