Category Archives: Resource centre

Resource centre Q&A session

Lambeth Council and the construction contractor held an question and answer session on the estate yesterday, so residents could pop along, view the building plans and ask any questions they had.

Inspecting the plans

The event was attended by residents and members of the Palace Road Estate Residents’ Association. Lots of useful information was talked through, questions answered and there were also discussions about the location of the temporary shop. The current shop will close as it will become part of the site boundary during construction works, however a temporary shop will be installed beside the site on Palace Road. 

The proposed location for the temporary shop

Concerns about construction noise, contractor parking and the duration of the project were answered by staff representing the contractor and Lambeth Council.  The contractor will have an open door policy during the construction works as well as issuing regular newsletters to keep residents updated on the works.

It is anticipated that the construction works will start in late Autumn and take approximately one year to complete. The finished building will bring a new energy to that end of the estate after years of being an empty space, as it will contain a shop and cafe for residents to use. 

Resource centre planning application variation – new deadline

Recently, we wrote about an application for a variation to the planning permission for the new resource centre on Coburg Crescent, giving 26 July 2019 as a deadline for comments. However, no planning notices had been posted about the variation. As with the original application, the planning department appeared to have forgotten their obligation to post such notices. After being reminded, notices appeared on 20 August (see photo) with a revised deadline for comments of 10 September 2019. Comments can be made on the planning website, here.

Resource centre planning application variation – first floor

This post follows on from an earlier post about the proposed changes to the Coburg Crescent resouce centre. The changes proposed for the first floor are shown in the plans below:

Accepted first floor plan – click to enlarge
Proposed first floor plan – click to enlarge

The main change, in respect of community provision is a reduction in the size of the shop floor from 82 to 54.7 square meters. This is mainly due the stock room being moved from the ground floor to the first floor. The stock room has also shrunk – from 53 to 34.3 square meters.



Resource centre planning application variation – ground floor

This post follows on from an earlier post about the proposed changes to the Coburg Crescent resouce centre. The changes proposed for the ground floor are shown in the plans below:

Accepted ground floor plan – click to enlarge
Proposed ground floor plan – click to enlarge

Notable changes:

  • Removal of 53 square meter shop storage area.
  • Reduction in size of several rooms, including the day room, gym and kitchen.
  • Larger courtyard area.

Resource centre planning application variation

Planning permission for the new resource centre on Coburg Crescent was granted in August 2018. Since then, very little has happened on the ground, apart from some tests of the soil on the building site. Now, a variation of the planning permission is being sought.

These changes were presented to the planning case officer on 12 July 2018, but PRERA only heard of these changes in July 2019, when letters were sent to some residents. The deadline for us to comment is 26 July 2019.

There are many documents related to this variation available at the council’s planning website. The covering letter gives the rationale for the changes:

In parallel with the process of determination for the planning application, the project was being priced by the appointed Contractor. Unfortunately, the estimated cost was significantly over budget and as a result it was necessary to undergo a period of value engineering.

Details of the variation are summarised by the council as:

Condition 2: The proposal seeks the following revisions to the approved drawings:
– reduction the massing of the building:
– removal of shop storage and plant room from ground floor level and re-provision of storage room at first floor level;
– revised the internal layout and external design;
– additional stair core in the building,
– enlarged outdoor courtyard space; and
– changes to the external cladding material from clay tiles to a metal shingle cladding in a similar colour.

Conditions 17 and 18:
Revised wording to allow additional time for BREEAM certificates.

Condition 5, 8 , 9 and 15:
Details have been provided to satisfy the requirements of these conditions.

The following images illustrate the changes to the external appearance of the building:

Artist's impression of the new resource centre
Artist’s impression of the new resource centre – viewed from Palace Road, towards the shop
Revised artist's impression of the new resource centre
Revised artist’s impression of the new resource centre – viewed from Palace Road, towards the shop
Artist’s impression of the new resource centre – viewed from Coburg Crescent, towards the main entrance
Revised artist’s impression of the new resource centre – viewed from Coburg Crescent, towards the main entrance

The most significant change, as far as the appearance of the building goes, may be the change in cladding material from clay tiles to metal shingles, hung at a 45 degree angle. The pictures also illustrate something of the reduction in size of the building, as now proposed.

The changes to the internal layout of the building are explored in separate posts detailing the changes to the ground, first and second floors.

Resource centre planning decision

At the end of August the Lambeth Council Planning Committee issued a decision notice on the application to build a new resource centre on Coburg Crescent. As expected, permission was granted, subject to conditions.

There are many important conditions, but a key condition for us, in terms of being able to use the new building, is number 22:

Prior to the occupation of the development hereby permitted a Community Use Agreement shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority confirming that the community space will be made available for hire and use by the local community and community groups, subject to the normal operational constraints of the day centre service and with due consideration given to the need to safeguard the users and residents of the Resource Centre. The development hereby permitted shall thereafte be operated in accordance with the approved details.

Given that this new development was only made possible by demolishing our community hall, we have argued strongly that we should be able to use the communal facilities in the new building (café and community space) freely and without charge.

Artist's impression of the new resource centre
Artist’s impression of the new resource centre with the shop in the foreground. To the left of the shop is the café and the community space.

Soil testing for the new building on Coburg Crescent

We have received a statement from the council about the preparatory works for the new building on Coburg Crescent:

“In May 2018, following concerns about existing soil conditions at the Coburg Crescent site, a further round of soil investigations were commissioned. The resulting survey has now been received by Farrans, our preferred contractor.

The apparent presence of ground water within the soil profile assumed by the previous survey findings necessitated a very robust design response from the structural engineer, meaning deeper piles below ground and the need to utilise waterproof concrete. This in turn generated concerns around the cost of the project and negative impact on length of the construction period.

The locations for the trial pit and boreholes for the new survey were carefully considered, given the perceived higher water table level around the southern/ Palace Road boundary.

Very positively the latest set of results indicate that the moisture encountered higher up in the soil profile is not present at lower depths, where the piled foundations will be formed.

The main contractor will now review this latest set of results and develop their design for the building structure accordingly.

We believe that this will result in a less robust approach to sub-structure design, without the need for waterproofing, which in turn should, reduce the time needed for delivery of the works, thereby lessening any disruption to local residents and also having a positive cost impact.

Further information will therefore be available in August once the design has been revised.”

Construction of the new building was originally planned to start in winter 2017, so is already well behind schedule.

Creative destruction? Our community hall being demolished in 2016
Creative destruction? Our community hall being demolished in 2016.