Rose & Crown Public House (Rodney Rd)-15/AP/3946

There is a planning application live which will result in the permanent loss of the Rose & Crown Public House on the corner of Wadding St and Rodney Road (just as hundreds of new homes are being completed in the area). If you would had time to object the planning application is 15/AP/3946 and it is easy to make an objection via the Southwark Council planning portal

http://planbuild.southwark.gov.uk:8190/online-applications/

Pop in the application number into the Simple Search box (15/AP/3946) and click on Make A Public Comment. The grounds that we have made to object are as follows but principally focus on the loss of the pub.

1. The Loss of the Public House. This development will be responsible for the permanent closure of the last remaining pub on the east side of the Walworth Road in a building whose only use within its history has been as a functioning pub. We understand the recent past of the pub has been troubled but that is not a reason to remove the public house permanently and that is an issue of management rather than its A4 usage. We note that the E&C PH has had issues with its management and is about to be re-opened by a new operator. The developer Urbanicity have bought a number of pubs in the local area, closed them down and converted them to significant amounts of residential with commercial usage at ground floor. They were encouraged to retain the A4 usage in the case of the Huntsman & Hounds and promised that the pub would re-open very soon as part of the redevelopment. In fact (and perhaps not co-incidentally with this application) they are only now proposing to re-open the pub in the H&H after a far longer period than they promised at the planning committee meeting. It appears that they are no longer prepared to countenance the retention of the A4 usage in any redevelopment and are (as with Journeys Hostel in Manor Place in West Walworth and Lye Torng on St George’s Rd) only proposing to retain a commercial usage (A1/A2) rather than A4. This will probably make the residences above easier to market but once again represents a significant loss of amenity for the Walworth area as another pub is closed. As with the Masons Arms this closure feel particularly perverse when new residences are being created in the immediate area through the redevelopment of the former Heygate Estate nearby and the Stead St and Wadding St developments immediately on its doorstep. New and existing residents need local amenities such as pubs to visit. We object strongly to the assertion that shop Bike Curious is evidence of an alternative commercial use at ground floor. We have no evidence that the bike shop use has been ever open to the public and would suggest that the creation of the sign was always part of a plan to remove the A4 usage in the redevelopment. We believe that the loss of the R&C is significant, as along with it, goes all manner of community uses such family parties, funerals. The pub use should be retained as this corner is prominent and part of a what is in fact and emerging local neighbourhood centre comprising of the Church Hall, small shops, Bikes, post box, bus stops and new unit  as part of the Phase 1 in Trafalgar Place as well as being on a key node of the proposed Southwark Council cycling network. As such it will be able to attract custom from the large number of cyclists who will pass the R&C as they travel north-south through the borough. We would finally note on this issue that the emerging New Southwark Plan specifically gives greater protection to pubs. We believe that the stricter tests for removal of any existing pub as envisaged in the NSP whose preferred options are on the point of being published should bear weight in relation to this planning application. The major loss of pubs in East Walworth is shown in PubMap below with only the ones in Green being left.

 

2. The conversion of this building is not suitable for sustainable living. We are concerned that the creation of4 studio flats, some under 40sqm, means that this building is not suitable for conversions as it is not large enough. The flats have no amenity space and as such appear to contravene planning policy. Some of the small flats are single aspect which is also not desirable in terms of planning policy. The flats all border a busy road and therefore the opening of windows means the flats will be nosy and polluted. The local area has less need of studio and 1 bed flats given the completion of Trafalgar Place which provides this type of accommodation, along with double aspect living and amenity balconies and communal gardens.

 

3. Quality of detailing and choice of materials. The detailing on Urbanicity’s nearby St George’s Road development is metal clad. This material is used on the walls and roof because the building is on a prominent corner and is viewed from above from Perronet House and other landmarks. The same degree of material quality is not proposed throughout here - the slate changes to flat grey roof material at the top, despite the fact that the extension is viewed from above too. The slate/ zinc material should be used throughout. We would, in any case, question the appropriateness of zinc/ slate/ black metal.

The Trafalgar Place development has been successful because of its use of brick and patterning which directly responds to that of the neighbouring Peabody buildings. This material and colour integration is one of the most successful aspects of the scheme. This scheme should follow a similar line, utilising brick for any extension. Overall we do not believe that elements of contemporary design sits well in this redevelopment in particular where they interface directly with the Victorian façade. The design shown in the DAS seems to wear the old pub frontage like an unwelcome coat and gives it little respect. We do not understand why a more traditional adaptation of the corner building (slate dormered mansard) could not be achieved with a contemporary addition accepted behind/adjacent.

 

Particularly problematic are the proposed projecting windows on the chamfered corner which blend very poorly with the existing building. We would suggest the applicant considers a more contextual treatment to these windows which more directly references the existing pattern and design of fenestration.

 

4. Shopfront. The shopfront is original to the building. Its form and detailing should be retained throughout owing to the character it brings to this key corner and intersection.

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