CJTCP – meeting 7 February 2013: feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

As usual when I attend the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership (business associations) meeting, I give a quick feedback on some specific points that were discussed.

The meeting took place in Debenhams (instead of the usual Battersea Art Centre), with an exceptional attendance of more than 20 people! Continue reading

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CJTCP – meeting 6 December 2012: feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

As usual when I attend the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership (business associations) meeting, I give a quick feedback on some specific points that were discussed.

It all started with a presentation of the Disabled Children’s and Young People’s Wandsworth service. They are launching the WAND card, a card confirming that the owner is known to the Disabled Children’s Register (DCR) with  the aim to help those with severe needs to get out and about, to access local services or to help with fast tracking, without the need for lengthy explanation. All WAND owners have got a free entrance for the Battersea zoo for example, but Wandsworth council seeks to extend the scheme and welcomes the involvement of local business.

Following this year complain about chuggers operating near Debenhams, they have been assigned to some spots and seems to behave by the rules.

A new Clapham Junction website will be launched very soon with iPhone/iPad apps and special offers. Continue reading

CJTCP – meeting 16 August 2012: feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

As I attended the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership (business associations) meeting last week, I thought I needed to give a quick feedback on some specific points that were discussed.

In the minute it was reported that:

The town centre manager “issued a verbal update re the Delancey intention to submit another planning application for the shopping centre/Development  at the station.The Board were keen to be involved in the consultation and looked forward to receiving further updates.”

It means THAT.

Continue reading

CJTCP – meeting 1 Decembre 2011: feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

One year since my last meeting … I must say that I have not been very assiduous.

Below are my observations. In dark red are personal comments.

Exemplar Scheme:

Phase 2 is on going. Main road-work was meant to finish before Xmas (including clean path in front of Debenhams)  with temporary traffic light in place. It was meant to resume on January 9th starting in Lavender Hill from the Mossbury Road corner (KFC).

Due to the Olympic Games, work is due to stop before June with all footway  (including the space made in front of the Revolution pub) in place this summer. The permission for outside tables and sitting for the pub is still under discussion.

  • Phase 2b (after summer) should include the pavement in front of Windsor Castle pub, Mossbury Road and Falcon Road (up to the bridge where pavement has already been re-done).
  • Phase 3 (2013): St Johns Road (full carriageway)
  • Phase 4 (2014): Lavender Hill and St John’s Hill (up to crossing with Plough road).

Martin Johnson, Northcote Cllr, made a comments regarding the “seedy” stainless bins. The Council officers are aware of the “unacceptable situation” and are dealing with the issue.

Xmas lights in Clapham Junction area:

In view of budget restriction, there is a strong possibility that Council’s funding for Christmas lights will be withdrawn next year. The current cost (storage + electricity + manpower to set it up) is £20,000 with additional funding of Battersea High Street, Battersea Park and Northcote Road of £10k each. Steve Orne, St John’s Hill Business Association representative, enquired for the possibility of businesses to take over the cost not paid by the Council.

Battersea Power Station:

Treasury Holdings UK, the owner of Battersea Power Station, has been put under administration at the end of the year.

Not only does it raise immediate question on the future of Nine Elms redevelopment scheme (at least the collapse of the redevelopment plans for the iconic building of the area should motivate some changes), but it has also direct consequences to the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership Board: Sarah Banham was also chairing the Board as Associate Director of Development at Treasury Holdings UK, which is no longer active in Battersea. I assume that an election will take place next meeting ?

Rebranding Clapham Junction:

A marketing company Halogen was engaged to work out a plan for marketing Clapham Junction. The proposed name is: the Junction (getting rid of Clapham will certainly please Battersea lovers, who celebrated recently another victory in correcting Google Map).

The plan centres on  the issues discussed by the Board  at the last meeting: putting vinyl’s on vacant Lavender Hill shops, Christmas events, improved web site, branding of Clapham Junction, posters and leaflets etc. Feedback on Battersea High Street and Clapham Junction Centre Christmas events has been very good. Idea is to brand events under the ‘At the Junction’ brand. Another project is a phone app for the junction, places to see, things to do etc.

Next meeting will be in February (dates here).

CJTCP – meeting 3 February 2011: feedback

Author: Robert Molteno

The meeting’s agenda scheduled a report from Lorinda Freint, the Town Centre Manager, on the Business Plan; an update from Sara Preece on Battersea Arts Centre; and updates from the Northcote Business Network, Lavender Hill Traders Association and St John’s Hill Business Association, and Sarah Banham on Battersea Power Station. Officers were due to give Service Reports on Waste Management/Street Trading, Planning, and Highways.

The first item on the Agenda was Walkable Wandsworth. As Secretary of the newly formed Wandsworth Living Streets (WLS), I had very kindly been invited to speak briefly about WLS’s suggestions for how Wandsworth could play its part in realizing the Mayor of London’s 2011 — Year of Walking

2011 – London’s Year of Walking

I explained how Wandsworth Living Streets, following its well attended launch in 2010, intends to be a coherent voice for local residents in our capacity as users of local streets for getting to shops, services, and transport points, as well as places where to spend time. Our motto is Safe, Enjoyable, Attractive Streets. We have received support from various Councillors from both political parties. Our website will be up and running in March. And we intend to take up various issues in the borough, including how to make town centres more pedestrian-attractive places, as well reducing the borough roads speed limits to 20mph.

Following London’s Year of Cycling last year – with its introduction of the first two cycle ‘super-highways’ and Boris’s bikes in Central London – the Mayor has designated this year, 2011, as London’s Year of Walking. The programme of activities has yet to be announced. But Wandsworth Living Streets has written to Wandsworth Council enquirying how it proposes to give lasting effect to the Mayor’s plans. We have also made three proposals to the Council.

One of these is to extend Transport for London’s Legible London scheme to Wandsworth, and to our five town centres in particular. This scheme gives walkers and pedestrians easy-to-use information in a range of ways, including well designed, indeed handsome, ‘heads up’ maps and signs, finger posts pointing people in the right directions, and indications of the time it will take to walk to a specific destination. In the case of Clapham Junction, for example, maps and signs could highlight Northcote Road market, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common, and so on.

TfL would like to extend the scheme from Central London and the South Bank to local boroughs where there is local enthusiasm for it. Richmond and Twickenham have already come on board. Wandsworth Living Streets believes there could be real benefits of this scheme in terms of promoting walking and improving health; increasing trade for local businesses; improving the look of town centres; and even some reduction in the use of the buses and private motor vehicles that clog so many of our streets.

We would welcome support from the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership Board and its constituent organizations, and would be happy to facilitate a meeting at which the TfL officer responsible for the Wandsworth area, Richard Fullager, could explain in detail what is involved, including the financial implications.

Robert needed to leave and did not participate to the rest of the meeting.

CJTCP – meeting 2 December 2010: feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

Meeting started at 6.30pm but a number of members could not make it (mainly clashes with other meetings). I arrived at 7pm, while they were finishing with comments from the last minutes (last meeting reported HERE).

Below are my observations (as for the Planning Forums I attended). In dark red are my personal comments.

Report on Wandsworth Local Strategic Board Meeting

Over the £250m budget, £55m will have to be saved within 5 years (on things considered non-essential). Several options have been outlined:

  • looking at services (it was acknowledged that the Council will look different in 5 year time);
  • trying to protect staff (but saving is implemented through small changes in policy – e.g. first sick day not paid);
  • outsourcing/delivering with volunteers (the Big Society?)

The Council is committed to low tax and does not expect any consequent raise.

They are not considering a “super-Council” (merging with other Councils) idea, but agree with sharing services between Councils when possible.

Report on meeting with Town Centre Partnerships Board Chairmen (26th August)

The Chief Executive reported a lot of enthusiasm from partners (“brilliant“, “very successful model“, “influence policy“, “better integration with business“).

It was said that TCP should concentrate on:

  • Business rates (back to the Council responsibility?)
  • VAT
  • Employment law

Business management

3 Police stations are closing.

Local Development Framework

The Proposed Submission versions of the DMPD (Development Management Policies Document) and SSAD (Site Specific Allocation Document), which provide detailed policies to support the delivery of the Core Strategy, are still under public consultation up to the 11th December 2010.
The Clapham Junction Action Group has submitted a contribution that you can read HERE.
Additional comments following the response of the Council officers are also published HERE.

The discussion focused mainly on the definition retained for the percentage of A1-retail vs A3-restaurants/cafes and the consequences for small businesses.

The current SSAD document states:

Measures to protect the character of Northcote Road, with its small scale, independent shops and lively bars and restaurants, will be pursued, including enhancement of the street market, in consultation with local residents, shoppers and businesses.

In addition, the Core Strategy Policy PL13 says:

“h. Measures which help maintain the distinctive character of Northcote Road as a specialist retail and restaurant area will be supported, including improvements to the pedestrian environment and enhancements of the street market.”

Further material can be found in CS policy PL8 (“Town and local centres – the 5 town centres, together with local centres, to be the focus for shopping and complementary activity.“), with:

  1. Local Output Indicator 22 ‘Amount and percentage of completed retail development in town centres and local centres by type’
  2. Local Output Indicator 23 ‘Retail schemes granted planning permission and in the planning pipeline. Proportion of schemes and floorspace located in Town Centres’
  3. Local Output Indicator 24, 25, 26  ‘Proportion of A1 retail units in Town and Local Centre Frontages’

Some arguments raised were:

  • the current policy of setting a limit for the %A1 vs %A3 can force small businesses to close down, leaving premises empty;
  • why 10% instead of 5 or 20? It is an arbitrary figure;
  • chains can afford law advice;
  • 5 years ago TCP thought they needed enforcement to protect small business;
  • the current policy is designed for a boom situation; with the current crisis premises can be left empty as the “wrong” class of business wants to apply;
  • some retails (chemist,…) are essential.

Some suggestions to improve the policy:

  • if a shop is empty for a certain period of time, the % level could be abandoned for a single application (but there is a risk for big businesses to be able to afford empty premises to get their licence),
  • change the delivery rule: only small delivery vans or maximum 1 big delivery per week to prevent chains.

The Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership manager will draft a submission to the consultation and will circulate amongst the board members for approval.

CJTCP – meeting 7 October 2010: feedback

Author: Cyril Richert

6:33pm on Thursday evening. First floor of the Battersea Art Centre (BAC) I see a small door on the left: the meeting of the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership (CJTCP) Board has already started! The small room is packed with people and following Councillor Guy Senior, I take the last seat available. Eighteen people discuss around a table: amongst them I recognise Pamela Price from the Wessex House (where we held the CJAG public meeting nearly 2 years ago), Cllr Tony Belton, Cllr Martin Johnson, Tony Tuck from the Battersea Society, Sarah Banham from Treasury Holding (Chair), Peter Deakins, and of course Lorinda Freint, CJTCP manager who invited me to participate (as non-voting member of the board).

Minutes from the meeting will be available (I hope soon). Below are my observations (as for the Planning Forums I attended). In dark red are my personal comments.

Exemplar Scheme

The discussion when I arrive is focused on the Exemplar Scheme. You can refer to our article for more explanation on the roadworks planned. A few more information:

There will be 3-4 phases:

  1. Phase 1: Right turn from Lavender Hill to Falcon Lane + crossing + street furnitures. Implementation planned until the last week of April 2011 (although the goal is to finish the paving for Christmas 2010). Cost = £1.2m
  2. Phase 2: Changes on the main junction (St John’s Hill/Falcon road/Lavender Hill/St John’s Road). Planned for next financial year. Cost = £1.2m and funding by TfL already promised.
  3. Phase 3: Mossbury+St John’s Hill. Planned from April 2012. Funding not currently confirmed.
  4. Phase 4: Battersea Rise (to be confirmed).

Peter Deakins highlighted the controversy around the plan but the Council officer responded that consultation was conducted according to the entire normal procedure (see also article here).

Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership news in a nutshell

The Literary festival was well attended with a large number of visitors from outside the borough.

A number of events will be displayed for Christmas: Waitrose (St Johns Road) will sponsor the Christmas tree within the town centre and will represent St Johns Road on future CJTCP board meetings.

Delancey may consider a new scheme for Clapham Junction station.

That single news was dropped during the meeting. Nothing more reported. However (and those are CJAG comments, nothing more said at the board meeting) nothing expected before 2011-12 probably if any. They might be talking to the Council, but CJAG hope they do not reiterate the same mistake as for their last scheme: why don’t they come openly with their intention and take ideas from the public?

The Clapham Junction Action Group is committed to work with residents, political parties, businesses and all stakeholders to provide ideas for the redevelopment of the station. You can participate here (click). And Delancey can contact us too…

If you want to read more (or remember) about the all story of the Clapham Junction twin towers, our dossier is HERE.

With Minerva going back to the drawing board with a new Ram Brewery plan expected early in the new year, the second massive skyscraper planning proposal of 2008-2009 might (or might not) revive.

Business and Traders Associations news

For Northcote Business Network (Andrew Wilson-Smith), trade has picked up in September. On the 8th December (4pm-6pm) is planned an event (market/local family do) for the Christmas light switch. Parking (in Council hands) was discussed.

The Lavender Hill Traders Associations (Anthony Laban) should be organising a shopping week in November. Parking restriction and anti-social behaviour (often due to off-licence premises) issues were raised.

For St Johns Hill Business Association (Steve Orne), the fair went very well with a good turn-out. The money raised will be spent on community projects such as baskets of flowers or a Christmas event (trees maybe) on 1st December.
Sainsbury have apparently withdrawn their application, and local residents showed through petition a strong desire to support their independent shops.

Battersea Power Station

There are currently a number of events planned: dancers, Tony&Guy celebrating hair dressing…

There are talks (pre-applications?) for some 16 storey buildings… This is the second time that I hear that there are some reports in the press about it, but cannot find anything specific about it. Anybody able to direct me?

Planning

Nothing that readers of this website don’t already know. Answering to some questions, I provided explanations about the Bolingbroke site that you can essentially read more fully in our article (and answer about who is right/wrong, you can find it here!).

Barry Sellers explained the implications of the Site Specific Allocation Document and the coming consultation (officially 29th October-11th December 2010). More details on all of that in my recent report on the Planning Forum Meeting.

It was proposed to take questions from members of the board about the plan during the next meeting 2nd December).

Miscellaneous (but important!)

Pamela Price provided an updated on her planning to redevelop the Wessex house. Previous plan (including a hotel) has been replaced by still nightclub (basement), restaurant (ground floor) and residential (from second floor). Members of the board suggested she contacts companies such as indoor softplay for kids for renting the first floor. For the record, she was told that Clapham Junction did not need a hotel (surprising when you think of that, isn’t it?).

And last but not least (issue raised by Tony Tuck), Asda with its new branding: Asda Clapham. Yes, residents of SW11 may be surprised to hear that although Asda HQ replied that they don’t have any Asda in Clapham, their PR seem to say they have an Asda Clapham in Battersea! Despite all evidence (including the existence of the Battersea Art Centre up the road or the Battersea post office just next door or the Battersea Library opposite) their HQ (in Leeds) is denying any wrong doing. Lorinda Freint had a call from them where their representative only repeated several times : “We are very sorry you are unhappy about the name. We have no intention of changing it, because it would be confusing“. To read more about this, visit Cllr James Cousins blog here, here, there and here again.