Light loss – neighbours

The Hadley planning application includes 4 documents relating to the daylight and sunlight impact on neighbouring properties.

The following properties will were considered in the report:

  • 112-156 High Street Penge
  • 117-173 High Street Penge
  • Colman House
  • John Baird House
  • Strood House
  • Greatstone House
  • 9-14 Evelina Rd
  • 29-32 Burham Close
  • 1-10 Burham Close
  • 164-184 Maple Rd
  • 123-173 Maple Rd
  • Copperfield House

The conclusion states, in effect, (if interpreted correctly) that some properties will lose some light, and some will lose a lot of light, but the building of 18 storey tower blocks in the middle of Penge High Street is of such value to the community that any transgressions of BRE (Building Research Establishment) guidelines should be ignored.

Read the documents carefully – a significant number of properties will be affected. The conclusions of the report are below. Bear in mind that this was written for the developers and should not necessarily be trusted completely – you should get your own survey if you are in any doubt.

7.12 The development will bring a range of significant
benefits to the local area, including, but not limited
to: the creation of a new public realm, to create a
new community-focused centre at the heart of Penge
which will deliver a range of cultural and social uses
for both existing and future residents. The provision
of 250 new homes with a mix of types and sizes,
and 35% affordable homes (policy compliant). To
design and deliver high-quality housing for Bromley
across a range of tenures, helping to support mixed
communities of all ages and to maximise the number
of affordable family homes, acknowledging the local
need. In addition to a new Sustainable Transport
Hub for local community use to offer a wide range of
sustainable, active and inclusive modes of transport
within the scheme such as Brompton bikes, scooters
and e-bikes for the community at large, promoting
active travel to both residents and visitors.
7.13 Consequently, in GIA’s opinion, the technical
alterations in daylight and sunlight should be
considered against this backdrop. A strict application
of the BRE Guidelines should not be applied and
weight should be given to the demands of planning
policy/guidance at a national, regional and local level
(see Section 3) and to what is considered contextually
appropriate for a site of this nature within a London

More from the surveyor’s conclusions below:

7.4 In terms of the daylight and sunlight analysis
undertaken against the scheme, 69 properties
have been considered relevant for assessment. 36
properties meet or have negligible impacts to the
BRE Guidelines. The remaining 33 properties will
experience alterations in daylight and/or sunlight
which are beyond the suggested BRE Guidance and
will be noticeable.

7.5 With regards to daylight (VSC and NSL), there are:
• 3 properties that are considered Major Adverse
in significance;
• 9 which are considered Moderate;
• 8 that are Minor to Moderate; and
• 13 which are Minor Adverse.
7.6 In relation to sunlight (APSH), there are:
• 13 properties which are not relevant for
assessment in accordance with the BRE
• 51 properties which remain BRE compliant
• 2 property which is considered Major Adverse in
• 1 that is Moderate; and
• 2 that are Minor.

7.7 In relation to overshadowing, all neighbouring
amenity spaces will meet the BRE criteria and
therefore the scheme performs excellently from
this discipline.
7.8 Where transgressions from guidance occur for
daylight and sunlight these are primarily located to
those properties which sit in very close proximity to
the development site. In the majority of instances
the windows and rooms which face the site are
understood to likely serve secondary rooms such
as bedrooms which have a lower expectation for
daylight (NSL) and sunlight (APSH) or kitchens which
are less than 13sqm and therefore not considered a
habitable room. The main habitable spaces of these
properties, for example those along the High Street
and Croydon Road, such as living rooms, face away
from the development site and will not be impacted
by the scheme.
7.9 Where there are properties which do have main
living spaces facing the site, such as John Baird
House, detailed design amendments have been
undertaken to lessen the impact. In doing these
additional studies with the architect, the majority
of the living spaces in John Baird House will retain
reasonable levels of VSC and NSL. Therefore, the
impacts need to be considered against whether they
will cause unacceptable harm to the occupiers of
this property given the many benefits being brought
forward by the proposed development.
7.10 In reviewing this report it is important to note that
daylight and sunlight is only one consideration when
reviewing the amenity of neighbours as a result of the
proposed scheme. As such, GIA would urge that the
daylight and sunlight impacts should not be viewed
in isolation, and instead should be considered on the
wider planning balance. The rigid application of BRE
Guidelines does not create sufficient flexibility for
higher density housing and development, which is
greatly needed in London, a position supported by
the Mayor via the Greater London Authority (GLA)
in their SPG for Housing and each of the respective
boroughs in their local plans.
7.11 The technical alterations should not be considered in
isolation and other context factors such as building
form, room use and depth are relevant. For example
bedrooms are less important in relation to daylight
distribution (NSL). Bedrooms and kitchens are also
less important in relation to sunlight in accordance