Does Wandsworth lie about its record of affordable housing provision?

Author Cyril Richert

Wandsworth officers in charge of the draft Local Plan write:

“There is a strong record of affordable housing provision in the borough with 885 new affordable homes delivered between 2016/17 and 2018/19.”

For any observant of Wandsworth planning approval in recent years, this statement seems to contradict the general perception of the local trend. Even the Mayor of London seemed to think that Wandsworth was not meeting it’s target on affordability. In 2018, officers told us that, although they were not prepared when this topic was challenged by the Mayor of London to justify approval for the Homebase-Swandon Way scheme, they since double checked figures and found the borough meets its target (in general terms).

Reality is: it’s not true! Wandsworth has missed 4 out of 5 times its global target Continue reading

April’s fool joke: why it does work

Author: Cyril Richert

We’ve received many emails since Thursday, reacting to our article on Arding and Hobbs’ proposal for a new 22-storeys hotel tower on top of the iconic building; some of you outraged, some others wondering if it was a bit fishy. The clue was indeed in the date, as it appeared on the website on April’s 1st. Continue reading

Has Wandsworth done a good job in drafting the new Local Plan?

Author: Cyril Richert

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Local Plan examination – Hearing session 8th July 2015

CJAG has submitted a response to the consultation on the draft Local Plan for Wandsworth. We found the new local plan to be quite disorganised, with some striking misleading parts with political bias. But most importantly, although the team of officers worked for 2 years on the document (giving us 8 weeks to review it!), the site specific analyses are lacking major details, not taking into account local context and some important sites have just been ignored. Continue reading

Ward boundary changes: final recommendation published for Wandsworth

Author: Cyril Richert

The Local Government Boundary Commission has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Wandsworth Council. You will notice little changes from our previous interim report. The Boundary Commission purpose was to take into account the population change in most of the areas of the borough, especially with the huge increase created by the ongoing redevelopment in Nine Elms. The conclusion highlight two major changes: most of the wards have changed shape (the exception being West Hill which remains the same) and sometime names; and the number of councillors (currently 60) should be reduced at 58, with 14 three-councillor wards and 8 two-councillor wards across the borough.

A mix of Labour and Tory proposals for Clapham Junction

As we can see with the comparison below, the Boundary Commission final proposal is a mix between the Tory and Labour proposals (with a pinch of salt from CJAG, as you will see in our next section below). Continue reading

Winterville keen to return to Clapham Common in 2020, on Wandsworth side

Author:  Susan Lofthouse

Winterville has always proved controversial. There were frequent complaints about the noise and intrusion, and there was a sigh of relief when Lambeth Council decided it was not going to agree to its return in 2019.

As a consequence, last year was Winterville free, and Lambeth were able to carry out £200,000 of works to restore the damage caused by this, and other equally excessive commercial events. Continue reading

Bad journalism with the BBC

Author: Cyril Richert

On the last days of 2019, BBC News published an article on a main train station transformation project in Paris: Gare du Nord: Why Europe’s busiest station needs a makeover fast. This is a project that we have mentioned in October on CJAG’s website (here) and that we are therefore familiar with. After a (rather) balanced presentation of the opinions of different parties, the problem comes with the conclusion of the article:

“But truth be told, opponents of Stationord are fighting a losing battle.

Paris’s other big stations – Montparnasse, Saint-Lazare, Austerlitz – have already had their commercial makeover. Why would the Gare du Nord be any different?”

Continue reading

Clapham Junction is losing its DIY stores!

Author: David Curran

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In the 1980s, Clapham Junction emerged as a profitable spot for DIY traders. Close to the city centre and full of nice-but-tired (and, at the time, just about ‘affordable’) housing, the DIY stores realised there was a huge appetite for property renovations and that they were on to a good thing.  Over the years a big B&Q, as well as two separate branches of Homebase, sprung up along the York Road, as well as a pair of Travis Perkins branches on Battersea Park Road and Lombard Road serving the more serious builders. Over the last three decades  lot of the materials that went in to renovating, upgrading and extending the houses of Clapham Junction (as well as the wider catchment north of the river) came from these big box stores.

But that’s come full circle now, and the DIY stores that did so much to feed the regeneration of the houses of Clapham Junction are themselves getting priced out of the area.

Continue reading

Consultation on Ward boundary changes for Wandsworth

Author: Cyril Richert

Current 20 wards in Wandsworth

The Boundary Commissioners are just about to make decisions about the ward boundaries in Battersea. One thing we know is that all, or almost all, wards will change as a result of their first rather curious recommendation (decision?) to go from having 60 councillors (currently 3 in each of 20 wards in the Borough) to 58. If they were to stick with an equal number of representation for each ward, that would mean 2 councillors in 29 wards.

We have decided to submit a contribution, reinforcing our interest and commitment for the area. Continue reading