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Rail-siding canopy to be ripped down
Tuesday, 03 July 2012
A CANOPY covering part of a huge train-cleaning depot – built without planning permission seven years ago – is to be torn down.
The sidings behind Sternhold Avenue, in Streatham Hill, operate 24 hours a day to clean trains and empty on-board toilets, just metres from hundreds of homes.
The depot has proved controversial after it was built by train operator Southern in 2005, after the firm insisted it did not need planning consent.
In 2006, Lambeth council decided that planning permission was required and tried to take enforcement action. It was also the subject of a 12-day planning inquiry in 2010 after an appeal by Southern – the outcome of which was never made public.
Southern’s planning application went to the town hall’s planning committee in November 2010, but a formal decision was not immediately published.
Negotiations between the council and Southern over legal agreements rumbled on until May this year.
The council has now granted retrospective planning permission for the depot but Southern must remove one of the three canopies that cover it.
Streatham Hill ward councillor Jeremy Clyne has hailed the decision a victory for residents.
He said: “The sidings are huge, monstrous structures running the length of Sternhold Avenue.
“They cut out light to the houses and overshadow the whole street, as well as creating noise.
“They are overbearing and dominate the nearby properties.
“It has destroyed the quality of life for those living in the street.
“Residents and ward councillors have achieved a major victory in securing the removal of one canopy.”
Gill Wright’s Sternhold Avenue home is less than 20m from the soon-to-be removed canopy.
She said: “We have always wanted all of canopies removed, and the depot behind them.
“If they must have a cleaning station there, it should be underground. There are pipes that run from there that remove the sewage from train toilets.
“If a pipe bursts, I worry that the sewage will end up in my back garden.”
A Southern spokesman said: “Planning permission was gained in May and we are complying with the conditions set which includes the removal of the canopy on platform 3 to be replaced with a low-level service rack to the north of platform 3.
“We will also be replacing the external light fittings as required.”
All content © of South London Press unless stated otherwise.
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