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

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

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

Peabody: at last they are building again!

Author: Cyril Richert

Peabody 20200123

Work continues to prepare the site for piling machines and to provide an entrance/exit at the top of Eckstein Road for emergency vehicles.

This time, it’s for real: Peabody has started again their construction in St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, after nearly 3 years in limbo, and 8 years after the scheme was approved by Wandsworth Council, against local community.

The redevelopment was originally approved in July 2012 after a large campaign to oppose the proposal and local newspapers naming the plan “controversial”. Phase 1 was achieved in 2016 but then Peabody wrote to the local residents in December 2016, telling them that due to the estimated build cost significant increase (and as we heard because units were not selling well on the private market), they had decided to put a temporary hold on the development. Continue reading

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

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