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

New PR exercise on Winstanley & York redevelopment (with less green space)

Author: Cyril Richert

This time the plan from Wandsworth Council to force as many skyscrapers as possible in the Winstanley-York estates area is not hidden under some regeneration scheme illustrated by rows of maisonettes. The Council has published a press release last week illustrated by one of the “impression” of their vision for the future of the area, although it was publicly revealed in February last year in the Evening Standard (see photos here).

Objections ignored by the Council

According to the website (we have confirmation since last Planning forum and the Alton estate case that the Press Release can be totally inaccurate), “the Winstanley and York Road plans were developed following extensive consultation with local people“. Of course you can always organise as many consultation as you want if you choose to ignore their result when it contradicts your plans (the Ganley Court residents know a lot about it!). This was confirmed by the leader of Wandsworth Council Cllr Ravi Govindia who said a few years ago that hundreds of objections were neglectable in comparison to the borough’s population (read our article: “Deceitful Wandsworth Council used to misrepresent consultations“). Continue reading

Winstanley Estate Regeneration in parliament

Author: Cyril Richert


House of Commons – Friday 22 March 2019
Marsha De Cordova MP (Battersea, Labour)

Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea, secured a debate on Winstanley Estate Regeneration on March, 22nd (Citation: HC Deb, 22 March 2019, c1433).

There are interesting comments, mostly about the lack of social units in the scheme (currently council houses representing the majority of homes on the estate, while of the proposed 2,000 extra homes, just three will be council homes), while Wandsworth Council has nearly 7,000 families on its housing waiting list, and that the Council is accused of promoting “social engineering” within the Winstanley and York Road estates. We also learn that last year, 90% of the houses built in the borough were unaffordable private homes, while less than 3% were council homes.

Unfortunately Rishi Sunak, Under-Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, refused to comment on the case and instead made a general statement about the government priority to build more affordable homes (missing the point raised about specifically social housing – not 80% of private market rent or shared-equity schemes) and praising the Tory leadership of Wandsworth.

You will find below a full transcript of the debate, with some specific parts highlighted when we found it appropriate (video is available HERE). Continue reading

Ganley Court: strong objection from residents to developments of up to 31 storey towers

Authors: Owners and residents of No. 17, 18, 20, 23, 40, 42, 43 and 44 Ganley Court

Latest plans for skyscrapers on York Gardens

NB: This is a transcript of the detailed objection of Ganley Court residents regarding the Planning Application 2019/0024, which is proposing to build on York Garden up to 2550 residential units ranging from 3 – 31 storeys above ground level including leisure centre, health, flexible commercial uses, park, landscaping, public realm, energy centres, car/cycle parking and new vehicle accesses.

We are the owners and residents of No. 17, 18, 20, 23, 40, 42, 43 and 44 Ganley Court, Winstanley Estate, SW11 2EW. We are all freeholders of well-maintained low rise terraced family-sized houses of three and four bedrooms with garden. We believe that the changes being proposed are substantial and that, despite our feelings about the Master Plan having been made clear from the beginning, the rights and needs of the freehold residents of Ganley Court have been neglected and undermined throughout the consultation process. We therefore request further consultation and a revised planning application before this is determined. Continue reading

Horror plans to redevelop Clapham Junction/Winstanley area

Author: Cyril Richert

An article from the Evening Standard a few days ago revealed to the general public some pictures of the plans instigated by Wandsworth Council to redevelop Winstanley & York estates. We have already explained in many articles how Wandsworth Council ignored some results of the consultation 5 years ago and has conducted parody of consultations along the process. For a reminder, you can just glance at our previous article: Winstanley regeneration: Can we trust the Council?

There is not much to add to the pictures published in the Evening Standard and that we post below. It resembles more Canary Wharf or even New York in some extend and as “phallocratic” tower-plans go (as Boris Johnson famously named them in 2007) the budget for this “grand” design slipped from £1bn in 2017 to £1.4bn nowadays. Who knows, it might soon reached £2bn if you had 2 or 3 more skyscrapers… And to reuse a headline describing the former Mayor of London, it could be Tory’s dire legacy for Clapham Junction. Continue reading

Winstanley Phase 0: Less Trees, Less Space and High rise

Author: Cyril Richert

Phase 0 of the Winstanley and York Road estates regeneration has now started. Usual trick applied: the picture published is only showing the top 6 floors of a tower that will reach … 20 floors.

This phase comprises of three separate developments along Grant Road, which in total will deliver 139 new residential flats along with the relocation of the Battersea Baptist Church and Thames Christian College. Continue reading

Councils play damaging property game: short-term gain but long-term threat to London

Authors: Cyril Richert & Jane Clifton

Capture from BBC 1 Inside Out documentary

On Tuesday 3rd September, BBC1 released a very interesting documentary on Council regeneration plans (BBC1 Inside Out 03/09/2018). The programme featured Westminster’s “regeneration” programme (this city council plans to flatten 300 homes at the Ebury Bridge estate in Pimlico to make way for 750 new properties, the majority of which will be sold on the private market) but it also dealt with the issue more widely – the property development activities of various other London Councils.

The 29-minute documentary clearly shows why getting rid of council housing in favour of expensive redevelopments and making financial gains for the Councils (and more obviously private developers) is such bad news long term for London: pushing out vital elements of the population who help to keep the city running.
Continue reading