Author: Cyril Richert
An appeal (p.a. 2014/7103) has been lodged at the beginning of July by the developers against Wandsworth Planning Application Committee’s decision to refuse their plan to redevelop 98 York Road with a podium and buildings up to 17 storeys.
While the appellant are asking for an inquiry, the procedure will be determined by the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with Section 319A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
In addition, the developers have launched a new application (p.a. 2015/3960 screening exercise stage only this time) for a similar scheme (in bold are exact similar terms in both applications – spot the difference):
EIA Screening Opinion application for: Demolition of existing buildings and erection of buildings up to 17-storeys (three-storey podium with 14-storey, 10-storey, 6-storey and 5 storey towers) to provide car showroom and garage/workshop (Sui Generis) on ground, second and third floors (circa 9,000sq.m. GEA) and 173 residential units above (13,400sq.m. GEA). A basement car park would provide 87 vehicle parking spaces and 184 cycle spaces. (Screening Opinion Application)
As a reminder, previous application 2014/7103 was proposing:
Erection of a mixed-use development up to 17-storeys to provide car showroom and workshop on ground, first and second floors and 192 residential units (basement car park would provide residents with 87 vehicle and 200 cycle parking spaces + parking spaces for customers on ground floor).
Overall the main difference is a small decrease of residential units (from 192 to now 173) and increase of cycle space (from 184 to now 200).
We fail to understand the need for such a screening opinion while a very similar plan was refused by the Council and while the developers are already appealing on the rejection.
However we also note that the Council approved a scheme of several buildings up to 21 storey next door (198 York Road), which undoubtedly weaken the arguments used to justify the rejection, as they were saying :
“proposed massing and design by reason of the density of the development would constitute an unneighbourly form of development that would result in an unacceptable level of harm to the amenities of the occupants of neighbouring properties through overlooking and loss of privacy”
It seems that the main reason why the Conservative members approved one scheme and rejected the other is that developers of 98 York Road were not
cynical ingenious enough to offer the relocation of an asset similar to the Royal Academy of Dance (of course some would say also that as it was presented before the May general election, Tory councillors did not want to alienate the voters…), which would have been the key element, in their views, to ignore all breach of policy, objections of neighbourhood and harm to the amenities.
The screening exercise has now turned into a proper planning application 2015/5308:
Demolition of existing buildings. Erect mixed-use development up to 17 storeys (3 storey podium with 14, 10, 6 and 5 storey buildings above) to provide car showroom and workshop on GF, FF and 2F and 173 residential units above (inc. affordable housing).
This is a rehash of the scheme turned down by the Committee against the officers’ recommendation.