Author: Cyril Richert
The Mayor of London has confirmed on Tuesday the decision to grant permission for the redevelopment of the Peabody estate at Clapham Junction.
The report written by the Planning Officer at the London Town Hall considers that
“all issues raised at consultation stage with respect to housing, mix of uses, inclusive access, sustainable development and transport have been resolved and the application now accords with the London plan”
List of representations
As the report lists all the responses to the consultation, it is interesting to see (I quote the sentences directly from the report):
- 4 representations supported the redevelopment; 336 raised an objection to the development; and 2 provided comments.
- Peabody Estate Tenant’s association expressed support.
- The 3 Northcote ward councillors stated that the application should be refused (based on the current plan).
- Victorian Society raised an objection with respect to the loss of the Victorian lodge buildings.
- CJAG raised objections (yes you probably know here).
- Wandsworth Society raised objections.
- Wandsworth Green Party raised objections.
- Wandsworth Conservation Area Advisory Committee (chaired by Cllr Vanessa Graham who approved the scheme) raised an objection with respect to scale and massing and respect to context.
In addition, submitted directly to the Mayor:
- Councillor Martin Johnson, writing also on behalf of Councillors Peter Dawson and Councillor Jennie Brown, members of the Northcote Ward, provided a summary of issues raised previously to Wandsworth Council.
- CJAG reiterated its previous objection to the application and provided a twelve page report, together with various appendices.
Conclusion comes in point 58, page 10:
“The statutory and non-statutory responses to the Council’s consultation, and those representations made directly to the Mayor, do not raise material planning issues of strategic importance that have not already been considered at consultation stage, and/or in this report.“
It is interesting to see that as the reports considers that there is no sound planning reason for the Mayor to take over this application, it therefore strongly underlines the expenses arising from an appeal should the Mayor direct refusal.
You can download the additional representation made by CJAG HERE. You will see that Peabody has also mislead the Council by under-stating the reduction in the number of social housing units, from 353 to 220 (or even 278 classifieds as affordable) and providing misleading calculation to show a massive increase, mixing gross and net internal area figures! We have recalculated all floorspace and summarized in tables.
You can download the final decision signed by Boris Johnson HERE.
Some Councillors expressed strong rejection after they received several emails of residents expressing their deception. I was told that naming and shaming was out of place. Following the decision of 6 members of the committee there were however 2 possibilities:
- Going back home, having a cup of tea and forgetting forever the consideration that was given to the resident of Clapham Junction. And as it is useless to make any complain, not to bother and accept our fate once for all.
- Considering that the decision makers should not be able to ignore the community and rest peacefully thinking that all of that does not matter and will soon be forgotten.
I personally took the second decision and addressed each single “approver”. Planning decisions are the biggest (greatest or worst) decisions that a Council might take. Unlike pavements that can be mended quickly, a property development is going to stand for 1, 2 or 3 generations. Regeneration can change an area for the best… or the worst! Councillors stand for election with their name, not anonymously on a list. Why should they not be held accountable for their actions once elected?
That said, Delancey has launched a process asking architects to submit plans for redeveloping the location at Clapham Junction station. Beside Peabody, the Territorial Army might be redeveloped next year. Do you really think there is any point in commenting at the time of the consultations for those plans?
That is a genuine question… please fill the comment box.