More density proposed for Homebase and B&Q sites in Wandsworth

Author: Cyril Richert

134_SecchiSmith_HawkinsBrown_Wandsworth_View 03_UpliftOn 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). Continue reading

Peabody phase 3: will they listen?

Author: Cyril Richert

plan-phase3The change announced in April 2012 has now materialised. It confirmed the previous announcement that Peabody has selected Mount Anvil as its joint partner for the final phase. As the initial scheme was designed more than 10 years ago, it is sensible to revisit the plans in view of the experience in phase 1 and 2. 

The leaflet they have distributed to present the new project is vague (as a PR exercise, the idea is for the respondent to think they have a say), but Peabody mentioned at a resident steering group early this year that the new application to Wandsworth would involve greater height to the present application. In the meantime, images present an opportunity to reduce the width of the buildings (moving them forward?).

However, they seem to have learned from their experience with phase 2 and dealing with damage made to neighbouring properties in Comyn Road as it says: “Ensure neighbouring buildings are protected“. Continue reading

With climate change, are we taking enough notice of flooding zones?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Part of July saw heavy rain in London, and images of flash flooding made the news headlines. According to BBC news, parts of south-west London including Barnes, Raynes Park and Richmond had been affected.

Two weeks later, the flood become suddenly a main concern in Battersea as areas of Clapham Junction were flooded, such as St Johns Road and Falcon Road (both roads covering the Falconbrook stream running underneath, ironically). Continue reading

Property developers are cash cows for Wandsworth

Author: Cyril Richert

Developer contributions 2020 (CIL+s106)

You won’t be surprised to learn that Wandsworth generates a lot of income from developers, but the scale of the figures is astonishing in comparison to some of our neighbours.

For example, since implementation, Richmond received a cumulative income of £11,6m and £19m for Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), while Wandsworth got … £150m for the same period. Nearly 8 times more! Continue reading

A (temporary) local community hub in York Gardens? [Updated]

UPDATE 04/08/2021 [Cyril Richert]: This occupation has created a lot of outcry, especially within the Church community. Contrary to what some activists thought, it appears now that the Baptist Church is still the official owner of the lease of the Battersea Chapel. Therefore, our understanding is that Wandsworth Council is refusing to let them occupy the new building on Grant Road and exchange the leases while squatters are occupying their old building.

Some Save York Gardens campaign supporters (who originally supported the idea of “temporary community centre”) are trying to liaise with the occupants (who are not related to XR or SYG groups) to find a quick solution that is not damaging the community.

All updates at the bottom of this article.


Author: Charles Wiseman

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The Sunday kitchen is on!

In York Gardens (Wandsworth/Battersea area), although many mature trees are already gone as the Council and building company Taylor Wimpeys are pursuing plans to build towers in the area, the community took an initiative to plant a rose garden, offer food and make community space, with wild-and sunflowers.map-chapel

The Battersea Chapel Baptist Church building was vacated recently, following their relocation inside a new block built last year with Phase 0. The old structure is planned for demolition for block 6 of the Council’s regeneration plan (phase 1), likely to start in 2 years.

The empty church is now used as a community space, with free meals planned on Sundays there.

Continue reading

Homeless Nature and Theatre of the Absurd

Author: Charlie Wiseman

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The saving of the elm trees in 1851: they were included in the Crystal Palace project

Battersea has been woke as long as the Elms that were left to grow inside the Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace of 1851…In fact it was because of protests about three elm trees at Prince’s Gate Entrance that the shape of the barrel-vaulted transept of the giant glass building was conceived of.

In  Edinburgh, I met Jeremy Weller of Grassmarket Project, who made a new theatre that embraces the best performance we can give: being ourselves. Everyone from the street to those in young offender institutions were given a chance to be themselves.

More recently Thomas McCrudden did this most obviously by telling the story of his life in Doubting Thomas that led to Ken Loach’s scriptwriter describing how he wanted to see “everything Grassmarket has ever produced“. I, Daniel Blake, had been the film that won the highest prize of French film, the Palm D’Ors at Cannes. Now he saw something that astounded him: ordinary people portraying themselves. If life is performance, by contrast you should try being yourself.

Protesting and being oneself

McCrudden experienced being himself by standing on stage, and now like Rachida, Dimitri and Sophie and others in York Gardens, I found I was being myself, by protesting, something I hadn’t conceived of before.

Ros Coward, a Guardian journalist, described how she also had received a deluge of emails, after describing the assault on the countryside, by developers. With so many in a state of disorientation at what climate and disease could inflict, I found myself reflecting on the biblical plagues of insects, which are shown to have human faces and eat only human objects and garments. I could well imagine these locusts or beetles swarming out of the Supreme Courts of Westminster today, or the Hague, as the judges’ wigs or Lords’ and politicians’ robes were eaten and they ran away stark naked! Continue reading

As a response to community protest, Wandsworth Council hire security guards to assault residents

Author: Cyril Richert

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BML security guard using the knee-on-neck technique on protester – Credit: XR video screenshot

This is the story of a large old tree that local people wanted to protect from felling. This is a story of a massive regeneration project lead by a Council with plans in total opposition with the consultation they held 8 years ago. This is the story of violent security guards hired by Wandsworth Council assaulting tree protectors. This is the story of Dmitri, Emma, Ella, Pip, Marcus, Bradley, Tina, Rachida, Glyn, Annie, Phoebe, Rollie and many others who tried their best to defend a large garden, with massive trees and wildlife to be bulldozed without proper dialogue.

This is the story of a local community fighting to preserve the environment that matters to them. Continue reading

Nine Elms: hubris and complacent Council leads to obscenity

Author: Cyril RIchert

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A visualisation of the 10th-storey Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens – Photograph: Ballymore/Rex/Shutterstock

The idea looked like a April fool joke but as we were April 28th, it was most likely one of the latest idiocy that architects have been experimenting in Nine Elms, which has become for some years (thanks to Wandsworth Council) a play field for their ego. The Wandsworth Guardian reported that the world’s first floating sky pool was set to open in south west London very soon:

“The pool, located between two blocks of flats in Nine Elms, is transparent and offers views of London’s skyline. […] The 25-metre long pool will allow exclusive Embassy Garden members to swim between the two blocks of apartments. “

Continue reading

Parma Crescent: Councillors complacent to developers’ tactics

Author: Cyril Richert

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We wrote to each individual person and sent the simple summary to arrive in their inbox on Friday to try to reduce the risk of them taking a lazy political group decision. All in vain” was the reaction of one of the Parma Crescent’s resident after the decision from Wandsworth Planning Application Committee to grant planning permission by 8 votes in favour (including 2 Labour Councillors) to two against.

Following a good introductory five minutes speech from the local ward councillor, Jonathan Cook, explaining the residents’ concerns, it was quickly obvious that the Conservatives Councillors were in favour of the developer’s tactic to maximise their profit and ignore the local residents. What was more surprising is that two Labour Councillors joined the Tory supporters in this shameful decision. Continue reading