Peabody Development: the Wandsworth Society meeting

Author: Cyril Richert

Amendment has been made to the original plan in order to reduce the size of one of the building. The building in front of Wandsworth Common has been reduced from 10 to 6 storeys following a request from the Council planning officers.

On Thursday 19th January, a meeting was organised by the Wandsworth Society in order to discuss the plans to redevelop the Peabody estate. Richard Stanway-Williams (Peabody – Project Leader) presented the proposal with a brief history of Peabody (2012 is the 150th anniversary of the Peabody Donation Fund established by George Peabody, an American Philanthropist).

Due to the new government criteria for estates, Peabody must repair/redevelop some of its estates, including Clapham Junction. After looking at the options of refurbishment/repair, it was decided that the only viable solution was a full redevelopment of the estate.

Richard explained that the aim of the proposal is to break-down the barrier with the rest of the neighbourhood and create an open development. The new plan is based on more different and larger units, from 12 storeys stepping down to 4. The building dedicated to community services should host Peabody’s offices and a reception room for the estate.

The size of the dwellings has been increased in line with the new London design’s guidelines. One bedroom flat previously 40 sqm will be 50 sqm; a flat with 2 bedrooms will be 70sqm (prev. 5 sqm) and 3 bedrooms will be 95sqm (prev. 70sqm).

Peabody organised an exhibition in November 2011 (about 150 people attended according to their numbers) and following the consultation they received a lot of feedback and emails, Richard said.

Their plan included a planning application in February 2012. But we are now at the end of March and it is likely that the process will be delayed (the planning appliation was meant to be received on Tuesday 20th March, but nothing came by the end of the day, Councillors told us). The original schedule was:

  1. January: consultation
  2. February 2012: Planning Application
  3. Late Spring 2012: Planning Consent
  4. End of 2012: Start
  5. 2018/19: Completion (although it is more likely to be after 2020!)

The earliest date for the proposal to go before the planning committee is June 21st. But it is likely to slip to July 18th or even Autumn 2012.

The biggest announcement of the meeting was actually a change in the size of the building facing Wandsworth Common. Originally with 10 storeys, Richard Stanway-Williams explained that it was reduced to 6 storeys following a request during discussions with Wandsworth planning officers.

During the time for questions, I asked specifically why the local residents are not offered the same consideration (as we were told at numerous time that any size reduction will compromise the viability of the project). Richard answered that “at the end of the day, the officers are the one to be convinced in order to get a planning application“. As honest or cynical as it can be, the officers will only give a recommendation; it will be up to the Councillors, in charge of representing the interest of the residents, to approve of refuse the plan.

There is an additional change in discussion regarding the Community Centre: the facility could be moved to an existing building in order to leave a bigger open square.

Some concern was also expressed regarding the increase of population and the need for school space. A question was asked regarding the preservation of the old Victorian lodges, but as they are not listed Peabody decided not to keep them in order to achieve the full redevelopment, Richard explained. Another point not answered was questioning the choice of multiple choice of material, instead of keeping a single style for all the estate.

Last but not least, a new name should be proposed for the estate, currently called Clapham. Battersea? The Junction (as per the current branding campaign started by the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership)?

***

You can also read our other articles:

We encourage anyone to send their message (and feel free to copy us/post it in our contact box):

Peabody Trust:

Email: clapham.development@peabody.org.uk
Post: Richard Stanway-Williams, Peabody,
45 Westminster Bridge Rd, London, SE1 7JB

It is important also that you copy the Northcote Ward councillors in any correspondence:

You should also send any representation and comment to members of the planning committee:

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