Winstanley regeneration: when the “consultation” becomes a farce

Author: Cyril Richert

Latest plans for skyscrapers on York Gardens

With the latest developments along York Road, we have now potentials for even taller buildings“, I was told at the Winstanley & York exhibition in November 2017 by the head of the project team.

New “landmark tower” (32 storeys) on York Garden

Indeed he was right: every new exhibition the building size increases by X% and their new proposal shows a 32 storey tower (as usual called “a landmark tower“), which is part of a block including also a 20 storey tower and a 17 storey tower!

A new public exhibition of the Winstanley and York Road hybrid planning application (hybrid meaning that they won’t provide details for some parts, you will just have to approve based on your imagination!) for phase 1 took place at the beginning of June 2018 (2nd, 5th and 7th). This phase includes 3 different blocks, all located on York Gardens:

Phase 1 blocks

Block 1: The block is split into four components featuring the leisure and community centre, commercial space and two residential buildings. Block 1A is 32 storeys and Block 1C is part 20 storeys, part 17 storeys and are providing 236 one, two and three bedroom apartments for sale. It is located at the south western boundary of the Winstanley and York Road Regeneration, adjacent to York and Plough Road.

Block 1: including 32, 20 and 17 storey towers

Ironically this proposal is the last one presented, at the end of the brochure (that you can download here), as if the regeneration team was hoping that people won’t read until there and will ignore it.

Block 5: 10-12 storeys located at the northern boundary of the
Winstanley and York Road Regeneration and it is adjacent to York Road. It should include 132 units (69 affordable and 63 private).

Block 5: 10-12 storeys

Block 6: those 8 storeys blocks are named “Grand Villas” by the brochure (please, no laugh!)

Block 6: Grand Villas

A regeneration project when mis-information, misleading statements and proposals bulldozed against local residents become the norm

The brochure opens with a statement for the leader of the Council, Ravi Govindia, saying: “This is an exciting time, because after the past few years of consultation you have helped create a vision…“. As for most of us, it is actually not exciting but dreadful, there is no consultation but just exhibitions, and local residents have not helped to create anything but have been ignored, it is hard to read it as anything but his own vision of “Govindia Wharf“.

The only real consultation happened in 2013 when local residents where presented a few drawings with blocks of 5-9 storeys  and said that they wanted less towers:

Panel presenting the result of the consultation in 2013

Since then, every new (so-called) “consultation” was showing an increase in size:

Evolution of the size of the leisure centre proposal from 2013 to 2018

The question is now: when will they stop? 40 storeys? 50 storeys? 60?

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