Is Wandsworth becoming the new Eldorado of co-living?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Nearly two years ago the world was learning about Covid. At the end of January 2020 we watched with astonishment people locked inside their own homes in some areas of China. Here, by the end of March 2020, the Prime Minister was ordering British people to stay at home. Over the period, “lockdown” had become one of the most searched word on Google. Students and young professionals were amongst the most affected as many have been confined in their small studio flats for months, without much possibility to go outside and mix with others. Office space, gyms, restaurants, cinemas, community spaces were closed and studies show that the more you depended on that, the more you were affected.

What have we learnt from this? That personal space is critical, that access to private outside amenity is essential? The pandemic does not seem to affect the reasoning of developers in this country. The trending idea, which started before the pandemic, seems to be to allocate only a tiny private space to individuals and mixing as much as possible for everything else. Continue reading

Who is really living in the luxury developments of Nine Elms?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Nine Elms typical luxury developments

Nine Elms developers are struggling to find buyers, reported a recent article from The Telegraph. According to the newspaper, the first residential tower (to be completed by 2023) at the centre of the One Thames City development has sold less than 7% of its units (fewer than 90 flats) in its first year of marketing. Even worse, according to the newspaper, more than half of those flats have reportedly been sold to employees or friends of the developers, or other related parties. Continue reading

A 18 storey tower for co-living proposed on Battersea Park Road (2nd revision to scrap all affordable units and 5 years delay)

Author: Cyril Richert

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Proposed tower on Battersea Park Road.

Developers are applying for a building of up to 18 storeys high entirely dedicated to co-living space (up to 213 shared-living units with gym, bar, lunge, workspace…etc), just beside the Harris Academy on Battersea Park Road (p.a. 2021/5013). Continue reading

Is a digital advertising screen appropriate in a small residential street?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Digital display screen on 42 Lavender Hill – Photo montage by CJAG

Planning Application 2021/4548 has been submitted for erection a digital display screen on the side building of 42 Lavender Hill, on Ashley Crescent’s side of block. The proposal for the façade fronting Ashley Crescent will be highly visible and disturbing for the residents with windows directly fronting the digital display. Continue reading

More luxury flats and reduction of social units: the vision of Peabody for more bulk and density at Clapham Junction

Authors: Cyril Richert & David Curran

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Proposed view on St Johns Hill – Image from burridgegardensphase3.commonplace.is

The most interesting part of the discussion we had on the phase 3 plan for Peabody’s development in St Johns Hill was the answer to CJAG simple question: “What will happen if your proposal is refused by Wandsworth Council“? For one long moment it was silent, before Mount Anvil representative eventually responded with embarrassment that everything will have to stop. There is no plan B. It couldn’t have been clearer that the consultation was only seen as a mandatory exercise to fulfil the statutory need and tick the box of “community engagement“, while already considering that it was a done deal. Continue reading

Northern Line extension good for luxury developments but not good enough for ‘standard’ Wandsworth residents

Author: Cyril Richert

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Northern Line extension – Credit: TfL

As it made national news, you won’t have missed that, for the first time since 2008 with Wood Lane and Heathrow Terminal 5 stations and the Jubilee Line extension in 1999, two new underground stations have been unveiled (commentators often forget that the tube map changed also less than 10 years ago with the overground line, part of the Tube network). This is not as extraordinary as many supporters are claiming, but it will definitely help a lot of people living south of the river, and boost the new area of Nine Elms.

However, it stops short of finishing at Clapham Junction and many local residents wonder why the 3km project between Kennington and Battersea Power station did not make the extra distance (another 3km) to reach the heart of Battersea and benefit existing local residents. Continue reading

With Chinese property developers on the verge of collapse, Nine Elms could become Wandsworth’s nightmare

Author: Cyril Richert

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Will Nine Elms Square be delivered? – Image: Langan.com

In recent days, analysts have been focused on the Chinese property market: it has been revealed a few days ago that the Chinese Property giant Evergrande was sinking under £215bn of debts and has missed at least two payments to its largest creditors.

With fears of bankruptcy, the company announced in September 22nd that they agreed to pay interests on a small part of their liabilities. But with the Chinese property market plunging into turmoil over the difficulties of Evergrande, there has been fears of contagion that could hit London and have dramatic consequences in Nine Elms. Continue reading

Local Plan: Suggestions from the Community expertise

Author: Cyril Richert

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Workshop to discuss the future Local Plan – January 2020

As we said in previous articles (HERE and THERE) Wandsworth Council has done an appalling job in drafting the latest Local Plan. Not only the document is disorganised and filled with meaningless concepts and lack of structure, but this is a huge miss-opportunity to work with the community groups. Continue reading

Local Plan: Area Strategy for Clapham Junction and York Road/Winstanley Regeneration Area

Author: Cyril Richert

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Area for Clapham Junction – Google Map

This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.

Area Strategy for Clapham Junction and York Road/Winstanley Regeneration Area

This section of the local plan intend to be a general comment on the area of Clapham Junction. We support redevelopment of the zone, and we wrote for example about the potential the arches along Grant Road. However, the vision supported by the officers is wrongly addressing many issues. Continue reading