CLEUD now approved. Consultation closed
The comments below are for reference only.
Comments on Officers Report to Members Briefing for CLEUD ref: 2017/6884/P. 04/02/2018 (Revised)
There can be no justification to grant CLEUD application ref: 2017/6884/P.
This is because the Construction Management Plan (CMP) has not yet been approved by Camden. The CMP is a bilateral section 106 Legal Agreement, applied by the Secretary of State, which clearly states [3.5.2]: “Not to Implement or permit Implementation of the Development until such time as the Council has approved the Construction Management Plan as demonstrated by written notice to that effect"
Yet Camden Council is doing the exact opposite by “permitting implementation” before they have “approved the Construction Management Plan” on the basis of the partial demolition.
Camden Council is contravening the Secretary of State's conditions for Planning Permission 2014/1617/P.
The developers' main argument is their claim [Richard Evans’ (WYG) cover letter] that only two pre-commencement conditions "apply to the nature of works" and because they have already been discharged, implementation is now justified before the other remaining pre-commencement conditions have been satisfied - which apparently aren't pertinent to the "nature of works".
However if Richard Evans can claim on the one hand that condition 21, being one of the two conditions discharged that applies to the "nature of works", was to "demonstrat(e) how trees to be retained shall be protected during demolition and construction work.." then by the same token the CMP's proposal to remove 3 cherry trees and requirement to protect the roots of other trees must also apply to the 'nature of works'"
The argument that the “other pre-commencement conditions requirements do not apply to the "nature of works", and accordingly are not required to be supplied at this time…” does not follow because access issues are integral to demolition and construction of development and therefore cannot be excluded from the "nature of works". There can be no demolition of the building without access, and the main purpose of a CMP is to determine that access.
Also, the removal of the steps and ramp has created more access space at this point and consequently has a bearing on the way in which the building can be demolished. Moreover the steps and ramp are integral to the building, so by the same token are part of any works to the building.
It is also important to note that this demolition has a particularly detrimental effect because it removes the only dedicated wheelchair ramp access for the self contained middle section of the building (former Ham High offices). There are very strong grounds to object to this in the absence of a construction management plan that provides equal access for disabled people and workers taking part in any demolition:
Equality Act 2010:
"If a physical feature within the workplace creates a disadvantage for a disabled employee, steps must be taken to amend or remove the obstruction. Physical adjustments can include changes such as: The addition of a ramp rather than steps to access buildings.”
The relevance of this is because, according to the CMP, There are Pre-Demolition activities in which 'Controlled Demolition' must first be carried out, including asbestos removal and 'Soft Strip' from inside the building [Appendix M]. It essential therefore, that there is safe access for all construction workers from all entrances before 'Structural Demolition' commences.
In addition, and crucially, the removal of both steps and ramp poses a fire safety risk thus flouts fire safety regulations. As a consequence of this unauthorised partial demolition, there is now a 4 foot drop from the only fire exit onto the pavement from this middle section of the building, which is self-contained according to plans of the current building. Both HSE and LFB have confirmed that this kind of access would not constitute 'clear, safe or easy access out of the building’ and would necessitate a full risk assessment by Building Control.
Even according to the developers’ “General Procedures for Site Set Up", their "absolute priority is the promotion of health and safety during any demolition works. This tender demolition methodology sets out the general requirements, sequence of works and safety arrangements that will be in place throughout the demolition.”
It appears Camden Building Control have not taken into account a) the pre-demolition phase and b) that the 4 foot drop to the pavement as the only escape route for the self contained, middle section of building, does not constitute an “appropriate means of escape in case of fire from the building to a place of safety outside the building capable of being safely and effectively used at all material times” – as required by Building Regulations 2010 Part B1.
Moreover the current building is still being used therefore safety regulations should still apply.
If the developers intend to replace the steps and ramp or equivalent before they commence with pre demolition in order to comply with "The Equality Act 2010 and the public sector equality duty considered in all decisions of the council" [OR 7] and "to adhere to the relevant fire safety legislation" [OR 8] then their removal cannot be justified.
Essential Living's frank admission that their motive to demolish the steps and ramp is to "undertake enabling works to ensure a planning permission does not expire" [OR 5] should not be considered reason enough to do so, otherwise legal time limits within which to achieve full planning permissions are entirely redundant.
For these reasons CLEUD should not be granted,
SAVE SWISS COTTAGE