Herne Hill Planning Update July 2020

Dorchester Court, Herne Hill

The Herne Hill Society (as opposed to the Forum) is a statutory consultee on planning applications in the SE24 area and receives notifications of relevant applications by both Lambeth and Southwark councils. The Society has a planning sub group which has delegated authority from the Society’s committee to consider and submit comments where it feels it is appropriate to do so. Liaison between the Herne Hill Forum and Herne Hill Society is maintained by a member of the planning sub group who is also a member of the Forums committee. Below is a round-up of planning applications in the Herne Hill area for July 2020.

313-315 Railton Road

A planning application was submitted by the Arches Company, the owner of the recently refurbished shops at the entrance to Railton Road, for a change of use of one of the shops into a location for an electricity substation to provide sufficient power to the new, but still largely empty shops, restaurants and flats. The HHS objected on a number of grounds but primally that a newly refurbished shops unit should not be used in this way. The Forum objected primarily on grounds of the fact that alternative locations and sources of power had not been investigated thoroughly. The application was considered at a virtual Planning Applications Committee on 9 June 2020 and although a number of queries were raised, the application was approved by 5-2.

Dorchester Court

A planning application and listed building application have been received for this grade 2 listed block of flats on Herne Hill. The proposal is to build new flats on top of the existing blocks and new town houses on the site of the old garages. The blocks have been badly neglected over the years and the condition of many of the balconies and windows is very poor. The applicants argue that these new dwellings are required to help fund the restoration but the details of the application are so poor in many respects that the Herne Hill Society, Dorchester Court residents’ association and hundreds of other organisations and individuals have objected. It will be considered by the Planning Applications Committee in due course.

The Society’s objection is here:


The Residents’ Association’s objection is here:


Higgs Estate

This former light industrial site, at the Loughborough Junction end of Herne Hill Road, was granted planning permission for 134 dwellings in blocks ranging from 2-16 stories with over 4000 sq metres of flexible commercial space. The site has been cleared but there has been no start on site yet. It will be a car free development, and it received many local objections with most concerns about the height of the taller blocks and the impact on already crowded train services from Loughborough Junction.

Site at Wellfit Street, Hardess Street and Hinton Road

This industrial site next to the railway near Loughborough Junction is the subject of a planning application for two residential towers of 20 and 29 stories with 170 flats and 2000 square metres of commercial space. There have been a large number of objections based on the over-development of the site. A decision is awaited.

The Society’s objection is here:


Shakespeare Wharf

There is a proposal to apply for permission for a high-density development with blocks up to 11 storeys on this site but no application has yet been received. The future of this site, a protected waste transfer depot is linked with a site under the same ownership in Windsor Grove, West Norwood, which the applicant wished to obtain permission to reassign for waste transfer thereby releasing the Shakespeare Road site for residential development. There is a lot of local opposition to the use of the Windsor Grove site as a waste transfer depot and concern in Herne Hill about the effect and appropriateness of the proposed heights and density in a predominantly low-rise  low-density environment.

1 Chaucer Road

An application for a contemporary style house on the site of existing garages was approved by the Planning Applications Committee on 26 May 2020. There was quite a lot of local opposition to the design, although the Herne Hill Society did support the scheme. It was approved unanimously by the committee.

Rosendale Road former dairy

An application for a residential development on the site of the former dairy adjacent to the Peabody Estate has very recently been submitted. The frontage of the dairy building is a locally listed structure and will be retained in the development. The Society will be considering the application in due course.