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Railton Road refurbishment In September, Network Rail were granted permission for the refurbishment of their properties at the end of Railton Road. The seven retail units that back on to the railway viaduct will, under the new scheme, be reduced to five, with the second-hand furniture shop and baker’s merged as one premises, likewise the butcher’s and (former) fish shop. There will be changes in the class of use allowed. The current launderette and kebab shop will now have general retail use, the butcher’s and fish shop will acquire restaurant/ café use and the upper floors above the launderette and greengrocers will acquire

residential use (currently only the floor above the launderette is used residentially). A further element in the scheme is the reopening of the premises directly under the bridge. There used to be a newsagents there some 20 years ago. The entrance was bricked up but the archway is still visible. In their comments on the planning application, the Society welcomed the principle of restoring these buildings,

but also expressed concern about an overly uniform approach adopted for the new shopfronts, which they thought did not reflect the diversity characteristic of Herne Hill. They also pointed to the value of surviving heritage shopfronts, in particular in the case of the fish shop. Since the permission imposes detailed conditions regarding design and materials used, it is hoped that in practice the new shopfronts will enhance the streetscene. Concern was also expressed about the increased area given over to restaurant use through the merging of two units. Herne Hill offers a broad mix of retail and other uses and the

Society would like to see this retained. It was also felt that, while the creation of some extra residential space was welcome, Network Rail were missing an opportunity. As part of the refurbishment, the central three units could have been raised and new flats created. It is hoped that the final designs for the shop fronts will be agreed by the end of this year. Site work could then start in April 2016, and the project completed at the end of 2016 or the start of 2017. In the longer term the Society would like to see serious consideration being given to the creation of a conservation area covering the end of Railton Road/Station Square.

shows the possibilities in Victorian renovation materials. There is widespread use of wooden pallet boards, which are painted, also of hundreds of wooden laths from lath-andplaster walls removed during the project. The top floor that was under a mansard roof

has been reconstructed and two low-ceilinged bedrooms replaced by a living area along with the kitchen and a small office behind translucent polycarbonate panels. The bedrooms have moved to the floor

below. The space is well lit from a large roof-light as well as windows. Colin is interested in improving energy efficiency. Substantial insulation has been added internally in the walls and roof with

Herne Hill-Winter 2015

particular attention paid to the creation of an airtight layer through the use of OSB (oriented strand board). This project shows how low-cost materials can combine with efficient energy use to provide a highly

original and attractive restoration of a Victorian house. If Colin decides to open again next year, I recommend a visit. More info at http:// Laurence Marsh


Herne Hill #133 (Winter 2015)  

The magazine of the Herne Hill Society Copyright © The Herne Hill Society

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