Planning Application Comment Generator

Author: Cyril Richert

The Clapham Junction Action Group is providing an online tool to help you shape your comment on any planning application, both quickly and efficiently (i.e. with the necessary planning jargon that will make most impact on the planning report). Continue reading

Wandsworth runs a workshop to discuss the future Local Plan

Authors: Cyril Richert & David Curran

You may never have heard of the Local Plan, but it’s important. It’s a fairly weighty document that sets the overall vision for almost all future development in the Borough – it’s a key thing that future planning applications will be assessed against, as it gives a steer on what can and can’t be done, and what the Council will be looking for from developers. To complicate matters, it has to fit together with the ever-changing policies of central Government, as well as the wider London plan. It has to be reviewed every few years as priorities evolve and new challenges emerge, and this is a big exercise that Wandsworth’s currently working on.  Continue reading

Planning Forum meeting 22nd January 2020

Author: Cyril Richert

Second meeting with Cllr Guy Humphries, current chair of the Planning Application Committee for Wandsworth. It followed the Council’s workshop on the future local plan the week before, which participants commented that it was well organised.

I attended on behalf of CJAG and noted that, although promised by Mr Humphrey at the last meeting, an official response to CJAG’s proposal for planning reforms has not been provided by the Council. Beside the minutes that are received later, I summarise below parts of the discussion. Continue reading

When other countries are weighing urbanism rules over private interest

Author: Cyril Richert

Porte de Montreuil project – Credit in leJDD.fr: Lautreimage / Play-Time

London has rows of 4-storey Victorian houses, Paris has got 6-storey Haussmann buildings, both inherited from the 19th century. During the 20th century, the French city had a few attempt to build towers, with the – nearly unanimously disliked by Parisians – 210 m Montparnasse tower and a cluster of high rise buildings along the river in the west of Paris. In the meantime, the city of London developed high-rise in its centre, with Tower 42 acting as a landmark for the financial district amongst other taller buildings, later joined by the Gherkin.

However things started to diverge at the beginning of the 21st century. While Paris stayed mostly the same (and that is mostly due to the Montparnasse tower, as shortly after its construction was voted a law in 1977 to limit the size to 37 m [1] on all new buildings [2]), London initiated a more drastic change of its skyline when Ken Livingstone became Mayor of London in 2000. Continue reading

Planning Forum meeting 3rd July 2019

Author: Cyril Richert

New era or continuity for the Planning Forum? The future will decide but so far the most visible change was a new Chair, as Cllr Sweet as been replaced by Cllr Guy Humphries (due to the last cabinet reshuffle) and probably the most relevant change was actually the proposal to have Community Groups involved within the draft of the next Local Plan through workshop(s). Continue reading

What about an automatic planning report generator?

Author: Cyril Richert

Yes, as many of you spotted, yesterday’s publication was of course specific to April fool’s day (the clue was in the date!)

However, independently of Wandsworth Council, we have analysed dozen of planning reports on major schemes and found many similarities used to dismiss objections. Words such as “on balance“, “landmark“, “benefits outweigh harm” seem to have been used, without moderation, to justify any possible scheme. Continue reading

Wandsworth’s cash machine: the Council is collecting as much as all the adjoining boroughs together!

Author: Cyril Richert

With all the new developments in Clapham Junction, but also in other parts of the borough (Nine Elms of course) you may wonder if there is an incentive for the borough. No need to keep in suspense, the answer is yes. We have carried out a thorough comparison with neighbouring boroughs and Wandsworth is actually crushing the competition! Continue reading