Gipsy Hill council flats get green light despite conservation area controversy

Kit Heren (18 November, 2021)

Cllr Martin Seaton said that he was surprised that the architects had chosen not to reflect the conservation area in their plans

50056An artist's impression of how the new building in Gipsy Hill would look

A new block of 21 council flats in Gipsy Hill got planning permission on Tuesday, despite some debate about their effect on a nearby conservation area.

The five- and six-storey building, which will be on unprotected green space at the corner of Gipsy Hill and Woodland Green, will sit alongside two other seven-floor council blocks.

The new building will be right on the boundary between Southwark and Lambeth. Across the road is Lambeth’s Gipsy Hill conservation area, mostly made up of nineteenth-century buildings.

The current site

Cllr Martin Seaton said that he was surprised that the architects had chosen not to reflect the conservation area in their plans, instead designing the new building to look similar to the two other housing blocks.

Architects said that they had originally designed a row of terraced houses, but that residents said they would prefer “a building whose silhouette was simple and direct.”

They added: they had an “incredibly strong response” from the local community and councillors that the building “was not of the conservation area” but rather a “missing tooth from a cluster of three” blocks. The decision was “certainly not a projection of the architects’ ego,” they added.

The new building was unanimously approved. The new homes were just one of several proposals for new council flats that got unanimous approval at the planning meeting on Tuesday.

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