Property developers at a prominent building site in Balham have been ordered to remove an unauthorised structure that is encroaching on to the public highway or face prosecution.

Councillors at last weeks planning committee gave the green light to enforcement action being taken against the owners of the large development site at 3-5 Nightingale Lane.

While the site is being developed the owners have erected temporary buildings to house a marketing suite where they can showcase the retirement homes they are building. The marketing suite spills out over the pavement and into the carriageway and does not have planning permission.

Councillors were told its presence at the edge of the site had “reduced the amount of space for pedestrians using the footway on this busy approach from Clapham South Underground Station and has encroached on the vehicular carriageway.

“This has necessitated the creation of a covered walkway built into the road to allow pedestrian access and has the knock-on effect of limiting space for vehicles on a stretch of road already subject to additional construction traffic."

The marketing suite has been built directly adjacent to some other temporary portacabins which are being legitimately used as site offices. These do not require planning permission and are allowed under permitted development rights. These also encroach onto the pavement but the council will now request that once the marketing suite has been removed, these temporary structures are moved so as to reduce their impact on the highway.

Planning chairman Cllr Will Sweet said: “While it is perfectly reasonable for the developer to have some offices on the edge of the construction site, there is no justification for having a marketing suite and no planning permission exists for this structure.

“As well as encroaching onto the pavement and road surface the appearance of this unauthorised marketing suite building is totally out of keeping with its neighbours. It is overtly modern and very prominent visually. Its look and design is quite at odds with the local area and with the period architecture of nearby buildings. And its presence is a real hindrance to pedestrians and road traffic. It needs to go and we will now be taking the relevant legal steps to ensure this is the case.”