Nursery for SCST Dulwich Sports Ground approved on 11 February 2014

Dulwich Sports Ground, planning application for a new building for a nursery and coaching facilities, 102-106 Turney Road

LATEST (18 Feb 2014).  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.

LATEST (16 Jan 2014).  The public consultation on both planning applications has ended.  The main issue is the inappropriate development on MOL and harm to the open space.  We now await details of the planning hearing which is expected in February.

UPDATE (14 Dec 2013) Now two applications 13/AP/1732 and 13/AP/3927 – for the nursery and for the pavilion flat.  Public Consultation in progress with deadline of 4th January 2014.

UPDATE (13 Nov 2013) Still no news.  Southwark planners are reviewing the submissions they have received since the last hearing.  We await further.

UPDATE (26 Sept 2013) The application has been withdrawn from the agenda of the planning hearing on 1st October so that officers can assess new information received.   The hearing will be rescheduled.

UPDATE (24 Sept 2013) New planning hearing at 7pm 1st October at 160 Tooley Street.  Revised planners’ report available on Southwark planning register (13/AP/1732).  The portakabins stored at Rosendale School have been moved to a storage site outside London.  Several complaints have been made to Southwark Council relating to the interpretation of MOL policies, and also on the planning process for this application.

UPDATE (10 Sep 2013): We are eagerly awaiting a revised report from the planning officers taking into consideration all the late material objections raised by residents and the date of the new hearing which is likely to take place in October. Objectors and other parties will automatically be contacted by the planning section in due course.  The portakabins stored at Rosendale School have been moved to a storage site outside London.  A resident has submitted two complaints to Southwark Council relating to the interpretation of MOL policies, and also on the planning process for this application.

UPDATE (23 Aug 2013):  Application has been referred back to the Planning Sub-Committee to consider new information and the imposition of additional conditions in regard to members’ earlier resolution to grant planning permission for development on metropolitan open land.

REPORT (30th July 2013):

Southwark Council’s Planning Committee has granted permission to Southwark Community Community Trust (SCST) to build a 41 place nursery with sports facilities on the field to the south of Turney Road behind the even-numbered houses. This is a controversial development as the grounds are designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and a large number of objections were made to the plans, as well as some people supporting them. Nelly’s Nursery – already running three popular nurseries in the neighbourhood including one at the junction of Turney Road and South Croxted Road – and the Southwark Community Sports Trust are planning to open a nursery in a portacabin next to the existing sports pavilion.

The planning application was heard at a planning hearing on Tuesday 23rd July, and planning consent was granted subject to certain conditions and there being no new material issues emerging before the 27th July, the consultation closure date.  The final decision notice will be posted on the web site in due course.

Full details are available on the Southwark Council Planning web site at:, you can see a fair number of the consultation replies and a copy of the addendum to the officer’s main report at http://planningonline.southwark.gov.uk/AcolNetCGI.exe?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeDocs&TheSystemkey=9549940   More consultation replies will be posted up soon.

The officer’s addendum “late observations” report is worth reading.   Some consultation responses were wrongly categorised, but there were nigh on 100 replies, including about 90 objections from across Dulwich. It is very disappointing that despite this number of responses,  little consideration appears to have been given to the arguments about MOL,  and the existence of a flood risk noted in many responses was denied by the officers who were not aware of the proposed Southwark flood alleviation projects in our area.

Thank you to all those residents who attended the hearing, and waited patiently for the application to be heard.  All the spokespeople spoke well and cogently for their viewpoints.  Our councillor, Michael Mitchell represented the major concerns of local residents.

What happens now?

The decision notice won’t be published just yet, but please look out for the notice on the documents page – link above.

Unless objectors raise an issue which causes the officers to refer the matter back to the planning committee in September, SCST are free to go ahead subject to the conditions.  SCST cannot be certain of the conditions until they get them formally from the Council, which could take a few more days to arrive.  Some of the conditions relate to how to carry out the building of the nursery and how to care for the trees, also a green transport plan.

SCST have told me provisionally that the portakabins will be moved from Lyndhurst School next Tuesday 30th July to a storage location near to Turney Road (NOT on Dulwich Sports Ground) until SCST are ready to accept delivery of the modules.  There will be a hiatus while SCST await the decision notice, consider the requirements to meet the conditions, and co-ordinate the parties concerned.  It is expected then that on a date to be determined during August the modules will be moved from the storage area by lorry to SCST, craned into position during one working day (six separate lorry trips are envisaged), and then bolted together and services connected over the succeeding 1-2 days.   This stage is expected to be completed by 24th August.  After installation, the portakabins will be handed over to Nelly’s Nursery who will complete the cladding and set up with a view to opening the nursery in October.   It is likely that when the modules are moved onto the site in August there will be some temporary restrictions on parking in the road near SCST.   There will be further notices about this in due course, and posted up on the gates.

If there are any other developments relating to the planning application we will keep you posted, and put this on the web site www.turneyandburbage.org.uk if appropriate.

A group of residents is working to develop a “Friends of SCST” and there will be more information about this in due course.

Thank you to the 40 Turney households who have written to TRRA with their views, suggestions and questions together with copies of letters & emails to Southwark.   Also once again many thanks to the 55 individual residents who attended the public meetings.

TRRA will be considering lessons learned from this application.  A watchword for all RAs and amenity groups is “consultation” and we will examine how we can help to improve public consultation in the road and in our area.

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