Author: Cyril Richert
In the decision made by the Secretary of State for Communities to refuse the Ram Brewery development (read our article here) he also agreed on planning permission for the smaller development of Copken House site (beside the Ram Brewery), subject to review of section 106.
The Secretary of State has decided to grant planning permission for demolition of all existing buildings and the erection of 5-16 storey buildings plus basement, made up of
- a 5-storey building to the rear stepping up;
- a 10-storey building along Buckhold Road;
- a 4-storey element;
- 16-storey tower facing King George’s Park;
- a new pedestrian route to Hardwick’s Square;
- the provision of 207 flats, 1010 sq m of commercial space including shops, community uses, offices, bars and restaurants;
- the provision of underground parking for 78 vehicles and 206 cycles, on a site at Cockpen House, 20-30 Buckhold Way, Wandsworth, London SW18 4WW.
The Secretary of State said that, although the proposed scheme is not in accordance with those development plan policies which deal with the provision of affordable housing, and is also in conflict with national policy in this respect, he considered that the scheme would meet policy objectives relating to sustainable development and regeneration both in terms of local UDP policies and the London Plan. It would provide a significant quantity of high-quality, well-designed housing, and would contribute to the developing character and the regeneration of this part of the town centre.
He gives weight to the benefits offered by the s. 106 agreement, which include contributions to improvements in local transport and open space.
Regarding improvement of Wandsworth Town station, the redevelopment was already approved in August 2010, so well ahead of this decision. However it included a part stating that : “the scheme would be funded by Network Rail, South West Trains and the council has secured contributions from local developers as a condition of their planning consents (section 106)“. We wonder whether it was including the Copken House planning decision and if not, where is the money allocated with the SoS approval going now?
He has also agreed with the Inspector’s recommendation that the Cockpen House site does not front directly onto the gyratory system and its redevelopment is not necessary in highway planning terms. Therefore the gyratory contribution has not been shown to be necessary in terms of the amenity of future residents, or for any other planning reason.