Friday, 11 November 2011

Will our objections be heard?

If you take the time to write and submit an objection to a planning application, you would quite fairly assume that its contents would be read and considered by those who will be making the decision.

Not so, it seems. Your letter will be read by the council planning officer responsible for assessing the case and making a recommendation to the committee, but will not necessarily be seen by the decision-makers themselves unless you have sent a copy to them specifically.

Naturally the planning officers are trained in assessing individual objections and establishing whether each has a basis in law, in which case it will feed into the assessment of the application. However in the case of Convoys Wharf, where so many people feel so strongly about so many aspects of an application, we feel it's important that those making the decisions are aware of the strength of feeling among their electorate.

We strongly advise you to copy your objection to the Councillors involved in making this momentous decision to be sure that they know how you feel. If you have already submitted an objection, simply send a copy to these councillors listed below, who make up the strategic planning committee:

Cllr John Paschoud Chair (Perry Vale, Labour)
Cllr Alan Till (Perry Vale, Labour)
Cllr Abdeslam Amrani, (Catford South, Labour)
Cllr Paul Bell, (Telegraph Hill, Labour)
Cllr Jenny Clutten, (Downham, LibDem)
Cllr Liam Curran (Sydenham, Labour)
Cllr Amanda De Ryk (Blackheath, LibDem)
Cllr Peggy Fitzsimmons (Rushey Green, Labour)
Cllr Alan Hall (Bellingham, Labour)
Cllr Paul Maslin (New Cross, Labour)

Our guidelines for submitting a planning application also mention sending a copy to the mayor and deputy mayor of Lewisham as well as your MP.  

We would also strongly suggest that you send a copy to the Greater London Authority, the London-wide planning authority which is one of the statutory consultees for such large-scale redevelopments in the capital; it's also important for them to be aware of the strength of feeling.

You should send a copy to your assembly member - for Lewisham & Greenwich this is Len Duvall ( - and also to the appropriate officer, Kevin Reid (, who is Principal Programme Manager for Development & Environment.


  1. The most worrying thing is that most of these people don't really know anything about planning and will be presented with a summary by the planning dept which they may not even read because they're being 'whipped' by the leadership who want this.

  2. It is frightening that people with no knowledge of planning and planning laws will be able to pass this application on a purely political basis. To all those Labour voters living on Sayes Court estate (the ones who will be most seriously affected by loss of natural daylight etc.) I say "Don't give them your vote at the next general or local elections, show your displeasure at their ignoring your voices!".

    I have heard that Lewisham Council have received a large (very large) sum of money from those intending to develop this site. Does anyone know if this is true and, if so, what the council intend to do with the money?