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.
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Winstanley regeneration: Can we trust the Council?

Author: Cyril Richert

Following the initial consultation in 2013, the Council has presented several exhibitions (so-called “consultations”) of what Ravi Govindia calls now “the vision created with the help of the local residents“.

As the leader of the Council might reveal soon the 50+ storey landmark that he is planning for the area (nicknamed Govindia Wharf) this is interesting to see the difference between what local residents responded to and the current presentations.

Board presenting the result of the consultation in 2013

Evolution of the size of the leisure centre proposal from 2013 to 2018

Evolution of the size of the Grant Road proposal from 2013 to 2018

Evolution of the size of the main Winstanley blocks proposal from 2013 to 2018

Do you think this is a definition of “taking into account the result of consultation“?

And by the way, this is Winstanley & York estates in 2018:

Winstanley & York Road estates in 2018

Winstanley regeneration: when the “consultation” becomes a farce

Author: Cyril Richert

Latest plans for skyscrapers on York Gardens

With the latest developments along York Road, we have now potentials for even taller buildings“, I was told at the Winstanley & York exhibition in November 2017 by the head of the project team.

New “landmark tower” (32 storeys) on York Garden

Indeed he was right: every new exhibition the building size increases by X% and their new proposal shows a 32 storey tower (as usual called “a landmark tower“), which is part of a block including also a 20 storey tower and a 17 storey tower! Continue reading

Council’s gift before local election: 20 storey tower beside Grant Road station entrance

Author: Cyril Richert

Finally, after 4 years of work on the Winstanley and York redevelopment project, and as local residents expressed the wish of less towers in the 2013 consultation, the Council is proposing a 20 storey tower in Grant Road, the tallest building in the area so far. Continue reading

Wandsworth Council is threatening to tear down homes of Ganley Court

Author: Dr Neil Mason

Ganley Court homeowners protesting at the latest Council’s exhibition for the Winstanley/York estates redevelopment

The Ganley Court homeowners on the Winstanley Estate are fighting the proposed plans to demolish their homes as part of a regeneration masterplan.

They support the wider regeneration of the estate but completely reject this masterplan in its current form. The residents feel the proposed demolition of their low rise family homes to facilitate the building of a neighbourhood of dense skyscrapers is simply unacceptable. They are dismayed and distraught at the horrendous offer to be rehoused in new tower blocks on a shared equity basis. 

This regeneration project is making a mockery of planning rules.  The plans are changing and misleading at every stage and the buildings are getting higher, e.g. the latest addition of housing on top of the community centre, library and leisure centre with several 20-25 towers along the park. Continue reading

Appalling exhibition on the future of the Winstanley/Clapham Junction Station area

Author: Cyril Richert

Did you support the two 42-storeys towers at Clapham Junction station in 2009? If so you will be very pleased that Wandsworth Council is now pushing for such avision, but with a more ambitious project transforming of the full area into a small Canary Wharf type development!

For others, you will wonder if you should cry or laugh, but you will certainly be flabbergasted by the vision presented by the Winstanley York Road regeneration team. Continue reading

Winstanley/York regeneration project: towers are so big they don’t fit on the image published by Council

Author: Cyril Richert

Architect image published in Brightside in September 2017 – towers are so big they don’t fit on the image published

The Council is pushing ahead the contentious plan to redevelop Winstanley and York estate and revealed for the first time the architect image of what is going to be build beside the new leisure centre.

While previous plans where showing buildings from above (never from ground floor) so nobody can see the size and the features of the proposed buildings, it appears now that the series of towers planned is so big that it cannot even fit on the page of the Council’s magazine. Continue reading