Proposal for a new extension for Lidl

Author: Cyril Richert

Lidl_2020Lidl is planning an extension of its current store in Clapham Junction, with a part extension of the roof and changes in the car park, with new electric charging points.

Planning Application 2021/0859 has been submitted last months to apply for an extension of the current store. This is a minor extension, with the main purpose of adding a single storey on most of the roof and include the current outside area with trolleys to the inside of the sales area. The alteration will redesign the current roof, with most of the current height being used as the new first floor. Further back close to the railway will be located a block with a second floor. The current proposal include the car park reconfiguration with cycle storage along the Falcon Lane façade of the building and two electric vehicle charging points. Continue reading

Does Wandsworth lie about its record of affordable housing provision?

Author Cyril Richert

Wandsworth officers in charge of the draft Local Plan write:

“There is a strong record of affordable housing provision in the borough with 885 new affordable homes delivered between 2016/17 and 2018/19.”

For any observant of Wandsworth planning approval in recent years, this statement seems to contradict the general perception of the local trend. Even the Mayor of London seemed to think that Wandsworth was not meeting it’s target on affordability. In 2018, officers told us that, although they were not prepared when this topic was challenged by the Mayor of London to justify approval for the Homebase-Swandon Way scheme, they since double checked figures and found the borough meets its target (in general terms).

Reality is: it’s not true! Wandsworth has missed 4 out of 5 times its global target Continue reading

Hotel proposal for Arding and Hobbs revealed

Author: Cyril Richert

Artist impression of Hotel’s proposal

The property owner of Arding and Hobbs has submitted a proposal for a new 22 storeys hotel tower on top of the iconic building.

According to the developers:

” The proposal represents a unique opportunity to make more efficient use of land surrounding the station for commercial development, including new offices and retail. The new stylish landmark development will deliver major benefits to the community.”

On the Council’s portal the scheme is presented as:

“Redevelopment of the site to provide a mixed use development in buildings ranging in height between 7 and 22 storeys plus basement, to provide a 289 -bedroom hotel with 1158 sq.m. of retail use (class A1), 64 sq.m. of cafe/restaurant use (class A3), 1519 sq.m. of office use (class B1), and 146 sq.m. of community floorspace (class D1) ”

Continue reading

Has Wandsworth done a good job in drafting the new Local Plan?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Local Plan examination – Hearing session 8th July 2015

CJAG has submitted a response to the consultation on the draft Local Plan for Wandsworth. We found the new local plan to be quite disorganised, with some striking misleading parts with political bias. But most importantly, although the team of officers worked for 2 years on the document (giving us 8 weeks to review it!), the site specific analyses are lacking major details, not taking into account local context and some important sites have just been ignored. Continue reading

You see the trees on developers drawing? Now you don’t see them in real life!

Author: Cyril Richert

A Picture (actually 3 here) is worth a thousand words, so here is a good illustration of what happens currently in the area with new developments.

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Protest in York Gardens: end of the tree?

Author: Cyril Richert

Half of the tree has been cut, then the company in charge left – credit: CJAG

Following the occupation of a huge and old black poplar tree in York Gardens to prevent developers to cut it down, the police came in force on Friday 12th March to remove Bradley, the last occupier.

They started to cut the tree immediately after but the company in charge decided to stop and refused to carry on with the work. Continue reading

Protesters are derailing Council’s plan for Winstanley & York Road estate redevelopment

Author: Cyril Richert

Tree protectors are currently occupying York Gardens in order to force the Council to review their plans to redevelop the whole Winstanley and York Road estates.

On Wednesday 3 March at 12pm, tree protector Marcus, who has become the most recognisable face of York Gardens tree protest, came down from the 100 (50 or 80)-year-old black poplar tree he has been living in for 10 days. Continue reading

Planning Forum meeting 20th January 2021

Author: Cyril Richert

Planning Forum on Team Meeting – 20/01/2021

The biannual planning forum, the informal information sharing group organised by the Council for community representatives, was again organised on video-call, due to the current Covid restrictions. Although not ideal, it allows for a good level of participation and works well. A large part of the agenda was dedicated to the draft Local Plan, and therefore, we will only focus on the matter in this article. Continue reading

Déjà vu: The Winstanley and York Road regeneration plans in trouble

Author: Cyril Richert

The Winstanley and York Road regeneration plan is running out of funding even before they start phase 1. The proposed solution is to defer the leisure centre (and the controversial 32 storey tower) to concentrate on smaller towers (up to 19 storeys!). The good news is that Council had the opportunity to acquire an additional 115 shared ownership units to be converted into Council units to assist the decant of existing buildings.

The Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet on Thursday 11th February. The original meeting on January 20th was postponed and rumours of financial difficulties on the Winstanley and York Road project began to spread. It seems likely that the postponing of the meeting was needed to finalise a review of the project and draft new proposals. In his latest newsletter, Labour Cllr Tony Belton wrote:

“All was going well until on the 29th January we were warned that the Council’s partner in the Joint Venture project, Taylor Wimpey, is having difficulties raising the necessary finance. As a result, there will need to be a quick review of the project and of the timing of fundamental phases of the building work.”

The agenda of the Committee meeting reveals indeed that there is a major item dedicated to the estate regeneration scheme (paper No. 21-46). Continue reading