A couple of months ago I wrote none too favourably about the new building being erected at 497 New Cross Road.
The actual structure bore little resemblance to the building plans that were approved by Lewisham Council for this site - which although not remarkable, were preferable to the shiny bathroom-tile type cladding that were put up.
The owners have now added insult to injury by sticking a bright red shutter on the shop front. It does rather feel like they are making a big two-fingered salute in the direction of the town hall. Tasteful huh?
In the meantime it has been brought to my attention that landlords elsewhere in Deptford have been cocking a similar snook to our planning system.
Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond which bought the former slot machine arcade at number 37 Deptford High Street put in a planning application for change of use of the unit, as well as for the replacement of the existing shop front. They proposed to replace it with a bright yellow aluminium facade, totally at odds with its location in the Deptford High Street conservation area.
With objections registered against the shopfront design proposal, Albemarle & Bond decided to amend the application to cover only the change of use to pawnbroker. Presumably the intention is to submit another planning application for the shopfront in due course.
In that case, let's hope our planners weren't going to insist that the existing shop front be retained, as it's too late for that - the shop front has already been torn out.
I'm experiencing a sense of deja vu, considering that some of the changes to the Deptford Arms were made by Paddy Power in advance of planning permission, which was never granted. The fact that they have not as yet been forced to reverse the changes is surely sending a message to other landlords in the area that they will get away with similar breaches.