Author: Cyril Richert
Peabody is presenting their revised scheme for the redevelopment of the site in St John’s Hill. The new plan include additional height on several building: two buildings will have one single storey added and two others will have 2 single storeys added.
It follows the news in December 2016 that the estimated build cost for Phase 2 had increased significantly and therefore all construction has stopped, while Peabody is looking at amendments and a new planning application.
The building in the centre of the site will now be used for extra-care units (Wandsworth Council urged Peabody to provide the facility as soon as possible) with an additional 2 storeys (from 7 to 9 storeys).
While the new design claims to accommodate additional facilities in close proximity to the community centre, the ground floor layout show actually that the extra care residents will have to leave the building and re-enter the other side to access those facilities. There will be no entrance through the internal wall between the access to their units.
In addition the layout shows that the kitchen will be on the opposite side to the community room it should serve.
The building along Comyn road will not longer have any gap (with garden view, which will only be enclosed) and will show now a straight row.
On the other side , Plot 9 will have an additional storey. At the same time, there will be a reduced number of car spaces, now provided at ground level instead of basement to reduce cost of construction.
Beside the 12 storey tower, the next building will go up one storey to reach 11.
Former building dedicated to extra care North of the site (therefore facing Clapham Junction station) will now be dedicated to private units and will go up 2 storeys to reach 10.
The total number of units will go up from 528 to 595 (yes, with reduce car space!) with still the same percentage of affordable dwellings (53%):
- Private units: from 249 to now 284
- Intermediate from 58 to now 73
- Social from 221 to now 242
The Council has no choice but to approve it!
Following the very contentious approval in 2012, where Northcote ward Cllr Martin Johnson strongly put the case for refusal of the proposal and described the plan as “over-bearing, over-dominant”, lack of light and not enough space for the more than 200 children possibly living on the site, Peabody is submitting a new plan to force the Council to approve even more flats and bigger buildings.
Wandsworth Council is already in desperate needs to find more social and affordable homes in the borough. When asked what would happen if the Council refuses the revised application, a Peabody representative responded that they “would have to go back to the drawing board“, which could take up o 18 months before a new proposal. Obviously the Council has no capacity to wait for that long and this application is going to be rubber-stamped!
PS: Peabody is asking people to give comments through a Feedback form, with questions such as:
- …to what extent do you support redesign of plot 9 to improve building efficiency ? Strongly agree / Strongly disagree?
- …to what extent do you support bringing forward the older person’s accommodation to Phase 2 providing as extra care? Strongly agree / Strongly disagree?
Do they really expect anyone to say they strongly disagree about improving efficiency and providing older person’s accommodation sooner rather than later?
As expected the proposal for taller blocks and higher density has been approved at planning committee on Thursday 25 February 2018. Northcote Ward Councillors submitted an objection criticising the density/overbearing apparence of the scheme.