Consult, then ignore. Make policy, then ignore = the full process of planning decisions in Wandsworth!

Author: Cyril Richert

32 and 20 storeys where the Council think it would make a positive contribution to the area and that would not harm the townscape. The area is currently mainly built with 2 to 8-storey blocks.

In 2015 Wandsworth Council distributed a Planning News leaflet called “Battersea Riverside Consultation” asking for opinions on their planning framework to guide the development of the Lombard Road/York area. Although the final policy ignored the consultation comments, the latest proposals for the area show that the full procedure (including drafting the policy itself!)  was just a waste of time and money and – as usual with Wandsworth planning policy – is meant to be ignored. Continue reading

Debenhams to file for administration

Arding & Hobbs by Edwardx, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence

Arding & Hobbs by Edwardx, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence

Last week we read that Debenhams was filing for administration after the coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut its shops across the UK.

According to Debenhams boss Stefaan Vansteenkiste, the move aims at protecting the business in the current uncertainty but wish to resume trading when government restrictions are lifted. Continue reading

Coronavirus – You must stay at home: how to manage in Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

Image taken from GoogleMap, because we all need to STAY AT HOME!

Eventually, Boris Johnson told us yesterday: “You must stay at home“. 

From Monday evening 23 March 2020, people can only leave home for one of the four following reasons:

  1. Shopping for groceries or essentials
  2. Any medical need
  3. One form of exercise per day
  4. Travelling to and from work, if it’s absolutely necessary and you cannot work from home

In a ministerial broadcast from Downing Street the Prime Minister said citizens would face fines (the punishment in England for not complying would be a fixed penalty notice initially set at £30) if they fail to comply with the government’s new instructions. Continue reading

New PR exercise on Winstanley & York redevelopment (with less green space)

Author: Cyril Richert

This time the plan from Wandsworth Council to force as many skyscrapers as possible in the Winstanley-York estates area is not hidden under some regeneration scheme illustrated by rows of maisonettes. The Council has published a press release last week illustrated by one of the “impression” of their vision for the future of the area, although it was publicly revealed in February last year in the Evening Standard (see photos here).

Objections ignored by the Council

According to the website (we have confirmation since last Planning forum and the Alton estate case that the Press Release can be totally inaccurate), “the Winstanley and York Road plans were developed following extensive consultation with local people“. Of course you can always organise as many consultation as you want if you choose to ignore their result when it contradicts your plans (the Ganley Court residents know a lot about it!). This was confirmed by the leader of Wandsworth Council Cllr Ravi Govindia who said a few years ago that hundreds of objections were neglectable in comparison to the borough’s population (read our article: “Deceitful Wandsworth Council used to misrepresent consultations“). Continue reading

Peabody: at last they are building again!

Author: Cyril Richert

Peabody 20200123

Work continues to prepare the site for piling machines and to provide an entrance/exit at the top of Eckstein Road for emergency vehicles.

This time, it’s for real: Peabody has started again their construction in St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, after nearly 3 years in limbo, and 8 years after the scheme was approved by Wandsworth Council, against local community.

The redevelopment was originally approved in July 2012 after a large campaign to oppose the proposal and local newspapers naming the plan “controversial”. Phase 1 was achieved in 2016 but then Peabody wrote to the local residents in December 2016, telling them that due to the estimated build cost significant increase (and as we heard because units were not selling well on the private market), they had decided to put a temporary hold on the development. Continue reading

Shock news: Are Debenhams and T.K. Maxx both closing?

Author: David Curran

IMG_20191026_085015848_HDR

We’ve heard worrying reports that both the ‘anchor tenants’ of Clapham Junction’s shopping centre may close next year. Not because they want to leave, but because their landlord has given them notice to quit! Debenhams as a whole has been in difficulty for a while, although as we have previously reported the Clapham Junction branch is profitable and one they definitely want to keep. And we understand our T.K. Maxx is one of the best performing in the country.

But we have heard from several sources, as well as one media article, that the relatively new owner of the building, W Real Estate, wants them out so they can redevelop some or all of the building as a hotel. This would be the end of one of London’s most famous department stores, and a true icon of Clapham Junction. It would also have major implications for neighbouring traders.

Continue reading