A 18 storey tower for co-living proposed on Battersea Park Road (2nd revision to scrap all affordable units and 5 years delay)

Author: Cyril Richert

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Proposed tower on Battersea Park Road.

Developers are applying for a building of up to 18 storeys high entirely dedicated to co-living space (up to 213 shared-living units with gym, bar, lunge, workspace…etc), just beside the Harris Academy on Battersea Park Road (p.a. 2021/5013). Continue reading

Is a digital advertising screen appropriate in a small residential street?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Digital display screen on 42 Lavender Hill – Photo montage by CJAG

Planning Application 2021/4548 has been submitted for erection a digital display screen on the side building of 42 Lavender Hill, on Ashley Crescent’s side of block. The proposal for the façade fronting Ashley Crescent will be highly visible and disturbing for the residents with windows directly fronting the digital display. Continue reading

More luxury flats and reduction of social units: the vision of Peabody for more bulk and density at Clapham Junction

Authors: Cyril Richert & David Curran

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Proposed view on St Johns Hill – Image from burridgegardensphase3.commonplace.is

The most interesting part of the discussion we had on the phase 3 plan for Peabody’s development in St Johns Hill was the answer to CJAG simple question: “What will happen if your proposal is refused by Wandsworth Council“? For one long moment it was silent, before Mount Anvil representative eventually responded with embarrassment that everything will have to stop. There is no plan B. It couldn’t have been clearer that the consultation was only seen as a mandatory exercise to fulfil the statutory need and tick the box of “community engagement“, while already considering that it was a done deal. Continue reading

Northern Line extension good for luxury developments but not good enough for ‘standard’ Wandsworth residents

Author: Cyril Richert

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Northern Line extension – Credit: TfL

As it made national news, you won’t have missed that, for the first time since 2008 with Wood Lane and Heathrow Terminal 5 stations and the Jubilee Line extension in 1999, two new underground stations have been unveiled (commentators often forget that the tube map changed also less than 10 years ago with the overground line, part of the Tube network). This is not as extraordinary as many supporters are claiming, but it will definitely help a lot of people living south of the river, and boost the new area of Nine Elms.

However, it stops short of finishing at Clapham Junction and many local residents wonder why the 3km project between Kennington and Battersea Power station did not make the extra distance (another 3km) to reach the heart of Battersea and benefit existing local residents. 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

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.

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