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Bell Green Gasholders saved for now!

After a planning committee meeting that lasted two hours at Lewisham town hall, there was a unanimous vote to refuse planning consent for the construction of an Aldi supermarket, restaurant, coffee shop and storage facility for Southern Gas on the following grounds:

The proposed development would result in the loss of green space to the east of the Livesey Hall [the former bowling green] and would harm the setting of this Grade II listed building.

The additional traffic attracted by the development would have a detrimental impact on the Bell Green gyratory system and surrounding streets.

The provision of the additional retail floor space within the retail park would exceed the maximum limit of 16,110sq m as set out in the 2011 Core Strategy, thereby harming the character and viability of adjacent shopping centres.

The application failed to demonstrate that traffic and vehicle movements associated with the proposal would not increase levels of air pollution and would therefore have an unacceptable impact upon air quality within the area.

There is no mention of saving the gasholders in these conditions. However, we’ve got a ‘stay of execution’ for the time being and will continue to press for alternative uses, including the insertion of residential units into these wrought iron structures. Architects who specialise in sustainable development have advised us that flats in the form of pods, made from modern, sustainable materials could be suspended from the gasholders, removing the need for traditional foundations. We will also emphasise the need for green space at this location – echoing the reasons for refusal of the retail application.

A big thank you to everyone involved in the campaign, in particular Councillor Alan Hall @cllralanhall