A lot of hypocrisy on Osiers Site

Author: Cyril Richert

While the chair of the Planning committee, Cllr Guy Humphries

  1. argue that the Osiers’ scheme was the last piece of the jigsaw envisioned to “reshape” the area,
  2. admits that local residents might not have been aware of the plan, and
  3. asserts that developers’ interest should take privilege over local residents amenities,

the members of the committee start having doubts over the Council strategy and turn down the proposal.

The process of filling Wandsworth Riverside started under the leadership of previous Council leader Ed Lister: Battersea Reach beside Wandsworth roundabout started to fill up with towers two decades about, then Osiers road sites and now York Road is changing fast. The previous size of 9 storeys above which buildings would be unlikely to be approved as long been ignored forgotten by the Council.

A decade ago, shortly after approving a scheme with a 36 storey tower for the Ram Brewery (later scrapped by the Secretary of States), Wandsworth Council approved a a scheme including a 21 storey-tower. It seems the norm nowadays, but it was a breach of policy at the time as the council documents stated that 18 storeys will generally be unacceptable. And while the planning officers conceded ten years ago (already!) that “the proposed density [was]in excess of both the urban and central setting” regarding transport, they praised the scheme. Although it was the tallest of the area, the developers of Osiers Estate have justified their high density because “a number of high density scheme ha[d] been permitted in the vicinity of the site” already! Continue reading

When other countries are weighing urbanism rules over private interest

Author: Cyril Richert

Porte de Montreuil project – Credit in leJDD.fr: Lautreimage / Play-Time

London has rows of 4-storey Victorian houses, Paris has got 6-storey Haussmann buildings, both inherited from the 19th century. During the 20th century, the French city had a few attempt to build towers, with the – nearly unanimously disliked by Parisians – 210 m Montparnasse tower and a cluster of high rise buildings along the river in the west of Paris. In the meantime, the city of London developed high-rise in its centre, with Tower 42 acting as a landmark for the financial district amongst other taller buildings, later joined by the Gherkin.

However things started to diverge at the beginning of the 21st century. While Paris stayed mostly the same (and that is mostly due to the Montparnasse tower, as shortly after its construction was voted a law in 1977 to limit the size to 37 m [1] on all new buildings [2]), London initiated a more drastic change of its skyline when Ken Livingstone became Mayor of London in 2000. Continue reading

Consultation on Ward boundary changes for Wandsworth

Author: Cyril Richert

Current 20 wards in Wandsworth

The Boundary Commissioners are just about to make decisions about the ward boundaries in Battersea. One thing we know is that all, or almost all, wards will change as a result of their first rather curious recommendation (decision?) to go from having 60 councillors (currently 3 in each of 20 wards in the Borough) to 58. If they were to stick with an equal number of representation for each ward, that would mean 2 councillors in 29 wards.

We have decided to submit a contribution, reinforcing our interest and commitment for the area. Continue reading

A new 16 storey tower proposed near York Road

Author: Cyril Richert

View of the proposal for 2-18 Yelverton Rd, London SW11

There is a new application (2019/2295) for erection of a part 3/16 storey mixed-use development plus basement, providing nearly 600 sq.m of commercial office + creative workspace at ground and basement levels and 74 residential units at upper levels; communal garden on the 3rd floor; with 6 car parking spaces. The site is currently occupied by the Sambrook’s Brewery which should relocate. Continue reading

Planning Forum meeting 3rd July 2019

Author: Cyril Richert

New era or continuity for the Planning Forum? The future will decide but so far the most visible change was a new Chair, as Cllr Sweet as been replaced by Cllr Guy Humphries (due to the last cabinet reshuffle) and probably the most relevant change was actually the proposal to have Community Groups involved within the draft of the next Local Plan through workshop(s). Continue reading

Proposal to raise by over 30% a temporary building for events in Battersea Park

Author: Susan Lofthouse

A general view of Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park where the Conservative Black and White Ball is taking place. Acks. Getty images.

Planning application 2019/2488 is proposing the erection of a temporary building in (sic) the British Genius Site up to a Maximum Height of 12.4 metres (current height 9.5 metres) for a period of 4 years ending on 1st October 2023 (to be used for a variety of events in the Park.

Battersea Park is a Grade II listed Park, which, since its creation in the mid 19th Century, has been managed by various organisations such as the LCC (London County Council), the GLC (Greater London Council), and when that closed down, passing to the management of Wandsworth Borough Council. It is very important to understand this, since the Council does not own the Park. Continue reading

Concept proposal unveiled for the full redevelopment of Clapham Junction station and wider area

Authors: Cyril Richert & David CurranThe architectural practice Hawkins\Brown (the architect which designed the new Peabody estate on St John’s Hill) has unveiled last week their vision for Clapham Junction’s future. Their website reports work on a vision for the future of Clapham Junction, examining how an integrated approach to development can offer significant benefits to both the station and the wider Battersea area. Continue reading