Eagle-eyed readers will note that the list of local planning applications which used to be in the right-hand column has disappeared. Our local planning alerts came from a service called PlanningAlerts.com, a small and simple site, run by volunteers, which simply took planning applications from the cumbersome systems run by local authorities and made them available in a much more usable form. Critically, they did this by using postcode data mapped in rather a clever way to location information. The postcode data needed to make it all work came from another small volunteer site called ernestmarples.com – Ernest Marples being the Postmaster General at the time postcodes were first introduced.
Royal Mail is now threatening legal action against ernestmarples.com, on the grounds that they are using Royal Mail intellectual property without paying for it. Nobody involved has the legal resources to take on Royal Mail, so the postcode service has been closed down, with the result that a number of sites, including PlanningAlerts.com have stopped working. There’s not a lot we can do about that, beyond signing a petition on the No10 website if anybody feels so moved, so it’s even more important than usual to keep an eye out for planning applications affecting our area.
There are two current applications under consideration. The more important of the two is yet another attempt to redevelop the DiLieto bakery site on the corner of South Lambeth Road – details of the application are here. This is the fifth attempt in eighteen months on my count, with permission now sought for seven flats and a one- to two-storey extension. That’s an improvement on the original application for nine flats and a four-storey extension, but is still a lot to crowd into a small space. The deadline for comments is 5 November.
On a much smaller scale, there is also a current application to replace windows and french doors at 37 Albert Square. The deadline for that one is 6 November.