Throughout the meetings that have been held between myself, Network Rail, Volker Fitizpatrick and Lambeth Council their representatives have claimed that the could not have notified residents of the breadth and extent of the plans for the bridge because they did not know far enough in advance what they were going to be.
However the architectural plans for the works referred to in their planning submission to Lambeth Council of the 27th of September were drawn up in June, so Network Rail and Volker Fitzpatrick must have known how disruptive their plans were going to be at several months prior to the work commencing.
It’s also worth noting that the roadworks commenced on the 17th of September, the bridge closure came into effect on the 6th of November, but the planning application was issued by NR on the 19th of September, received by Lambeth on the 27th of September, and approved on the 9th of November. In short NR commenced the work without obtaining the approval from the council.
Of further interest is the contradiction between the second and third paragraphs of the letter. Paragraph one refers to the platform extension taking place in the ‘London’ direction, paragraph two, and the remainder of the letter refer to the extension taking place in the ‘Country’ direction.
Also according to the penultimate paragraph of the letter the council had little grounds for refusal, although it appears that they could have objected to the extension taking place in the country direction rather than the London direction.
It is acknowledged however, that under condition A1 of Part 11, it is necessary for the details to be submitted to your Council for prior approval to the design and citing of the proposed works. It should be noted however that under condition A2, the prior approval cannot be refused unless you are satisfied that the development ought to be and could reasonably be carried out elsewhere on the land, or the design or external appearance would injure the amenity of the neighbourhood and is reasonably capable of modification so as to avoid such injury, Accordingly I shall be obliged if you would kindly accept this as formal application for such a prior approval.
Plans and Associated Documents
- Architectural drawings of the Bridge works dated 28/06/12
- Network Rail’s covering letter to Lambeth Council 19/09/12
- Approval letter from Lambeth Council to Network Rail dated 09/11/12
- Lambeth Planning Database