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Residents brassed off' over radical flat design

PUBLISHED: 18:33 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:23 25 August 2010

RESIDENTS are set to clash with their council over proposals to build a radical block of flats.

RESIDENTS are set to clash with their council over proposals to build a radical block of flats.

Cathedral Group Plc submitted plans to build flats and community facilities on the empty Athena House offices site in Station Road, Sidcup.

Bexley council's planning board has been advised by officers to approve the proposals on October 9, but residents groups have unanimously shunned the "overwhelming" design.

The structure would be broken up into two main blocks of three and nine storeys, all clad in gold-looking brass alloy which would dull over time.

Retired resident Doug Walters, of Faraday Avenue, Sidcup, said that it will be out of character with the area.

The 74-year-old said: "I think it looks disgusting. This one isn't as high as the last one they tried to get in but it's still too much.

"I hope the councillors will not vote it through. If they do there are going to be a lot of upset people.

"After the first disastrous application they found people had really hard views on it."

A previous 17-storey 'cube' design submitted by Cathedral Group Plc was turned down last year.

Sidcup councillor June Slaughter said the design was 'too exciting' for the area.

But Bexley council's architecture and design officer described the latest design as a "very unusual" landmark building in the council's planning documents.

In the report, the officer concluded: "I do have reservations with regard to the choice of brightness of the proposed Tec Gold and its failure to weather."

Council officers said moderations should be made to the design, while the police warned that using zinc and copper tiles to clad the building could encourage metal theft.

Residents groups were also concerned that a tall building opposite Marlowe House would generate more wind along Station Road.

The building would have a café, retail or restaurant area, a bus drivers' rest room, and 98 one to three-bed dwellings served by 41 car parking spaces.

Architects for Cathedral Group expected 57 units to be used as 'car free' housing since the flats would be adjacent to Sidcup railway station.

Cathedral Group Plc was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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