Within the 30 about letters from supporters for the current planning proposal including the two skyscrapers beside Clapham Junction station (10% of all representations sent to the Council), only a some use more than a few words to justify their opinion.
Amongst the reasons the most often raised, I can cite:
“This is once in a life time opportunity, if the plans are not supported we will face years of continued dreadful conditions at the station”
We cannot be categoric on this, in either way actually. But we know as a fact that Network rail has committed to some station improvement, including “straightening of platforms 14 to 17 and lengthening of all platforms is proposed to facilitate train lengthening. In addition the provision of additional passenger capacity and improved access by rafting over the station and providing a new entrance to the station” (Network Rail’s Strategic Plan) and in addition the extension of the East London Line (that could reach Clapham Junction by 2015-2018) requires it as the station is already running at capacity.
On the other hand, with the current crisis and the financial difficulties of the developers, the already 3 years of works, noise, lorries, dust could not happen before a while. The developers, once granted the permission, can stand on it and do nothing for 5 years; it will be always time for them at a later stage to even sell it to others for a bigger profit with the right to build skyscrapers in the vicinity.
“Clapham Junction will be an important interchange into London during the 2012 Olympics, we need to follow the theme of regeneration and provide stimulus“.
Same reason as above, there is no guarantee than anything will happen for 2012 with the green light for the planning proposal. Actually the better chance is that the planning application is refused, therefore forcing Network rail to act and start the improvements that it has committed on and are currently being delayed.
“Station overcrowded; redevelopment will ease the misery , bring life and vibrancy“.
There are a lot of other ways to explore. First the shops and local business are not happy at all with the planning proposal. As shown here, the Falcon has raised good objections, along with PCS (employing 240 employees in the Falcon House, job which will be destroyed if the planning go ahead such as). We also submitted an alternative planning as example of other suggestions.
“I have some hope than buildings will be reduce by half”
Er… then you need to oppose the planning, because supporting it means you are in favour of the two 42-storey tower blocks.
“the two residential towers fit perfectly with the surroundings“.
Here the one supporter (there is only one supporter stating it in his letter) seems to agree with the Mayor of London who said the towers are “attractive city elements contributing positively to the London skyline” (comments coming from the man who, before his election, vowed to put a stop to Ken’s ‘phallocratic towers’ and claimed that the previous Mayor was intent on ‘wrecking London’s skyline’).
Allow us, as for the majority of the 350 people who objected, to disagree and state that the towers will overwhelm the existing community, and will be of inappropriate form, size, height, design, materials and appearance with our neighbourhood of Victorian and low rise developments.
“benefits of improving access to the station , shopping facilities and job creation outweight the disadvantages“.
First the improvement of the station is not linked with the towers (despite what the developers and the Council want us to believe) as many changes have already been budgeted by Network Rail such as lifts, platform, access. Second, with the 240 job loss of PCS and the few others from the Windsor Castle pub, the balance is unlikely to be positive in term of job creation.
Last but not least, the disadvantages are enormous disadvantages which would have consequences on the all area for 50 years at least damaging the vicinity maybe forever.