Big blow for the Council: Development granted in appeal after inspector says it is not dissimilar to what Wandsworth is allowing usually

Author: Cyril Richert

Soon up to 10 storey at the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road

A development up to 10 storeys facing Putney High Street, has been granted by a Government Inspector in appeal after Wandsworth Planning Committee refused it (despite recommendation to approve from the officers).

Renowned architects Grimshaw proposed a series of building up to 10 storeys in 2017 on a site surrounding (but without)  the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road to replace several buildings of 3 storeys (pictured above) comprising 115 flats and 8 mews houses, with 27 associated parking spaces (p.a. 2017/1874).

The site currently accommodates a collection of individual buildings, varying in height between 3 and 4 storeys and comprising shops on the ground floor with storage and offices above and frontages to Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road. Continue reading

Community ‘crowdfunding appeal’ by residents to save Putney Common

Author: Nick Evans

A view of Putney Common with the hospital in the background. September 2013.

A view of Putney Common with the hospital in the background.
September 2013.

Late November 2013, the Friends of Putney Common (FofPC) community group has launched an online community ‘crowdfunding appeal’ to protect Putney Common from Wandsworth Council’s grasping attempt to build private roads on common land. FofPC’s fundraising will ensure that they are represented by leading silk Robert McCracken QC, in their ongoing High Court and Court of Appeal actions. Continue reading

Wandsworth Council Forced to Quash their own Planning Permission

Author: Cyril Richert

There is a conversation on Streetlife talking about the planning practice with Wandsworth Council. With no surprise for us, it confirms what we have been already saying for some time: Wandsworth Council is frequently in breach of its own policy and shows little respect for the all planning process. Below are extracts of the article (I put some sentences in bold): Continue reading

Update on plannings in Putney

Author: Patricia Poulter

Following the last update on planning applications in Putney at the end of January, those a few issues happening at the moment.

The application for Tileman 113 Upper Richmond Road was approved at last month’s PAC. On the Putney Society website, you will find a letter sent to the PAC members in advance of the PAC after the officer’s report was made available.

The application sailed through the PAC but there are still remaining issues about the process. The PS will further contact the Council on their remaining concerns.

This application was a highly contentious one (see our previous article). The initial proposal was reduced from 15 to 12 storeys and in mid flow of consultation further reduced to 11 storeys but in real terms only by 1.5m.

More to follow on another contentious application: Capsticks site being developed by St James…

Update on plannings in Putney

Author: Patricia Poulter

Whilst we were told by WBC that the SSAD would be a plan that would take years to become a building reality, 4 of the 6 sites identified in the Putney Town Centre South are in full application/implementation stages. These sites are all terribly close to one another and some applications are being lodged at the same time.

Tote House:

The application for the erection of part 4, part 8 and part 11 storey hotel containing 140 rooms, and associated restaurant and bar,has been withdrawn by the applicant.

It is believed that the owner is planning to implement a previously approved scheme for the “Erection of a fourth floor infill extension and construction of a new fifth floor and use of the ground and first floors as offices, and the change of use of the upper floors to provide 14 flats with 14 off-street parking spaces at the rear” (LBW ref:2007/6359).

Putney Place ( site opposite East Putney tube station) 84-88 Upper Richmond Road:

For info, this site is part of the SSAD and on the original version the maximum height was showing as 12 storeys.

3 buildings ranging in height from 15-storeys (up to 53m), 6-12 storeys (up to 45m) and 8-10 storeys (up to 38m) mixed-use scheme comprising: 197 residential units; 2734sq.m offices (class B1a); 1216 sq.m flexible retail/financial and professional services/restaurant/café/offices/non-residential institutions/assembly and leisure (A1/A2/A3/B1a/D1/D2); 134 basement car parking spaces; 3 car club spaces at ground floor; 236 cycle parking spaces ( LBW ref 2010/5483).This application involves 1450 pages of documentation !!!!!

This proposal seeks to replace the existing 2 buildings (one 6 storeys high and and one 7 to 9 storeys, 7600sqm offices).

This is the site where a previous application by Oracle for one 26 storey and one 21storey buildings for mixed use was refused by WBC.

The current developers of the site have consulted with residents, amenities groups and held a number of public exhibitions. They made a number of alterations to the scheme as a result but not on the height of the building.

Capsticks site ( site immediately to the west of East Putney station).77-83 Upper Richmond Road:

As the address suggests, it is only yards from the above proposal.

This site in the first SSAD was showing maximum height of 15 storeys.

It is one of the sites where the town centre boundary was extended by WBC to incorporate previously residential space in a residential road.

The proposal is for 3 blocks 12-13 storeys high (up to 41m), 4-9 storeys (up to 29m) and 1-2 storeys (up to 5.5m) to provide 104 residential units, office accommodation, retail, cafe/restaurant uses, together with a new public piazza, vehicular access, and basement car and cycle parking. This would replace one 8 storey building and one 4 storey building and a large car park that comprises 1/3 of the site.

The site is being developed by St James and there has been a good level of consultation with the neighbours and amenities groups.

Some alterations have been made to the proposal including the reduction of height from 15 to 13 storeys.( LBW ref 2011/0054).

Tileman House: 131 Upper Richmond Road ( near Putney High Street and Putney Rail Station).

This application is due to be put to the Planning Applications Committee in February we believe.

This site was identified also in the first SSAD for a maximum 12 storeys. A 7 storey building mixed use stands on the site.

A 15 storey proposal was declined by WBC and again on appeal. The applicant returned with the same scheme with reduced heights down to 12 storeys at its tallest .No consultation with residents or amenities groups by the developer.

Read about the previous plan here: Tileman scheme rejected: too high

Update on plannings in Putney

Author: Patricia Poulter

Just a few words to update you on what is happening in Putney at the moment.

Tote was the hotel from Travelodge at 11 storeys replacing an office building that stood at 4 storeys. The application has been withdrawn and it looks like the site has changed hands and it is said that they will be implementing a previously approved application given in 2007 at 5 storeys.

Putney Place (site opposite East Putney Tube) where previously 2 towers one at 26 and the other at 21 storeys was opposed at a well documented public meeting organised by the Putney Society and then declined by the Council. Site has changed hands.
The new developers have involved the local residents and have produced a scheme that meets general local approval APART from on the height which so far is max 15 stories, with other blocks at 8 , 10 and 12. They have engaged well with the local population and done public exhibitions but we do not know yet what they will finally submit.

Tileman have come back with the same proposal but taken off 3 storeys here and there to get main block down from 15 to 12 storeys.

Read about the previous plan here: Tileman scheme rejected: too high

Capsticks has been purchased by St James. They have consulted with neighbours and done public exhibitions. They are also proposing a building at 15 storeys.This is at pre application stage.

All in all, the SSAD original heights and types of developments are being followed almost to the letter in terms of proposed heights, use and footprints.[1]

[1] Regarding the size of buildings, CJAG reported: “During the public hearing on the Core Strategy examination, Thursday 4 February at the Town Hall, the inspector made the point that developers will look at any suggested maximum and see it as the green light from which to start.” The Council acknowledged the issue and has decided to remove all the upper limit indications… too late maybe!

New plans for hotel in Putney, Richmond Road

Author: Cyril Richert published an article on September 27th  revealing that David Miller Architects has new plans to replace an old five-storey office building by a hotel made by 3 elements up to 10 storeys (140 bedrooms) in Upper Richmond Road/Woodlands Way.

The article says:

The schemes massing features three main volumes including an elliptical 10-storey tower element that curves to respond to the corner position it overlooks, an 8 floor middle section, and a low-rise 3-storey section at the back of the building.

These are then broken down by the architect further with a variety of cladding materials including clear glazing on the ground floor retail element, aluminium cladding on the tower section that’s been chosen for it’s metallic look to contrast with the solid, less reflective brick employed elsewhere. Adding a further counterpoint will be the black framed vertical window sections adding a certain soar to the project despite its modest height.

Although it will be taller than neighbours, the scale of the scheme crucially fits broadly within the heights of other nearby buildings, most specifically the SWISH development that has a similar number of floors and even features a curving section too. Ultimately it’s this height, or lack of it, that indicates the project will have rather more success than taller buildings proposed along Upper Richmond Road.

Tileman scheme rejected: too high

Author: Cyril Richert

Following the recommendation of the planning officer on the planning proposal for Tileman House in Putney, the council has refused permission in its meeting yesterday.

Planning applications chairman Leslie McDonnell said:

At fifteen storeys the main block would be higher than any other development in the area. The proposed scheme would also sit uncomfortably alongside the existing buildings in Upper Richmond Road.

“The committee accepted the principle of development at this location. The existing buildings are unattractive, offering outdated office accommodation and contributing little to the street scene.

“However if a scheme is to work here it needs to better reflect the heights of the existing buildings in this part of Putney.

We welcome the decision which comes as a volte-face from previous point of view expressed by the 3 councillors of the area.

More information on the Council’s website.

UPDATE 24 Aug. 2009:
We received some feedback from John Horrocks (Putney Society) who attended the meeting:

Unusually, Councillor Edward Lister came to the meeting to tell the Committee about his concerns regarding a building of this height on this site. As one would have expected, this meant that none of the majority group expressed a contrary view. Or the minority group, either!

The modest ‘debate’ on the application was enlivened by an interesting exchange between Councillor Belton and Councillor Lister on the issue of the council’s Core Strategy policy on tall buildings and whether this is being applied appropriately across different parts of the borough. The application of the policy by the council does raise some interesting questions. The council’s tall buildings policy does seem rather flakey at the moment. Perhaps it will improve as time passes?!

Tileman House: Town planner recommends refusal.

Author: Cyril Richert

The officers’ response to the application on Tileman House, Upper Richmond Road has now been made public.   The application is on next week’s agenda and has been recommended for refusal.  There are two reasons for refusal which are:

  1. The proposal by reason of its height and scale would form an overbearing and unduly dominant feature uncharacteristic of the surrounding area and prevailing buildings heights, would have a detrimental impact on the streetscape, and would have an inappropriate relationship with adjoining properties contrary to UDP Policies GEN7, TBE1 and TBE5, Core Strategy Proposed Submission Policies PL4, PL14 and IS3 and London Plan policy 4B.10.
  2. The local planning authority has received inadequate housing viability information in order to assess if the proposed level of affordable housing in terms of the overall numbers, the mix of types and sizes and the split between social rented and intermediate has been maximised on this site in order to secure the Council’s affordable housing target. The proposal is therefore contrary to Core Strategy: submission version policy IS 5 and London Plan Policies 3A.9 and 3A.10.

It remains to be seen whether the members of the Committee do or do not agree with the recommendations, but I think we can guess that the weight of public opinion has had some effect: On the Council’s website, there are currently 269 objections and …2 support letters! According to the planning officer report, we had 267 objections on the previous application withdrawn last year.

The Mayor of London raised also serious concerns about the height of the 15 storey element of the proposal.

More information on the Tileman redevelopment in our previous articles:

  1. Tileman House – Upper Richmond House
  2. Tileman House – Comments

Tileman House – Comments

Author: Cyril Richert

We have reported in a separate article about the planning application submitted to the Council to redevelop the site of Tileman House.

Three Councillors (Ravi Govindia, Jeremy Larsson and Leslie McDonnell, also chair of the Planning Committee, from East Putney ward) have published a letter (see here/bottom) addressed to residents of the vicinity of Upper Richmond Road where they encourage present favourably the case for the development:

The alternative would be for the property to remain empty for a long period of time running the risk of it becoming an eyesore. […] proposals for a mixed commercial/residential development should have the advantage of bringing the buildings into use and adding to the attraction of Putney Town centre as a destination. […] Any redevelopments on the Upper Richmond Road will attract s106 gains which will be used to improve the infrastructure in the immediate area. It is important that as Wandsworth Town Centre develops further, Putney does not lose out.

However, the application has generally created a massive opposition.

There is already an animated debate with more than 90 messages (since mid-June, as of today) on the website. As written in the first post, most of the comments “fail to see how the minor alterations made to the plans address the concerns expressed in the hundreds of comments sent against the last application“.

On the Council website, the latest count on the revised application is 179 objections and 3 in favour (as of 17/07). A lot of the objections are repeating the words “insulting our intelligence” and ” I do not want“. In addition, as confirmed by the Chairman of the Planning Committee, hundreds of comments on the previous application (ref 2008/5428) will be reported to the planning committee.

John Horrocks, for the Putney Society, said:

To the general public, given that their concern, when looking at this application, is what the proposed building would look like from the Upper Richmond Road, this new application is no different from last year’s application (No 2008/5428). In this context, the two applications are identical.

The Society’s objections to last year’s application were set out in our letter of 23 February 2009.  The Society has since produced a Design Brief (dated June 2009) which details how this site should be redeveloped if a satisfactory building is to be achieved. […]

On all these points the application is in conflict with the council’s planning standards and policies as set out in the various planning policy documents which now make up the ‘development plan’.  We see no reason why a departure from these policies would be appropriate here.  There would be no advantage to Putney in doing so.

Justine Greening, Conservative MP for Putney said:

I am writing to object to the latest planning application for Tileman House.

I remain concerned about the height of the proposed building, especially of the rear block. Additionally, the properties in St John’s Avenue will be overlooked by a number of balconies at the rear of Tileman House in a way that they are not currently and this will clearly be an intrusion for those residents. […]

I request that my constituents’ concerns are fully taken into account during the planning process and I would be grateful if you could continue to keep me informed of progress on this application.

Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate Stuart King said:

The conduct of the developer in this case is deeply cynical. The tactics of withdrawal, inconsequential amendment and resubmission are nothing more than a war of attrition with local residents, who remain overwhelmingly against this overdevelopment. It is time-consuming for everyone concerned and deeply undemocratic. I pay tribute to the civic contribution those who feel so passionately against this overdevelopment continue to show.

Residents and I support regeneration of Upper Richmond Road and this site in particular. But that regeneration cannot be at any price and certainly not at the price that entails a 15-storey tower on the site’s Upper Richmond Road frontage. The reduction in bulk to the rear offers a negligible positive improvement on light and overlooking to residents of St John’s Avenue, and the further reduction in what was already an unacceptably low proportion of affordable housing is equally intolerable given Putney’s shortage of affordable homes.

This application is likely to come before the Planning Applications Committee on 20th August.

If you want to let the Council know your view, contacts details are available HERE with reference to Planning Application No 2009/1773.