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

Debenhams to file for administration

Arding & Hobbs by Edwardx, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence

Arding & Hobbs by Edwardx, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence

Last week we read that Debenhams was filing for administration after the coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut its shops across the UK.

According to Debenhams boss Stefaan Vansteenkiste, the move aims at protecting the business in the current uncertainty but wish to resume trading when government restrictions are lifted. Continue reading

Coronavirus – You must stay at home: how to manage in Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

Image taken from GoogleMap, because we all need to STAY AT HOME!

Eventually, Boris Johnson told us yesterday: “You must stay at home“. 

From Monday evening 23 March 2020, people can only leave home for one of the four following reasons:

  1. Shopping for groceries or essentials
  2. Any medical need
  3. One form of exercise per day
  4. Travelling to and from work, if it’s absolutely necessary and you cannot work from home

In a ministerial broadcast from Downing Street the Prime Minister said citizens would face fines (the punishment in England for not complying would be a fixed penalty notice initially set at £30) if they fail to comply with the government’s new instructions. Continue reading

Homebase: a new scheme disguised as a “variation of conditions”

Author: Cyril Richert

At the beginning of January was submitted a variation of conditions for the scheme located on Homebase site, Swandon Way. Although this is not called a “new application”, it resembles a new scheme in any aspect. Amongst the most major new features, we could cite the increase of units by 20%, the suppression of all car parks but blue badges, 64% reduction in shared amenity, no more basement (it saves money) and the removal of a third of commercial space. 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

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

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

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