Parma Crescent: new application and more controversy

Author: Cyril Richert

Proposal_5ParmaCrescent

Proposed

Yet another modification of the proposal for the Parma Crescent scheme, with developers trying to stick even more units into the building. The planning department has not only been permissive, but shown total disregard towards the residents and even complicity with the developer. Continue reading

Proposal for a new extension for Lidl

Author: Cyril Richert

Lidl_2020Lidl is planning an extension of its current store in Clapham Junction, with a part extension of the roof and changes in the car park, with new electric charging points.

Planning Application 2021/0859 has been submitted last months to apply for an extension of the current store. This is a minor extension, with the main purpose of adding a single storey on most of the roof and include the current outside area with trolleys to the inside of the sales area. The alteration will redesign the current roof, with most of the current height being used as the new first floor. Further back close to the railway will be located a block with a second floor. The current proposal include the car park reconfiguration with cycle storage along the Falcon Lane façade of the building and two electric vehicle charging points. Continue reading

Hotel proposal for Arding and Hobbs revealed

Author: Cyril Richert

Artist impression of Hotel’s proposal

The property owner of Arding and Hobbs has submitted a proposal for a new 22 storeys hotel tower on top of the iconic building.

According to the developers:

” The proposal represents a unique opportunity to make more efficient use of land surrounding the station for commercial development, including new offices and retail. The new stylish landmark development will deliver major benefits to the community.”

On the Council’s portal the scheme is presented as:

“Redevelopment of the site to provide a mixed use development in buildings ranging in height between 7 and 22 storeys plus basement, to provide a 289 -bedroom hotel with 1158 sq.m. of retail use (class A1), 64 sq.m. of cafe/restaurant use (class A3), 1519 sq.m. of office use (class B1), and 146 sq.m. of community floorspace (class D1) ”

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You see the trees on developers drawing? Now you don’t see them in real life!

Author: Cyril Richert

A Picture (actually 3 here) is worth a thousand words, so here is a good illustration of what happens currently in the area with new developments.

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Protest in York Gardens: end of the tree?

Author: Cyril Richert

Half of the tree has been cut, then the company in charge left – credit: CJAG

Following the occupation of a huge and old black poplar tree in York Gardens to prevent developers to cut it down, the police came in force on Friday 12th March to remove Bradley, the last occupier.

They started to cut the tree immediately after but the company in charge decided to stop and refused to carry on with the work. Continue reading

Protesters are derailing Council’s plan for Winstanley & York Road estate redevelopment

Author: Cyril Richert

Tree protectors are currently occupying York Gardens in order to force the Council to review their plans to redevelop the whole Winstanley and York Road estates.

On Wednesday 3 March at 12pm, tree protector Marcus, who has become the most recognisable face of York Gardens tree protest, came down from the 100 (50 or 80)-year-old black poplar tree he has been living in for 10 days. Continue reading

Déjà vu: The Winstanley and York Road regeneration plans in trouble

Author: Cyril Richert

The Winstanley and York Road regeneration plan is running out of funding even before they start phase 1. The proposed solution is to defer the leisure centre (and the controversial 32 storey tower) to concentrate on smaller towers (up to 19 storeys!). The good news is that Council had the opportunity to acquire an additional 115 shared ownership units to be converted into Council units to assist the decant of existing buildings.

The Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet on Thursday 11th February. The original meeting on January 20th was postponed and rumours of financial difficulties on the Winstanley and York Road project began to spread. It seems likely that the postponing of the meeting was needed to finalise a review of the project and draft new proposals. In his latest newsletter, Labour Cllr Tony Belton wrote:

“All was going well until on the 29th January we were warned that the Council’s partner in the Joint Venture project, Taylor Wimpey, is having difficulties raising the necessary finance. As a result, there will need to be a quick review of the project and of the timing of fundamental phases of the building work.”

The agenda of the Committee meeting reveals indeed that there is a major item dedicated to the estate regeneration scheme (paper No. 21-46). Continue reading

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.

In 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