Nine Elms: hubris and complacent Council leads to obscenity

Author: Cyril RIchert

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A visualisation of the 10th-storey Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens – Photograph: Ballymore/Rex/Shutterstock

The idea looked like a April fool joke but as we were April 28th, it was most likely one of the latest idiocy that architects have been experimenting in Nine Elms, which has become for some years (thanks to Wandsworth Council) a play field for their ego. The Wandsworth Guardian reported that the world’s first floating sky pool was set to open in south west London very soon:

“The pool, located between two blocks of flats in Nine Elms, is transparent and offers views of London’s skyline. […] The 25-metre long pool will allow exclusive Embassy Garden members to swim between the two blocks of apartments. “

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Parma Crescent: Councillors complacent to developers’ tactics

Author: Cyril Richert

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We wrote to each individual person and sent the simple summary to arrive in their inbox on Friday to try to reduce the risk of them taking a lazy political group decision. All in vain” was the reaction of one of the Parma Crescent’s resident after the decision from Wandsworth Planning Application Committee to grant planning permission by 8 votes in favour (including 2 Labour Councillors) to two against.

Following a good introductory five minutes speech from the local ward councillor, Jonathan Cook, explaining the residents’ concerns, it was quickly obvious that the Conservatives Councillors were in favour of the developer’s tactic to maximise their profit and ignore the local residents. What was more surprising is that two Labour Councillors joined the Tory supporters in this shameful decision. Continue reading

What is the future of video meetings in Wandsworth?

Author: Cyril Richert

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One year ago started the first lockdown in England due to the spread of Covid cases. From that date, the usage of video-conference tools exploded: Zoom meetings for home schooling, Microsoft Teams to maintain communication in companies, Google Meet, but also Houseparty and many other similar tools to keep in touch with friends and love ones. All around the country, Councils had to adapt in an unprecedent move to not only continue functioning on a day-to-day basis, but allow the necessity scrutiny that forms part of the local democracy, with online committee meetings, publicly accessible.

In this unprecedented event, the government gave permission to hold such meetings in virtual mode. Unfortunately, the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 runs out on 6 May 2021, and the government has decided not to extend the emergency permission (arguing that it would require primary legislation, and the parliament has other priorities in the context). Indoor meetings will be permitted from 17 May, as per Government’s roadmap. Continue reading

Peabody scheme to change again for phase 3

Authors: Cyril Richert & Jacqui Bowers

20210418_174640More than ten years after the initial scheme was approved by Wandsworth Council (with a lot of controversy, as officers mislead the committee and the vast majority of the local community was totally opposed to what was considered as too massive, bulky and over-development!), Peabody might be thinking about starting the third and final phase of their redevelopment. But that won’t happen before a revision of the current approved scheme as a new partner has come onboard. Continue reading

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) ”

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