Archive for September, 2010
Author: Cyril Richert
According to Brightside October 2010, a new application for the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth town centre is expected early in the new year.
Minerva, the company that owns the site, announced plans to submit a revised proposal following the Secretary of State’s decision to eject the previous scheme.
The firm said in its annual results published on September 21st:
“The key issues revolved around the two tall buildings proposed and their location within the conservation area and proximity to a nearby gasholder. Most of the regenerative benefits created by the scheme were accepted, and will be reincorporated into the next planning application. Accordingly, a new scheme is being designed to reflect the planning inspector’s and secretary of state’s comments. It is expected that a new planning application will be ready for submission during this financial year.”
They also said on their website that “A revised application is now being worked on, keeping much of what was originally envisaged and accepted as a positive contribution, but with revised proposals for the tall buildings.“
According to skyscrapernews.org, as the company correctly points out in its full year results, one of the main issues was the height of the towers, and thus it can be expected that any new planning application will see these severely reduced. At the same time there was the issue of gas-holder that they would stand near to, and in the event of an emergency could take the direct force of a blast from, the last thing you possibly want a tall building to experience.
One possible solution to this could be similar to that seen at Battersea (Nine Elms development area) where an office building was placed next to the gas-holders to provide a barrier element between them and residential housing.
It is the occasion to read again our article on the Ram Brewery verdict: analysis of the government’s refusal. There is no doubt that any further plan will be scrutinise in the light of the Secretary of State’s decision in term of size, density, character, location and affordable housing.
You can also see our full dossier on the Ram Brewery here.
Author: Cyril Richert
The Council is now ready to start Phase 1 of its plan to make major highway improvements to the Clapham Junction Town Centre. The aim is to reduce accidents and improve conditions for all road user, particularly pedestrians. This is to be achieved by changing traffic flows through the town centre and upgrading the general street scene and environment with the use of very high quality materials.
The scheme comprises changes to the junctions of Lavender Hill/Falcon Lane (this will include a diagonal crossing to make it easier for pedestrians to get across the junction between the Falcon Pub and Debenhams Department Store) and the main crossroads at St John’s Hill/St John’s Road/Lavender Hill/Falcon Road (introduction of a right turn into Falcon Lane from Lavender Hill. This will include a banned right turn from Lavender Hill onto Falcon Road), coupled with replacement of the street furniture and fabric throughout.
The scheme was estimated to cost £3m (in the report to the Committee), including £800k coming from TfL money and allocated by the Council to the Junction. However the recent article published in Brightside in January talk about £1.2m (click on the article to see bigger).
For more details about the scheme, you can read the article we published last February with details on the different improvement for the streets and the transport.
In March 2009 we also received an email from Cllr Guy Senior talking about roadwoark and possible disruptions:
It is the intention to construct it without having any general traffic diversions. However, there would have to be some temporary measures to allow vehicles in and out of the site and relocation of bus stops etc. This is just what happened when the site was last rebuilt in the late 1980s.
According to the information distributed by the Council, Phase 1 of the works will be starting on 4th october 2010 and includes:
- Street lighting installation
- New junction at Falcon Lane-Lavender Hill-Eccles Road
- Repaving anf re-engineering of Falcon Lane
- Utilities diversions
- New pedestrian crossing on Lavender Hill
The remainder of this large scheme will be implemented in subsequent phases (repaving and trees in Mossbury Road is not expected before 2012)
A plan of the proposed measures is shown below (click on the image to see bigger).
Tel: 020 8871 8209
Author: Cyril Richert
According to Brightside (September edition) the rebuilding work of 2 secondary schools in Wandsworth is to go ahead, education Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed.
In July, the government scrapped funding for 14 schools in Wandsworth, and two more schools were under review: Burntwood and Southfields (read our previous article).
The attempt from Wandsworth Council to persuade Department for Education officials to go ahead with plans for the remodelling of Elliott School in Putney, the construction of Saint John Bosco – a new Catholic secondary school in Battersea and other schools to be funded by the BSF programme, is still in limbo as the final decision is expected mid-September.
But detailed designs were already prepared for Burntwood and Southfields and it seems that too much money would have been waisted should they be stopped.
Burntwood School in Earsfield will benefit from a £40m rebuild and Southfields Community College will receive £29m. Work is expecting to start in spring next year.
At the same time, the Neighbourhood School Campaign has launched an initiative to set-up a free school at the proposed site of the Bolingbroke hospital. However, setting up a free school is not that simple: from the selection of the organisation in charge of running it (ARK Schools has been short listed and should appoint the teaching staff and run the school as an academy with direct funding from the government), to the level of education provided (as a free schools, parents should make sure that the organisation selected is following their requirements in term of standard of teaching and methodology).
In parallel, the NHS is proposing an alternative plan (residential development) this autumn in order to maximise the value of the Bolingbroke site. To date, no financial offer has been made to buy the site within the timescale that is vital to the Trust. Read our article on the proposal HERE.
Author: Cyril Richert
NORTHCOTE WARD Special E-bulletin
Building a new school at Bolingbroke Hospital
Welcome to a special Northcote e-bulletin about plans for a new school at the Bolingbroke Hospital. Please forward the bulletin to friends and neighbours.
Cllr Jenny Browne, Cllr Peter Dawson, Cllr Martin Johnson
Northcote Ward, Battersea
Council statement about the Bolingbroke’s future use
Our recent e-bulletin gave information about a pre-planning application exhibition at Chatham Hall that St George’s NHS Trust has arranged of its proposals for the Bolingbroke Hospital site (see details later).
Wandsworth Council has issued the following statement about the leaflet that St George’s delivered in the local area:
“The St George’s NHS Trust is consulting on proposals for new flats and health facilities on the Bolingbroke site.
The main purpose is to establish the market value of the site including the required health provision.
The Trust’s consultation document contains incorrect information regarding the Council’s proposed purchase of the site.
The Council has made the Trust an offer to buy the Bolingbroke site for the provision of both the promised health facilities and a new school.
This offer has been made in accordance with the timescale laid down by the Trust.
The Trust as a public body has a duty to deal with the Council. It cannot sell to another party at this stage.
Negotiations between the Council and the Trust for the site’s purchase have already begun. Once these are completed there will be a fresh planning application which will include the new school alongside the health facilities.
The Council has written to the Trust’s chief executive formally drawing his attention to the misleading information in the consultation document and asked for this to be corrected”.
Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, and Northcote councillors will be at one of Jane’s “Street Surgeries” on Saturday 11th September between 10am and 11am, at a stall outside the Bolingbroke Bookshop, 147 Northcote Road. This is an opportunity to call by and mention any concerns, local or national, of a non-confidential nature, which you want to raise with us.
The Neighbourhood School Campaign
As we reported in the September e-bulletin Council Leader, Edward Lister has warmly welcomed and expressed support for the proposal to open a new secondary school on the Bolingbroke site that has been submitted to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education by ARK Academies and the Neighbourhood School Campaign.
St George’s NHS Trust Exhibition
The Trust has arranged a pre-planning application exhibition of its proposals for the Bolingbroke site at Chatham Hall, 152 Northcote Road on Friday 10th September (6.30pm to 9pm) and Saturday 11th September (9.30am – 12.30pm).
Read also our articles:
- Pre-consultation exhibition for residential proposal on the Bolingbroke site
- Bolingbroke hospital redeveloped as a residential site?
- No secondary school in Clapham Junction area. Join the campaign!
Author: Cyril Richert
The St George’s trust organised an exhibition for their pre-consultation on proposals for new flats and health facilities on the Bolingbroke site (read our previous article HERE).
The Wandsworth Primary Care Trust (PCT) announced plans to close the Bolingbroke Hospital temporarily and consult the public on moving its services to other locations in the Borough back in 2006. The Bolingbroke hospital was closed the year after, despite a campaign to prevent the closure of the healthcare facility and its services were dispersed, mostly to St John’s Therapy Centre on St John’s Hill. Since then, the PCT and St George’s NHS Trust (SGT – who owns and operated the hospital) have looked for options to sell the site. In 2009, English Heritage awarded the building Grade II listing status (which means the building may not be demolished or altered without special planning permission), due to the building’s architectural interest, a rare set of children’s tiles and its “unusually lavish” marble-clad lobby, war memorials and radiated corridors.
Although the campaign to save the Bolingbroke hospital intended initially to keep a health facility on-site, a new project led by the Neighbourhood School Campaign (NSC) hopes now to use the site to set up a much needed secondary school in Clapham Junction.
The PCT and SGT claim that although the Trust and project team have been proactively engaged with Wandsworth Council (LBW), Partnership for Schools and the NSC over the issue of a secondary school on the site, unfortunately to date, no financial offer has been made to buy the site within the timescale that is vital to the Trust. As they are looking to raise money to enhance services in St Georges Hospital (Tooting), they need the sale to be completed within the financial year (31 March 2011). Therefore they have put forward a plan to transform the Bolingbroke buildings into high standard residential, in order to maximise the value of the site (click on the photos below to see each redevelopment current/proposed).
David Canzini (a member of that team who sent me the information I published last week) explained in more detailed their need to determine the market value of the site. In the book, the Bolingbroke site is worth £7.5m. Some developers have suggested that a residential development might generate up to £20m. Realistically SGT is looking for a value between £10m and £13.5m depending on the success of the planning proposal. He said that although Wandsworth Council made a proposal to buy the site, they have not shown any money commitment and therefore the Trust faces the obligation to provide a plan B, should the funding promised by the Council not be existent/sufficient.
“The Council has made the Trust an offer to buy the Bolingbroke site for the provision of both the promised health facilities and a new school. This offer has been made in accordance to the timescale laid by the Trust. The Trust, as a public body has a duty to deal with the Council. It cannot sell to another party at this stage.
Negotiations between the Council and the Trust for the site’s purchase have already begun. Once the are completed there will be a fresh planning application which will include the new school alongside the health facilities.
The Council has written to the Trust’s chief executive formally drawing his attention to the misleading information in the consultation document and asked for this to be corrected.“
We haven’t seen the letter from the Council, therefore it is difficult to draw any line on who’s telling the truth. It could well be that, depending on each side, the views are partially correct: Wandsworth Council could have made an offer close to the book value and is looking for some additional money from the Education Secretary. As the outcome of the UK wide 2010 Spending Review is due to be announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 20 October 2010, there is currently no certainty that any more money will top-up the Council’s offer. Therefore SGT is claiming that, to date, no [reliable] financial offer has been made to buy the site.
On the planning proposal itself, members of the NSC raised a number of issues that could prevent the planning approval, such as the prime necessity to keep the building as a public site (which would be achieved with the school) and the obligation to liaise with the Council to achieve the best public usage of the site.
Beside all this debate, it was brought to my attention that the Bolingbroke site was acquired, through public subscription and charitable gifts, by John Erskine Clarke at the end of the 19th century, whose aim was to provide public health service for the residents of Battersea. It would be a shame to see the memory of the great man to be betrayed 120 years later and the site to be sold to private interests on profit consideration only.
Author: Cyril Richert
The campaign for a secondary school
A lot of talks have been going for the past 12 months on the need to have a new secondary school in the area of Clapham Junction. The Neighbourhood School Campaign has launched an initiative to set-up a free school at the proposed site of the Bolingbroke hospital.
The “Bolingbroke team” as we could nickname it, has selected the educational specialists ARK Schools, a charity which has already set up academies across London, such as Evelyn Grace in Brixton and Ark Academy in Wembley. Setting up a free school is not that simple, from the selection of the organisation in charge of running it, to the level of education provided. If the school goes ahead, then Ark should appoint the teaching staff and run the school as an academy with direct funding from the government.
The parent promoters of the school have met with Michael Gove and even with David Cameron, but that does not mean the school will definitely go ahead. Budgets are tight and the new schools model has yet to be fully defined. The Neighbourhood Schools Campaign has an excellent case however. There are simply no state secondary schools within a 7 square mile area centred on the Bolingbroke site, and year 6 children leaving the local primaries scatter to as many as 49 different secondary schools. The Bolingbroke would make an excellent site for a 5-form entry school (i.e. around 900 students including a sixth form) and both Ark and the parent promoters are committed to working with the Council to ensure that local residents are properly consulted.
The NHS is proposing to use the old Bolingbroke site for residential
However the NHS is proposing an alternative plan this autumn in order to maximise the value of the site.
St George’s Healthcare Trust (SGHT) are looking to sell the old Bolingbroke Hospital site to raise much needed funds for healthcare in Wandsworth and South London . The sale needs to take place within the current financial year so that the vital investment that the Trust has identified from the Bolingbroke sale; including an extension to St George’s A&E department and expansion of its resuscitation department where major trauma patients are admitted; can be delivered. The Trust is mandated to achieve the best price for the disposal of its assets and is dedicated to fulfilling its promise to the local community by providing space within the new development for the PCT, (NHS Wandsworth).
The best professional advice given to the Trust has indicated that the maximum sale value for the site will be realised by achieving planning permission for a PCT/ residential development and that is what the project team will be conducting a pre-application consultation on.
The consultation exhibition will take place on Friday 10th (evening) and Saturday 11th (morning) September and a leaflet giving some details and inviting people to the exhibition has been delivered to approximately 10,000 homes around the Bolingbroke site (download HERE).
According to David Canzini (a member of that team who sent me the information) the PCT / residential application does not preclude or prejudice other uses for the site, such as a school. The Trust and project team have been proactively engaged with Wandsworth Council (LBW), Partnership for Schools and the Neighbourhood School Campaign over the issue of a secondary school on the site. Although there has been considerable progress made, unfortunately to date, no financial offer has been made to buy the site within the timescale that is vital to the Trust.
The key issues for the Trust in selling the Bolingbroke site are:
- Timescale (sale completed within the financial year)
- Maximum value to re-invest in healthcare
- Provision for the PCT
The proposed development would include:
- 1600sq m for PCT use
- 50 apartments
- Mix of 2, 3 and 4 bed
- Included 30% affordable (social rented and shared)
- 44 underground car parking spaces (no residents permits allowed)
- 58 cycle spaces
- Sensitive landscaping
- Highest quality design and build
- No increase in height or width of building
- Traffic studies show residential and PCT use has least impact on local residents
Are we going to have a secondary school in the area? Do you want more residential in the neighbourhood? Is it going to increase the pressure on the already over-subscribed primary schools in Northcote ward?
It is important to give your opinion and attend the pre-application exhibition:
on Friday 10th September 2010
from 6.30pm – 9.00pm
and Saturday 11th September 2010
from 9.30am – 12.30pm
at Main Hall, Chatham Hall,
152 Northcote Road, SW11 6RD
Author: Cyril Richert
The council’s planning applications committee has approved plans by Network Rail to enhance Wandsworth Town Station on August 19th, 2010.
The new building would be single storey and glass fronted. The proposals include a new entrance and ticket office to replace the site’s temporary facilities on Old York Road.
With the new building in place, the automatic ticket barriers would be relocated from the narrow subway tunnel where they create heavy queues at peak times.
The move would also improve station security and mean admission to all four of the platforms would be controlled. The current layout allows passengers to access platform one without passing through a ticket barrier.
The scheme would be funded by Network Rail, South West Trains and the council has secured contributions from local developers as a condition of their planning consents (section 106).
The consultation (site notice) was carried out amongst 278 neighbours. The Council received 5 objections mainly regarding the poor design, not in keeping with or compatible with neighbouring the architecture of Old York Road. Concerns were also expressed about the canopy and the sitting replacement was criticised.
The Tonsley Residents’ Association submitted an objection saying that although the entrance to the station, as is, works (ticket office, ticket machines and barriers), the erection of at least two lifts for access to the platforms and major overhauling of the platform surfaces and heights is desperately needed. They also criticised the overall look and design and was depicted as very odd that after all the hard work and effort that has gone into creating Old York Road over the last 25 years or so. In the association’s comment, they also provide documents on Twickenham Station redevelopment and regret that a similar consultation was not entered into here?
Wandsworth Society expressed concerns about the loss of an attractive tree and an area of brick planter, which will much reduce the quality of the brick-paved open area in front of the station, and suggested to move the new building further east, thus preserving the present square and the character of Old York Road.
The planning department welcomed the prospect of improved ticketing and entrance facilities at Wandsworth Town Station. They consider that the design and appearance of the new extensions contributes to an enhanced passenger experience with a carefully considered scheme that respects the original building and provides a modern form that makes the most of the one off opportunity [in peto: we nearly got in the report the "once in a life-time opportunity" used to pass controversial proposals!] and sits comfortably with the original in terms of its shape and proportions.
You can download the full report HERE.
“It’s been a long time coming but this plan would be a big improvement on the scruffy and impractical facilities at Wandsworth Town.
It would finally mean the ticket barriers are taken out of the subway tunnel where bottlenecks are a source of daily frustration and inconvenience for thousands of commuters.
Wandsworth Town – and in particular Old York Road – has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. New investment in the ageing station is another important step forward for the areas regeneration.“
Author: Cyril Richert
Over the three weeks from the 9 to 30 September, you will have the opportunity to engage first hand with novelists, historians, poets, translators, screenwriters, journalists, essayists and thinkers. During writing workshops, everyone has the chance to have their writing skills benefit directly from the wealth of expertise they are bringing right to your doorstep.
It is a Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership initiative, and they run the festival in partnership with Waterstones.
Download the 2010 festival programme here: SW11 Literary Festival Programme
A slogan for Battersea
They have also launched the “slogan for Battersea” competition at the same time. People are asked to text in or tweet slogans, which will all be put up in the windows of Debenhams.
Use no more than 15 words, to compose a catch phrase or slogan, which describes or refers to SW11.
Start a text with Battslog then a space, then your slogan. Text it to 07786 202 844. You can submit as many as you like. Your slogan will be published instantly on:
or you can Tweet your slogan using the hashtag: #battslog
Here are some slogans that were already sent: “Battersea the heart of Clapham“, “Battersea, a place to meet, shop and eat, a formidable treat“, “Battersea: as you like it, a midsummer’s night dream, much ado about everything“, “Battersea becomes you“, “Battersea: powerful and well-connected“, “Battersea: vintage yet modern“, “Battersea; the many faces / urban and gritty / suburban and leafy / always fun and lively“, “Battersea’s treats are better“…etc
Sending a slogan only costs the same as sending a normal text to a friend’s phone. You will not be signed up for anything, ever.
The best entries will be printed and displayed in the windows of selected retail outlets in the area – look out for your slogan in the window of Debenhams in Clapham Junction! A winner will be chosen at the end of the festival and he/she will receive a Waterstone’s vouchers. The winning slogan will be printed on t-shirts for next year’s festival, and used on town centre publicity.
Competition closes 31/10/10
Update: I attended the launch organised by Lorinda Freint and held at the Doodle Bar on Friday 13 Aug at 6.30pm. It was a great success and gave me the occasion to talk to some Council officers in charge of business development and even… to have a little chat with Cllr James Cousins.
Talking about business, and as I was telling them that a Paul would be welcomed in Clapham Junction, I can tell you (according to my well-informed sources!) that a Paul patisserie should open in Northcote Road at the end of the year (probably by November 2010 if everything goes fine).