Author: Cyril Richert
On July 14th, we have been made aware of changes regarding the B&Q site on Smugglers Way and Homebase site on Swandon way (now owned and developed by Legal and General (L&G), with an invitation from their PR agency Cascade to meet. Obviously a meeting in the very middle of the summer holiday is not an ideal timing (unless if you want to avoid attendance).
The revised proposals will include 70 new additional homes, bringing the total number of homes on this site to 600, including 35% affordable housing made up of Shared Ownership and Affordable Rent. The plans will provide public open and amenity space activating the ground floor, a variety of publicly accessible landscape areas with play areas for all ages and additional cycle storage and spaces.
A previous amendment (p.a. 2021/1730) in a few months ago (April 2021) was presenting 554 new homes (including 197 affordable units, i.e. 35.6%) with a reduction of non-residential units and amenity space by 5%.
The original scheme (2017/0580) was granted for the construction of 13 residential blocks (with 3 podiums) ranging from 10 to 18 storeys to provide 517 residential units, 5160 s.q.m. of business and 2969 s.q.m. business/retail/restaurant and cafe.
More density already proposed for the Homebase site, in excess of the London Plan
On the Homebase site (foreground in the picture), changes are also proposed (p.a. 2020/ 0011). Although the heights of the blocks remain the same, density has been considerably increased (as for the B&Q site). While welcoming the reduction in massing, the Wandsworth Society submitted an objections saying:
“The number of dwellings per hectare has risen from 388 to 466 (u/ha), an increase of 20%. The density of the 2016 scheme was in the highest range of the London Plan density matrix, the proposed density at 466 u/ha is significantly outside the range (215-405 u/ha).
We do not disagree that Old York Road has its attractions or dispute that Wandsworth Town Station and the 28 and 44 buses provide useful connections to central and southwest London. We disagree strongly that this justifies a housing density significantly above the highest range of the London Plan density matrix.
This is contrary to London Plan Policy 3.4 which says ’Taking into account local context and character, … and public transport capacity, development should optimise housing output for different types of location within the relevant density range …’ – not above it.”
They also object to the reduction of 33% of the commercial space.