Denby – some questions answered

Thanks for the feedback from the blog on Denby and our statement. There were some questions and here are the answers I received from Homes For Lambeth who are the developers:

  1. Why refurbishment and/or phasing was discounted

A comprehensive redevelopment of the site was considered the most appropriate approach for Denby Court. A wider redevelopment, as opposed to refurbishment, allows for the delivery of more affordable homes of a higher quality for Lambeth as well as new and improved public realm across the site.

  1. Results of daylight / sunlight studies
  • The scheme has undergone detailed daylight / sunlight analysis from an early stage and was subject to extensive peer review and consultation by LB Lambeth’s appointed expert. The detailed report was prepared by eb7 and submitted on behalf of Homes for Lambeth that was submitted as part of the current planning application. 
  • In terms of impacts to neighbours the scheme demonstrates a high level of compliance with the BRE guidance with any deviations generally being minor. The only area where concern was raised by the LBL expert related to the properties across Lambeth Walk. This resulted in further design development work reducing the western block by a storey and maintaining a setback to improve retained amenity to the Saperton Walk flats to an acceptable level. 
  • Internal amenity within the proposed homes is also considered to be of high quality. Overall compliance is excellent at c.98% compliance against the ADF targets of their specific room use set out in BRE guidance. These positive results are driven by the scheme maximising the number of dual aspect homes, resulting in good internal daylight levels even to the lowest floors of the proposal. Where there are a small number of shortfalls against BRE Guidance his is a direct result of the provision of access decks or balconies providing private amenity areas, which further enhance the apartments and provide well-lit external spaces.
  • An assessment of shading effects shows that the courtyards within the proposal  achieve excellent levels of sunlight availability. The spaces are oriented to the south east with over 95% of the courtyard areas meeting the BRE 2+ hour sun on ground assessment on March 21st compared to the target 50%. This will only improve during the summer months and residents will also have the benefit of the immediately neighbouring doorstep green. In terms of wider area shading the proposal causes some shadows when compared to the existing low rise blocks but any additional shading moves transiently such that no sensitive neighbours or the doorstep green experience additional permanent shading. The doorstep green itself is a large space that is open to the south such that it remains well-sunlit throughout the year. 
  1. What steps were taken to rehouse existing residents and progress report on

·                Denby Court is currently being used as “meanwhile” temporary accommodation pending the redevelopment of the site rather than leaving the building empty.  The residents are people towards whom we have a duty to provide temporary accommodation under the homeless legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996).  There are 42 flats at Denby Court which were occupied in this way, and over the last few months we have moved almost everyone to suitable alternative accommodation.  There are currently only five households left, all of whom have been offered alternative accommodation.

  1. Why existing residents are not being prioritised for return ?

·                The residents are not secure council tenants so do not have right to permanent rehousing if the building they are living in is demolished, but instead have a right to alternative temporary accommodation.  They therefore do not have priority for new permanent homes being built on the site. Residents in temporary accommodation are of course on the waiting list for permanent social housing, so can apply for any new homes alongside other people on the waiting list. There are currently in excess of 3,000 households living in temporary accommodation waiting for permanent social housing.

On the building heights 

I understand that concerns have been raised around the reporting of different building heights within the application. I believe that the confusion here relates to the difference between reported ‘block heights’ (i.e. the actual heights of the blocks) and the corresponding ‘Above Ordnance Datum (AOD)’ heights (‘Ordnance Datum’ being the height of mean sea level). The table below confirms the maximum block and AOD heights of the five blocks.

BlockMaximum Block HeightMaximum AOD Height
Block A32.475m37.075m
Block B13.715m18.315m
Block C14.015m18.615m
Block D37.800m42.400m
Block E17.175m21.775m

In terms of the tallest block (Block D), this is part 10 storeys, part 11 storeys, with a plant room on top. The different heights are confirmed within the table below.

Block DMaximum Block HeightMaximum AOD Height
Top of the 10 storey parapet32.475m37.075
Top of the 11 storey parapet36.150m40.750
Top of the plant room37.800m42.400m

This should hopefully clarify where the different figures have come from.

As ever contact me if you have any questions jdavies4@ambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. Jon Davies.

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