The owner of 34 Mulgrave Road is seeking planning permission to extend the building – in effect adding an extra storey to the top of the block of flats.

As local Councillors, we object to these proposals. While there is a need for more accommodation, the changes to the building will make it look incongruous and ugly, not good enough for Sutton. The changes will also involve building work that will disturb the current residents of the block The owners have used a mechanism called “prior approval” when submitting their application which, in our view, was introduced by the Government to undermine the planning system. As a result, we cannot take the application to the Council’s Planning Committee, which Richard chairs, for decision by Councillors. We may not be able to stop these changes taking place given the powers of the Planning Inspectorate to over-ride local decisions. However we are seeking to ensure that a number of conditions are stipulated in any planning permission, if one is ever granted, to try to protect the peace and quiet of the building during construction work. These include that access to the roof should be via an external hoist with all materials for work on the roof transported to the roof by an external hoist and not brought up via the well of the building. The interior of the building should not be a storage area or building site. There should be a construction management plan to minimize disruption to existing residents and ensure there are controls on dust and noise, and on hours of work. The contractors should join the Considerate Contractors’ Scheme. There should be a liaison officer that residents can contact if they observe poor behaviour. If scaffolding is erected outside residents’ windows it should only be erected when needed and removed as soon as it is not needed. We would welcome feedback from residents on your views on the proposals. You can look at the details of the application (number DM2012/00430 for 34 Mulgrave Road),

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