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Village Diary

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Wholly inappropriate building materials

Sunday 31st October 2021

Wholly inappropriate building materials

Church Grove, October 2021

The HWA keeps a watch on planning and development issues, and as part of that we check on consented buildings being constructed, to see if they meet expectations.

We have had several complaints concerning the new flats alongside Heron House, in Church Grove. The building is being faced with consolidated slate panelling (which manages to look artificial) and timber cladding materials which seem out of place in Hampton Wick let alone the Conservation Area.

Church Grove slate cladding October 2021

The drawings in the development’s planning application don’t state the materials but the Council’s consent required that ‘The external surfaces of the building(s) (including fenestration) … shall not be constructed other than in materials details/samples of which shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Reason: To ensure that the proposed development does not prejudice the appearance of the locality.’

There are no buildings in Hampton Wick that are built of slate and to us this choice makes an already over-sized development even more jarring in its setting. We have written to the council to ask them to confirm whether these materials have been approved, and if so, why and by whom. In general, we respectfully suggest that Planning Department case officers need to get out of the office and take a look at locations for themselves before making such approvals.