21 storey tower at Homebase site could become 24 or 25

Author: Cyril Richert

Developers are now seeking permission to build up 3 more storeys on top of their towers and platform to reach 24 storeys (in fact 25 with the size of the podium) and provide 299 residential units (up from 21 storeys and 254 units).

While the Council approved planning application 2015/0881 to demolish Homebase on 198 York Road, and replace by 6, 7, 9, 11 and 21 storeys to provide 254 residential units (read our article > HERE), developers are now submitting numerous changes to their initial plans.

They took advantage of the Summer period to submit a Screening Opinion (p.a. 2017/3699) request for the erection of 3 buildings (2 x 8 storeys and 1 “up to 24 storeys” + basement) to provide 299 residential units; followed (as obviously they did not get any objection by the deadline of 08/08) on August 8th by a full planning application 2017/4380 requesting:

Erection of a podium building with three buildings above (providing part 2, 6, 8, 11 and 24 storeys plus basement level) to provide 299 residential units including affordable and market housing, with circa 5,943 sq m of Class D1 education space, including 537 sq m of associated Class A3/A4 café and drinking establishment space…. etc.

Funny enough, the council’s website said that comments must be provided until 31/07/2017.

In Wandsworth, thanks for commenting before the application is even registered!

A farce? Step by step modification in order to get approval for a controversial plan

If you were looking for approval for a massive development, likely to cause scrutiny, what would be the best option? Surely flooding the system with multiple amendments would be a good option as this would result on:

  1. detracting most objection comments from the public, unable to focus on all changes;
  2. minimising changes in view of previous approvals and passing easily the Planning Application Committee scrutiny (variation of condition may be approved by officers under delegation of power).

See the list of main modifications below (we don’t display numerous applications on details such as drainage, demolition management, etc) :

  1. p.a. 2015/0881 registered 03/03/2015: Podium building with three buildings above (providing part 6, 7, 9, 11 and 21 storeys plus basement level) to provide 254 residential units. >> APPROVED 14/07/2015
  2. p.a. 2016/5747 registered 11/10/2016: Variation of condition: increase in residential units from 254 to 275 and proposal to include a dance academy … etc >> APPROVED 14/12/2016
  3. p.a. 2017/3699 registered 18/07/2017: Screening opinion request for the erection of 3 buildings (2 x 8 storeys and 1 “up to 24 storeys” + basement) and an adjoining podium level, to provide 299 residential units … etc
  4. p.a. 2017/3886 registered 25/07/2017: Variation of condition: reduction in size of Blocks A and B; Changes to the ground and first floor podium façade; Changes to the façade on Block C … etc.
  5. p.a. 2017/4380 registered 08/08/2017: Erection of a podium building with three buildings above (providing part 2, 6, 8, 11 and 24 storeys plus basement level) to provide 299 residential… etc.

If it is a joke, I doubt that local residents will find it funny…


UPDATE 23/03/2019: As expected, we are reaching at least 24 storeys!

Not only Wandsworth Council is known for approving planning applications in breach of local policies, but developers can be confident that the size of their scheme can be increased nearly un-noticed through mutiple planning applications (see below).

From the initial screening application 2015/0231 registered 19/01/2015 with a 20 storey-tower, to p.a. 2017/4380 registered 08/08/2017 for 24 storeys plus basement level, it took 4 years to see the actual size being erected.

198 York Road under construction reaching 24 storeys (storeys are numbered in blue: 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 being erected)

There are currently 18 planning applications for the site from 2015/0881 to 2018/5903 (with the first 5-7 regarding major amendments to the scheme) and still going on….

  1. 2015/0881
  2. 2015/7275
  3. 2017/3318
  4. 2017/3370
  5. 2017/3699
  6. 2017/3886
  7. 2017/4380
  8. 2017/4941
  9. 2018/1376
  10. 2018/1380
  11. 2018/1381
  12. 2018/1653
  13. 2018/3659
  14. 2018/4105
  15. 2018/4797
  16. 2018/4802
  17. 2018/4857
  18. 2018/5903
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