Author: Cyril Richert
The ‘preferred option’ for improving the Winstanley and York Road estates will be on display at York Gardens Library in early February. The exhibitions will present the development option which received the greatest level of local support and will show how residents’ feedback has been used to develop the design.
The exhibitions will be at York Gardens Library on:
- Saturday, 8 February: 12pm to 3pm
- Monday, 10 February: 5pm to 8pm
- Wednesday, 12 February: 10am to 1pm
During October and November 2013, the Council has presented four different improvement proposals for the Winstanley and York Road estates and asked for views on their relative pros and cons.
Some issues on the consultation responses
Without knowing what will be the preferred option displayed next week, we know that the council wrote that “exhibitions will present the development option which received the greatest level of local support“. On the exhibition on 23rd November 2013, they showed that Option 3 (greater change) was supported by 56% of respondents (15% for option 2, 13% for option 1 and 125 for only refurbishment).
However it does not reflect properly the level of support for each part of the plan (Winstanley estate/York Estate/Near the station). Latchmere ward councillor Simon Hogg pointed out a series of issues in his blog (quotes in italic):
- Council “tenants are more in favour of the plans than leaseholders, as they are guaranteed a new flat in the local area.”
- “Most of the votes for widespread demolition come from council tenants in the York Road estate slab blocks.“
- “Homeowners may feel the system is unfair if the votes of tenants in a block 200 metres away leads to the demolition of their house.“
- “Leaseholders are offered the value of their property plus 10%“. However with a 1 bedroom flat reaching £400k in Clapham Junction, it certainly mean that they will have to live somewhere else if they want to buy a new home.
- “There are some residents in Ganley Court who are dead-set against the regeneration. Indeed even if you give them what their three bedroom house with a garden five minutes from Clapham Junction is now worth, they simply won’t be able to buy another similar property in the area“.
Station piazza, amount offered to home owners, level of social housing… those are some issues that the plan needs to address
Is station piazza plan considered for tall buildings?
Although the Council focuses currently solely on the residents of the Winstanley and York estates, their plan includes for each option the same redevelopment of the area near Falcon bridge. And no notice of consultation has been sent to residents living outside of the estates.
We have been discussing with the project team during a session at the York Library and have expressed our worries that – although we understand that this is a series of draft proposal – architects are in the view that more towers are suitable in Clapham Junction Town Centre.
Again, local residents that have continuously expressed their dislike of tall buildings around Clapham Junction seem to be ignored.
Amount offered to home owners is not enough to relocate in the area
Council tenants will be offered an alternative home on a social rent within the new development or in the local area. Resident leaseholders and freeholders will be offered the market value of your property, plus 10% (or 7.5% if they are not residents). More information on this page.
However, if you take the example of Ganley Court, the owners of houses who could be offered about £300k for their properties, will not be able to buy any 2/3 bedroom house/flat for that amount in the area (a 2 bed-flat example here for sale at £725k) and would have to leave Clapham Junction or forced to take on additional mortgage. As one resident said, being ill and 70 year old make it impossible for him to get a mortgage.
Everyone should be entitled to a fair deal. If they have to leave their property in order to allow the redevelopment, they should be able to be able to reallocate nearby. with a similar standard of living. The much needed estate regeneration shouldn’t be made at the expense of the private owners who have lived in the community for a while.
What will be the level of social houses when finished?
Another concern is the level of social housing that will be allocated to the redevelopment. At the moment, the council has got about 700 social dwellings which are proposed to be demolished. With the developers planning to build up to 2000 units, what will be the final quota?
If the developers stick to the 30% level of affordable accommodation, they do not need to provide a single extra social unit after redevelopment. While Wandsworth is desperately needing more social homes, is it the solution in favour by the Council?
What community infrastructure?
A new leisure centre is planned within the redevelopment. However we have been told that at the same time, the current leisure centre located the other side of Plough road could be demolished and redeveloped as residential.
If this is the case, the other leisure centre should be included in the economic viability calculation of the overall plan.
We need to have all those concerns in mind when we go to visit the exhibition and talk to the team in charge of the redevelopment plan.