Up to 25 storey buildings to replace Homebase near Wandsworth roundabout

Author: Cyril Richert

ProposalSeveral building, including a 25 storey tower, are proposed at the current site of Homebase, Swanden Way, near Wandsworth bridge roundabout.

Application 2015/3304 describes the proposal as a scoping exercise (i.e. not a formal planning permission application at the moment):

“Demolition of the existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a mixed use scheme including 450 residential units , retail units, offices and associated community facilities, cycle and car parking (within buildings ranging from 10 to 25 storeys) and public realm improvements.”

As usual now in Wandsworth, you won’t be surprise to hear that the Site Specific Allocation Document (part of Wandsworth Borough Local Plan, reflecting the borough statutory policies and guidelines for planning development) has got a section dedicated to the site (p132) saying:

Tall buildings: In accordance with Core Strategy Policy IS3d, tall buildings in this location are likely to be inappropriate. In accordance with DMPD Policy DMS4, the height at which a development in this location will be considered to be tall is 9 storeys.

Ah ah ah! As for recent applications in Lombard Road or York Road, developers are now ignoring completely that policy and submit 14, 17, 21,25, 28 or 30 storeys without batting an eye.

The Proposal as received more than 40 objections so far and no support. Beside the massing and the size of the development, the most frequent critic is on the pressure created on Wandsworth Town Railway Station that has already major difficulties to respond to the pressure of commuters at peak hours.

As the planning officers are currently recommending for approval any major scheme in the area, our only hope of recovering some sense of reality will probably rely on the Councillors members of the Planning Application Committee if such scheme comes before them.

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