The full case against Winstanley & York Rd scheme: social cleansing and contempt for local residents

Author: Cyril Richert

The Clapham Junction Action Group has sent a contribution building the case against the Winstanley and York Road regeneration plans push forward by Wandsworth Council. In this (long) article, we not only present the full arguments developed in the report, but we also deal with the enormous money pocketed by the Council with this development and the apathy and lack of ambition of the local Labour party.

We support the principle of regenerating the Winstanley and York Road Estates. The estates have been neglected by the local authorities and in the recent decade the area has been rightly labelled “one of the most deprived estates in the borough”.

However, we consider that the consultations have been conducted as a meaningless statutory obligation, that legitimate local resident concerns were systematically dismissed or simply ignored, and that the whole scheme has been conducted by Wandsworth Council with a partisan political agenda in mind. Allowing such plan would contribute to deteriorate further the already poor level of trust expressed by communities towards local government.

Green light from Sadiq Khan

The phased demolition of most of the existing buildings of Winstanley and York Road estates, being replaced by a huge development, providing 2550 residential units in blocks ranging from three to 32 storeys, has been given a green light by the Mayor of London.

In March 2019, the Mayor of London delegated the decision on the first review of the Council’s scheme for Winstanley and York Road estates. The first report (stage 1) supported the overall design strategy but required more scrutiny on the provision of housing. It also recommended that the Council updates its policy to protect the new open space created (2.49 hectares, a loss of locally designated open space compared to existing) to ensure that it benefits from appropriate policy protection in the future.

A second report (stage 2) on 23 November 2020, Sadiq Khan himself ratified the formal approval from City Hall.

Undercover “social cleansing” organised by Wandsworth Council

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Clapham Junction through History

Author: Cyril Richert

The latest Council’s Press Release has got a very interesting article about Clapham Junction History with a series of old photos that we will display here (hopefully there is no copyright infringement).

The article starts in 1856, when three railway companies who each had trains running through the area got together to build a station at the junction of several lines. Continue reading

Major improvement at dangerous junction on Lavender Hill

Author: Cyril Richert

Existing segregated cycle lane on Lavender Hill

Following the tragic death of a cyclist more than four years ago, Transport for London is (eventually!) making some changes to the junction of Lavender Hill and Elspeth Road/Latchmere Road, in order to improve safety and reduce danger for cyclists.

In November 2020, local residents and businesses  received a letter providing  details of how this busy junction will be reconfigured. A number of changes are highlighted in the letter: Continue reading

Good news: Hazel Court scheme refused despite recommendation for approval

Author: Cyril Richert

Hazel Court – Proposed development

The demolition of an existing one storey building at the back of the St Johns Hill’s Therapy Centre and the erection of a part 2 and 6 storey building comprising 159 co-living rooms has been refused by the Wandsworth Planning committee for the second time, despite officer’s recommendation on both applications. The developer is now appealing the decision.

A very similar proposal was presented before the committee in 2017 and was refused on the ground of massing and scale.The developer has come back with an even larger proposal this time (6 storeys instead of 5, 159 studio flats in co-living/equivalent of 88 dwellings, instead of 57 residential units).

Existing building

Proposed elevation against neighbouring properties.

Objections dismissed by the planning officer… as usual

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Controversial plan approved in Parma Crescent, despite blatant breach of policies

Author: Cyril Richert

This may be the end of the story for a controversial proposal in Parma Crescent. After a third series of modifications and a new application, the scheme was approved.

Back in July, we reported on a the second attempt of a proposal to replace an unusually small house which had an unusually large garden on Parma Crescent with a rather larger building housing five flats. The planning application 2020/0906 was later withdrawn and replaced by a new application, 2020/3505.

The proposal was to replace a modest existing two-storey post-war house with a (quite) large garden and ancillary single-storey additions (garage, storeroom/shed, etc.) by a two storey building with rear roof dormer for 5 flats (all market rent, no affordable).This application was approved by Wandsworth Planning Committee on November 25th, 2020.

An unusual amount of objections and a blatant breach of Wandsworth planning policies

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Wetherspoon is replacing Revolution at the Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

New Wetherspoon at the Junction

JD Wetherspoon has acquired the former Revolution site in the heart of Clapham Junction.

JD Wetherspoon has taken over the former Revolution cocktail bar at the junction of Lavender Hill and Falcon Road, within a stone’s throw of the Clapham Junction Station. The new pub, called The London and South Western (named after the railway), had just opened on Friday 4th… to close a week later as London was going into full lockdown again (and Christmas was cancelled!). Continue reading

Peabody agrees on compensation for residents around site construction in Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

Current work on site – September 2020

After more than 6 months of complaints from local residents, Peabody have announced that they were prepared to offer an independent building survey undertaken by a building surveyor and structural engineer for the residents of Comyn Road and Eckstein Road, whose properties have been damaged by their ongoing construction site.

At the same time, Sisk, their construction site company, has instructed a report from acoustic consultants to suggest other methods that could be used to keep noise to a minimum. Continue reading

Asda ditched their plan to remove all greenery around Clapham Junction store after residents outrage

Author: Cyril Richert

Asda’s planning application (2020/3073) was approved last week, by officer’s delegation (which means it did not go before the Councillor’s committee but was just ratified by a planning officer). However it is worth reading the details of the officer’s report, as we discovered that Asda amended their plan to ditch their very controversial idea of replacing all greenery by a porous resin finish.

Amendments: Proposed removal of trees and vegetation to gardens and landscaped areas and replacement porous resin omitted from the proposals. Landscaped areas would either be retained, or existing low lying vegetation removed and replaced with bark mulch and replacement planting.

Therefore it appears that what is approved is only painting the existing white paint elements of the building with a dark grey colour, and refurbishing the clock tower (including fixing of the clocks).

bark_mulch

Example of bark mulch ground

However, as we suspected, it is a cost cutting exercise and while existing trees should be retained, some of the lower vegetation should be replaced by “low maintenance ground” covered with bark mulch.

  • The part along Falcon Lane /car park should retain existing planting
  • The large part at the corner of Falcon Lane/Lavender Hill should only keep the 3 trees but all the other vegetation should disappear and be replaced by bark mulch.
  • The green patch beside the post office should be replace by “low maintenance ground cover planting completed with bark mulch“.
  • The steps and side-walk should be enlarged to provide a much wider access.

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Local residents want more greenery and sustainable plans for Asda, while the store wants the opposite…

Author: Cyril Richert

When he declared last year about the environmental ambition of the borough “I know Wandsworth residents will want to help and play their part in achieving that goal“, Ravi Govindia, the leader of Wandsworth Council, was right!

Since our article on Asda wanting to remove all greenery around the premises, including mature trees and thick hedges, we have received several comments including proposal on what instead should have been a good move from the store operator. Continue reading