Concept proposal unveiled for the full redevelopment of Clapham Junction station and wider area

Author: Cyril Richert & David CurranThe architectural practice Hawkins\Brown (the architect which designed the new Peabody estate on St John’s Hill) has unveiled last week their vision for Clapham Junction’s future. Their website reports work on a vision for the future of Clapham Junction, examining how an integrated approach to development can offer significant benefits to both the station and the wider Battersea area. Continue reading

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What about an automatic planning report generator?

Author: Cyril Richert

Yes, as many of you spotted, yesterday’s publication was of course specific to April fool’s day (the clue was in the date!)

However, independently of Wandsworth Council, we have analysed dozen of planning reports on major schemes and found many similarities used to dismiss objections. Words such as “on balance“, “landmark“, “benefits outweigh harm” seem to have been used, without moderation, to justify any possible scheme. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: Wandsworth is using an AUTOMATIC planning report generator to save time and money!

Author: Cyril Richert

Exclusive revelation today by the Clapham Junction Action Group: Wandsworth Council is using an automatic tool to generate planning reports!

The information has been leaked by internal sources: in order to save time and money to reach decisions that have already been made behind closed doors by members of the cabinet, Wandsworth Council has set up an automatic planning report generator to be used by planning officers on some major strategic schemes.

Winstanley Estate Regeneration in parliament

Author: Cyril Richert


House of Commons – Friday 22 March 2019
Marsha De Cordova MP (Battersea, Labour)

Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea, secured a debate on Winstanley Estate Regeneration on March, 22nd (Citation: HC Deb, 22 March 2019, c1433).

There are interesting comments, mostly about the lack of social units in the scheme (currently council houses representing the majority of homes on the estate, while of the proposed 2,000 extra homes, just three will be council homes), while Wandsworth Council has nearly 7,000 families on its housing waiting list, and that the Council is accused of promoting “social engineering” within the Winstanley and York Road estates. We also learn that last year, 90% of the houses built in the borough were unaffordable private homes, while less than 3% were council homes.

Unfortunately Rishi Sunak, Under-Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, refused to comment on the case and instead made a general statement about the government priority to build more affordable homes (missing the point raised about specifically social housing – not 80% of private market rent or shared-equity schemes) and praising the Tory leadership of Wandsworth.

You will find below a full transcript of the debate, with some specific parts highlighted when we found it appropriate (video is available HERE). Continue reading

Wandsworth’s cash machine: the Council is collecting as much as all the adjoining boroughs together!

Author: Cyril Richert

With all the new developments in Clapham Junction, but also in other parts of the borough (Nine Elms of course) you may wonder if there is an incentive for the borough. No need to keep in suspense, the answer is yes. We have carried out a thorough comparison with neighbouring boroughs and Wandsworth is actually crushing the competition! Continue reading

How a 6-storey vision can become a 14-storey tower through the planning process

Author: Cyril Richert

Last May was approved a new development in York Road for a part 5, 9, 11, 13 and 14 storey providing 82 residential units (with only 7 car parking spaces and 145 cycle parking spaces located at basement level). [p.a. 2017/5818].

Advertised as a 6-storey building potential

It is interesting to see that, at the time the proposed plot was advertised, the potential development was however very different: a 6 storey building, with 39 apartments (9 affordable) with terrace or balcony and retail premises on the ground floor. The 0.25-acre site was acquired by IP Global in 2015 and proposed for sale in January 2017 for £7,250,000.

6 storey building, with 39 apartments

Continue reading

Consultation on draft Local Plan: response from Societies and CJAG

Author: Cyril Richert

You’re joking. NOT ANOTHER ONE?! Oh for God’s sake, I can’t, honestly – I can’t stand this” could have been the response when Wandsworth Council asked again for Societies and Community groups to take part of one of their global planning consultations. However, only 1 month after the Consultation on community involvement submitted in January, we responded again.

The Council has consulted on its draft Local Plan issues for eight weeks starting at the beginning of December (ending February 6th 2019). As expressed by many other groups and Societies at the Planning Forum meeting on January 23rd, it was a very tight deadline for such consultation. However the Battersea Society and  the Putney Society managed to submit their contribution at the beginning of February, and CJAG submitted on February 15th.

Both CJAG and the Battersea Society said that it was particularly difficult to be requested to comment with only a digital copy of a complex 76-page document (click HERE to download), without receiving a hard copy that could be more easily flipped through and annotated before drafting a response. The Battersea Society said:

“The lack of hard copies for civic societies who now, and in the past, have spent a considerable amount of time providing input to Wandsworth Council on these and many other documents is an added minor irritant”

and CJAG wrote:

“It is obvious that this process, with the apparent aim of saving little money, is not encouraging a democratic consultation.”

The Local Plan submitted for consultation was made of 98 questions that the Council wished to receive input on. We are displaying some of the comments from the Community groups below, with a link to download the full response each time. Continue reading