More luxury flats and reduction of social units: the vision of Peabody for more bulk and density at Clapham Junction

Authors: Cyril Richert & David Curran

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Proposed view on St Johns Hill – Image from burridgegardensphase3.commonplace.is

The most interesting part of the discussion we had on the phase 3 plan for Peabody’s development in St Johns Hill was the answer to CJAG simple question: “What will happen if your proposal is refused by Wandsworth Council“? For one long moment it was silent, before Mount Anvil representative eventually responded with embarrassment that everything will have to stop. There is no plan B. It couldn’t have been clearer that the consultation was only seen as a mandatory exercise to fulfil the statutory need and tick the box of “community engagement“, while already considering that it was a done deal. Continue reading

Community benefits to mitigate construction chaos on York Gardens

Author: Cyril Richert

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Work in progress to make space for tower blocks

The latest Housing Committee (September 2021) has presented a series of community benefits to mitigate the construction delay in the early phase of the Winstanley and York estates regeneration scheme. Continue reading

Northern Line extension good for luxury developments but not good enough for ‘standard’ Wandsworth residents

Author: Cyril Richert

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Northern Line extension – Credit: TfL

As it made national news, you won’t have missed that, for the first time since 2008 with Wood Lane and Heathrow Terminal 5 stations and the Jubilee Line extension in 1999, two new underground stations have been unveiled (commentators often forget that the tube map changed also less than 10 years ago with the overground line, part of the Tube network). This is not as extraordinary as many supporters are claiming, but it will definitely help a lot of people living south of the river, and boost the new area of Nine Elms.

However, it stops short of finishing at Clapham Junction and many local residents wonder why the 3km project between Kennington and Battersea Power station did not make the extra distance (another 3km) to reach the heart of Battersea and benefit existing local residents. Continue reading

With Chinese property developers on the verge of collapse, Nine Elms could become Wandsworth’s nightmare

Author: Cyril Richert

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Will Nine Elms Square be delivered? – Image: Langan.com

In recent days, analysts have been focused on the Chinese property market: it has been revealed a few days ago that the Chinese Property giant Evergrande was sinking under £215bn of debts and has missed at least two payments to its largest creditors.

With fears of bankruptcy, the company announced in September 22nd that they agreed to pay interests on a small part of their liabilities. But with the Chinese property market plunging into turmoil over the difficulties of Evergrande, there has been fears of contagion that could hit London and have dramatic consequences in Nine Elms. Continue reading

Local Plan: Suggestions from the Community expertise

Author: Cyril Richert

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Workshop to discuss the future Local Plan – January 2020

As we said in previous articles (HERE and THERE) Wandsworth Council has done an appalling job in drafting the latest Local Plan. Not only the document is disorganised and filled with meaningless concepts and lack of structure, but this is a huge miss-opportunity to work with the community groups. Continue reading

Local Plan: Area Strategy for Clapham Junction and York Road/Winstanley Regeneration Area

Author: Cyril Richert

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Area for Clapham Junction – Google Map

This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.

Area Strategy for Clapham Junction and York Road/Winstanley Regeneration Area

This section of the local plan intend to be a general comment on the area of Clapham Junction. We support redevelopment of the zone, and we wrote for example about the potential the arches along Grant Road. However, the vision supported by the officers is wrongly addressing many issues. Continue reading

Local Plan: Site Allocations: CJ1 ASDA, LIDL and Boots sites, Falcon Lane, SW11

Author: Cyril Richert

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Falcon Lane area – Google Map

This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.

CJ1 ASDA, LIDL and Boots sites, Falcon Lane, SW11

The site allocation is poorly detailed and we regret that no previous community engagement response was considered when redacting this section. As the Battersea Society noticed: “the new site allocation largely repeats the 2016 version” (not even considering the comments and criticisms made by societies and communities at that moment). Community Forum Lavender Hill For Me said the same: “the current allocation seems to have changed little in recent years and merits significantly more thought“.

Lavender Hill For Me  wrote: 

“This is probably the only major site allocation in Clapham Junction town centre that is near certain to see some redevelopment during the lifetime of this Local Plan – given that Boots’ lease expires and the site had been quietly marketed, Lidl is already exploring redevelopment options, and Asda has recently changed ownership to a more property-focussed business with substantial debt overheads to address.”

The lack of connection with the town centre is mentioned but no proposal is formally made to remedy. The document says there are elements which detract from the sense of place, “creating the need for a strategy which will conserve key characteristics which contribute to the sense of place, notably the historic, modestly scaled shop terraces, and landmark buildings” and we fail to understand how that translate into the vision for the site.

No consideration is given to the fact that the core area of Clapham Junction, including the station, is currently the heart of a conservation area. Continue reading

Local Plan: Site Allocations: CJ2 Clapham Junction Station Approach, SW11

Author: Cyril Richert

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This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.

CJ2 Clapham Junction Station Approach, SW11

No noticeable change on this section in comparison to what was written in the previous plan in 2016. Some work has recently been encouraged to redevelop the whole station, including decking on part of the tracks and high buildings on top. The scale of the redevelopment could be larger than recent developments on London Bridge, and the Battersea Society believes that “Government support for such a development is uncertain“.

However, the lack of near future development should not detract the Council to promote immediate improvements for the area, especially work on Falcon Bridge.

Falcon Bridge

The Battersea Society note:

“The tunnel under (sic) Falcon Road is expected to be made more pedestrian friendly. This is mentioned again under CJ2 and CJ3; but nowhere in the Plan is it stated how this is to be achieved.”

CJAG dedicated a full article on the issue (and gave ideas HERE) a few years ago, maybe officers could have talked to us?

Continue reading

Local Plan: Site Allocations: CJ3 Land on the corner of Grant Road and Falcon Road, SW11

Author: Cyril Richert

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Protected area for Crossrail up to 2030 … just where the Council is planning to locate a cluster of towers.

This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.

CJ3 Land on the corner of Grant Road and Falcon Road, SW11

There has been no development in this area since the previous 2015 Local Plan, if we except the additional storey built on both the properties at the corner of Grant Road and Flacon Road.

Bramlands site

The current vision presented by the Council is to build a cluster of very tall building on the location. Continue reading

Local Plan: Site Allocations: CJ4 Land at Clapham Junction Station, SW11

Author: Cyril Richert

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Clapham Junction Station – Concept proposal

This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.

CJ4 Land at Clapham Junction Station, SW11

It is worth mentioning that a concept proposal was published in 2019 for the full redevelopment of Clapham Junction station and wider area. The plans were developed by consultants Mott MacDonald, contractor Laing O’Rourke and architect Hawkins Brown, and is at this early stage more of a concept of how things could look, rather than the final masterplan of what will be built, according to the well informed ianVisits blog. Continue reading