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.

Continue reading

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

Controversial plan to remove all vegetation around Asda store

Author: Cyril Richert

Asda has submitted a plan to refurbish part of the existing structure and remove the greenery around the car park.

Toward the end of Summer, Asda submitted a planning application (2020/3073) labelled as “alterations”. The proposal consists mainly on:

  1. painting the existing white paint elements of the building with a dark grey colour, and refurbishing the clock tower (including fixing of the clocks),
  2. all vegetation to be removed and replaced by a smooth finished.

Continue reading

Revealed: The proposed future of Arding & Hobbs (Debenhams)

Authors: Cyril Richert & David Curran

As we confirmed some time ago – Debenhams at Clapham Junction will never reopen. It’s a great shame to lose it, and our sympathy is with our many readers who used to work there. But it raises a very immediate question of what happens next with our local landmark.

The owner of the building is W.RE (W. Real Estate limited). They bought the building a few years ago, expecting that Debenhams would probably depart at some stage. Everything accelerated as Debenhams started to run into financial difficulties last year and asked for rent cuts so they could afford to keep trading. W.RE refused and Debenhams confirmed to us in an email in October 2019 that “the store will remain trading until – at least – 23 June 2020“, although no exit date was set yet. Unfortunately came the Covid19 crisis and the department stores decided comprehensively not to reopen for even a few months (see our previous article for more details).

In the meantime it appears that the new owner was carrying extensive research on future developments, working with architects and consultants on multiple options. As W.RE develop plans for the building’s future they have run a series of public webinars, where they have been commendably frank about their plans for the building. They have also been happy to have detailed discussions with CJAG.

The previous building, in 1890

This is a very important moment for Clapham Junction – it’s our landmark building, and as the largest unit apart from Asda it’s also a flagship part of the trade of the town centre – even in Debenhams’ most troubled stage, having a major store that sold a lot of things here was important in attracting shoppers to the town centre as a whole, and a lot of the smaller and independent businesses nearby benefitted from this.T K Maxx and Boots are understandably popular, but every local town centre has one – but only Clapham Junction had a department store!

If W.RE get this right, Clapham Junction will benefit…  but get it wrong and the problems will be widely felt for many years!  Which is why we’ve been reassured by the frank and open way the developers have engaged so far. They are clearly very conscious of the importance of the building they have bought, and we welcome their commitment to take an approach that makes the most of its potential. In the rest of this article we explore the emerging proposals in some detail, picking out some aspects we know have been especially welcomed, as well as areas where we have concerns.

Continue reading

Parma Crescent: controversial development amended

Lavender Hill for Me,  a community website working to support Lavender Hill in Battersea, has reported on 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 description of the planning application 2020/0906 is:

Demolition of existing building and erection of part two-storey, part three-storey building to provide 5 flats (1x 1 bedroom flat 3 x 2 bedroom flats and 1x 3 bedroom flat) with associated cycle and bin stores.

It proved to be quite a controversial proposal, attracting 44 objections, and not much in the way of supportive comment. As spotted by Lavender Hill for Me, the plans were changed part way through the process – with the side of the building closest to Lavender Hill chopped back somewhat, an the height of the roof reduced slightly as well.

See more detailed on the proposal directly on Lavender Hill for Me’s article and feel free to comment. As usual we will keep you posted on any amendments in the future.

Is Peabody’s work damaging properties in Comyn road?

Author: Cyril Richert

Peabody’s construction site – Comyn Road

At the start of it there were a lot of mini earthquakes. Now it seems like there are tiles shifting and cracks appearing“. Hence started the email from one of the local resident in Comyn Road. Another one said “I am fed up with my house shaking whilst I am trying to work“. Continue reading

Debenhams has gone in Clapham Junction. What next?

Author: Cyril Richert & David Curran

Debenhams in Clapham Junction – all board up and closed in June 2020

As many (most?) of you will have noticed, Debenhams is now fully disappearing from Clapham Junction. The lockdown period was surely the last nail on the coffin for the Arding & Hobbs occupancy, and the boards that are now surrounding the ground floor are announcing that the building is “looking ahead to the next chapter of its history” as the owners have put in the leaflet they distributed in the area (download the leaflet here).

The new owner of the building wanted Debenhams out for redevelopment

As we reported last OctoberW Real Estate, the new owner of the building (bought for circa £48 million), wanted them out so they can redevelop some or all of the property. Continue reading

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