Archive for February 17, 2009

Metro published a leaflet: some misrepresentation and misleading falsehood

Author: Cyril Richert

The day of our Public Meeting that they refused to attend, Metro Shopping Fund (the joint venture between Delancey and Land Securities)  distributed a leaflet on their proposal, answering some questions. You can read the PDF version here.

We welcome the initiative to communicate on the planning, although we found some gross misleading all along the document. We thought it was worth commenting (in brown) some extracts (in green) of the brochure bellow (for full quote and page number, please refer to the PDF document above).

Brochure page 1:

A) “Metro Shopping Fund’s redevelopment plans for Clapham Junction will deliver major improvements to the station that will enhance the passenger experience dramatically. […] A new 707m2 ticket hall and entrance in the Victorian Brighton Buildings on St John’s Hill, which will incorporate new lifts ans escalators.”

B) “These improvements facilitate a substantial increase in capacity and help relieve congestion by re-organising the way in which passenger access the platforms. […] this would reduce traffic in the subway, which would be used primarily for passengers changing platforms.”

C) “The proposed Clapham Junction redevelopment will also provide the land required to straighten and lengthen platforms 14 to 17 […] making boarding easier”

Comment:

A) With this, the developers are associated the lifts to their improvement efforts. This is a false representation;  in reality the lifts are currently put in place on Brighton Yard entrance (opening at the end of the year) and their cost of about £9 millions is paid by the government (as Martin Linton said: “contractors are installing 9 lifts at Clapham Junction station as part of the Government’s £370 million Access fo All scheme. The Brighton Yard entrance at the top of St John’s Hill will be re-opened with a ticket office to provide direct access to the overbridge and the lifts“).

B) Actually the truth is that by the end of the year, we will have 3 entrances to CJ station: a main one in St John’s Hill, Brighton Yard and Grand Road. The developers plan is proposing to close the main one. Therefore I find it difficult to imagine how it can make things easier for passengers. In addition, experience in Redhill shows that closing the entrance to the under-path to use the over-bridge only was a mistake and they are reversing to original now.

C) Misrepresentation again as the straightening and lengthening of the platforms are part of Network Rail Strategic Plan since 2006… nothing to do with Metro Shopping Fund.

Brochure page 2:

A) “Why does the development need to have two tall buildings? To pay for the major station improvements the plan needs to generate a significant amount of funding”

B) “Why does Network Rail need to involve a developer to improve the station? […] This way a higher number of stations can be refurbished helping to bring wider benefits to local communities such as homes, shops and jobs and ensure the tax payers’ money is invested wisely.”

C) “I live to the east of the station. How much further will I have to walk to get to the new entrance? […] you will only need to walk an additional 44 meters.

Comment:

A) As a local resident recently emailed me: “Clapham Junction station definitely needs serious improvements, and the reasons for this have been well rehearsed. However, it must surely be the responsibility of Network Rail to carry out these improvements. We have a major London station here, and it is a disgrace that we should rely on a trade-off with private developers to provide what should be expected as a matter of course from the rail network company. It is incumbent on Wandsworth Council to work with the Company to ensure that the upgrade of the station is carried out to a standard befitting one of the most important transport hubs in the country. Spending time, money and energy on considering the building of two tower blocks is not the way to deal with improving our station. ” I could not say it better.

B) As we wrote back in November, the present proposals are nothing more than an opportunity for Network Rail to save money by joining forces with a commercial developer whose sole interest is to maximise the retail and letting potential of the site to the detriment of the local community and rail passengers.

This is written in black and white in the Network Rail Strategic Business Plan October 2007:

P157: We are also exploring opportunities with private-partner investors to develop significant station improvements at the following stations:
• Victoria;
• […]
Clapham Junction.

During our Public Meeting in January (which Delancey refused to participate to, saying that “public meeting forums are not the best way to discuss elements of the scheme“), Cllr Philip Beddows talked about the necessity to have “somewhere where you actually love to be and can be proud of, rather than an environment that can be replicated anywhere […] we need to consider the legacy that the decision will leave on the people who will be living here beyond us“. I don’t think he was suggesting that the current proposal was a greater benefit for the community and that all wise taxpayers are NIMBY.

C) Er, what about the the increased walking distance across the over-bridge compared with the shorter distances along the tunnel?

Brochure page 3:

A) “Are you going to do anything to improve the bus stops at Clapham Junction? […] We are working with Transport for London and Wandsworth Council to try and find a way of improving the organisation of the bus stops.”

B) “How many new jobs will be created by the new development? The new development will create around 515 jobs.”

C) “Why must Clapham Junction station be improved? Clapham Junction is Britain’s busiest railway station. […] Metro Shopping Fund’s investment at Clapham Junction is vital, otherwise these improvements will not be delivered for the foreseeable future.

Comment:

A) Mark Hunter, the Council’s Planning Officer, highlighted in his letter to the developer that there was actually no consideration given to the station’s position as a major rail/bus interchange. Longer walking distances to the bus stops on Falcon Road and insufficient capacity around the bus stops for people waiting. Is it what metro called “working with TfL and the Council?

B) What about the loss of 241 full time jobs at PCS? The destruction of the existing bars and shops on the way from the Falcon to the Brighton building? The existing jobs in Shopstop? That might well be about 500 job destroyed…

C) We cannot disagree on that. CJ needs a redevelopment, definitely. But as we explained here, the best way to get the station improved is to refuse the planning permission.

Brochure page 4:

A) “Has the Metro Shopping Fund conducted any consultation on its plans for Clapham Junction? In order to understand your views and to gain input to the project, Metro conducted a comprehensive consultation […] the feedback we received was very positive – with overwhelming support for the proposed station improvements (80% plus) and strong support for the residential buildings (70% plus).”

B) “How can we get to see what the tall buildings will look like? We have published in this leaflet some views…”

C) “How will the proposals boost the existing town centre? Clapham Junction town centre has suffered decline in recent years with local people going elsewhere to do their shopping.”

Comment:

A) Question here is simple: is Metro Shopping Fund lying, do they hide their head in a hole or do they just ask the relatives of their shareholders their opinions? Truth is that there is actually an overwhelming support against their proposal, as shown here. In addition, do I need to remind you – again – that they refused to participate on the platform to our Public Meeting, on the basis that “public meeting forums are not the best way to discuss elements of the scheme“?

B) On the proposal, cost of the skyscrapers vs the station improvements is about 70% vs 30%. However, in the “newsletter” you will count 5-6 photos of the proposed new station, and only 3-4 photos of the towers (none of them showing the full scale). Is Metro still ashamed of their mis-representation to the point of threatening us when we tried to show an impression of the buildings? No worries, I will help them here, by displaying their scale model:

Scale model of the twin towers at Clapham Junction 2 Scale model of the twin towers at Clapham Junction

C) Really? How do they know that while in a listener poll conducted by Radio 4’s Today programme in conjunction with CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), Northcote Road was voted London’s second favourite shopping street? See http://www.welovenorthcoteroad.com

Last but not least, a few local residents sent us comments to the leaflet they received and agreed to be published here :

From: Gareth Davies

Dear Mr Hunter

I today received yet another misleading pamphlet through my door trying to garner support for the monstrous twin tower block proposal for Clapham Junction.

I am extremely disturbed at the misleading way the pictures in this pamphlet have been rendered. It is clear to me that they do not show the true nature of the proposed buildings and I’m very fearful that the pamphlets will persuade people to support the application and be horrified when they see how it genuinely turns out.

I fully support the idea of regeneration of Clapham Junction, but we MUST reject this proposal and find an alternative that will not ruin Clapham Junction’s character forever.

Please reject the proposal urgently so we can work towards something more constructive and more aesthetically appropriate!

Many thanks

Dr Gareth Davies

Another email sent to planning application:

From: Joanna Maude

Dear Mr Hunter

I have already written to you once before about the proposed redevelopment around Clapham Junction and understand that there are much needed access and accessibility issues around the station which have been over due for years, but this being tied in with the development of two 42 story tower blocks is inappropriate.

* The blocks do not appear to offer any sustainable housing
* The flats are not appropriate for families
* The flats do not add to the local community as they are
* The development will add more shop spaces when there are already vacant shops in St Johns Road and Northolt Road
* The additional residents will only cause additional overcrowding on the already overcrowded transport system

I work in the creative industries and have an interest in the build environment, and do not have a problem with modern buildings but they need to be suited to their local and other properties/buildings in the vicinity, plus the surrounding landscape. These are an eyesore in the local area in terms of complimenting the existing building, disregarding their height which again does not fit with the other buildings.

I attended a public meeting on Wednesday 28 January which was interesting and informative and it was great that there were some local councillors in the audience. The following day I received some material through my later box from Delancey/Land Securities promoting the development and requesting residents to agree to it, the material was very misleading, both in terms of the image and content.

Yours sincerely

Joanna Maude

And a last example:

From : Penelope Cranford

February 9, 2009

Dear Sir,

I am writing with regard to the planning application for the Metro Shopping Fund development at Clapham Junction.

There seems to me to be three clear, separate issues to this proposal: the up-grading of Clapham Junction station; the two 42 storey skyscraper buildings and the shopping and general improvement of the Clapham Junction area. Somehow, perhaps because of the funding of this development, they have been presented to us, the residents, as interdependent. Certainly, there can be no dispute that Clapham Junction station is in urgent need of improvement but does that mean, therefore, that the developers can ask and draw-up plans for a scheme, that would appear to go against all the guidelines to town centre planning? Furthermore, that the planning officers have allowed, and may even recommend, a development of this scale purely to precipitate the station up-grade. In the current issue of your Brightside magazine, Guy Senior, commenting on the improvements proposed for Earlsfield station says: “We’ve got to keep the pressure on Network Rail to deliver these improvements”. I’m sure Earlsfield, along with many other stations in the Borough – Battersea Park Road, for example – are all deserving of an up-grade but none carry the volume of commuters that Clapham Junction does. What pressure is being applied to Network Rail on behalf of Clapham Junction and shouldn’t it take precedence?

The two skyscrapers will stand so far above the existing buildings in the area and totally dominate the skyline. There is no green space, or open space at the Junction. It is just that. A major traffic junction: 240 buses an hour, I read, pass through, plus cars, taxis and people on the pavements. It is over congested now and the sheer density of this scheme: 1,000 people, 290 car parking spaces in an area already bursting will make it worse. Why? A few hundred yards up St. John’s Hill the old Gala bingo hall is being developed for housing; opposite there is an infill block of flats and opposite that the old pub site is also being developed. Then of course further up the road there is the newly approved Ram Brewery development of 1,000 new homes. Is there really the demand for all these apartments? Families with young children will not want to live 42 stories up overlooking the country’s busiest train station and young single people will not be able to afford them?

What also of the regard for the surrounding buildings? The architect talks of the Grand theatre opposite the station, there is the listed Falcon pub and Debenhams store on the opposite corner. All buildings of period architecture and completely at odds with the proposed shiny huge towers.

Shopping at Clapham Junction has been in decline in recent years, the developers say. As the council has always been keen to promote the Arndale centre to the detriment of Clapham Junction, is that surprising. The Northcote road thrives as does Battersea Rise with all the restaurants. Now with Waitrose and other new shops opening, St John’s Road is slowly improving. Why then, for example, does the Council permit another betting shop to open on Lavender Hill when there are already two others in the immediate area?

It is difficult to understand, given the weight of all these arguments, that this scheme should be given the go-ahead to be developed or even have been considered in the first place. I would welcome your comments.

Yours sincerely,

Penelope Cranford

February 17, 2009 at 9:39 pm 4 comments

Another redevelopment in Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

The Wessex House, which welcomed our Public Meeting on the 28th of January, is planning a complete redevelopment. A scale model was displayed in the hall the day of the meeting. You can also check the presentation leaflet here, with plans for inside there.

The new development includes a night-club, a restaurant and a spa. Above you will have 12 residential flats, from 1 to 3 bedrooms. The façade is a modern timber system, therefore a bit different from the old red brick buildings surrounding. You will find also additional information on the architect’s website

Wessex House redevelopment vue 1 Wessex House redevelopment vue 2

I read on the website: “A new application was submitted on in may 2004, which was subsequently refused in July 2004. It was refused on the grounds that the proposed building would constitute an over-development of the site, by reason of its height and design failing to enhance or preserve the appearance of the conservation area“. After talking to the architect, it appears that the Council thought it was 1 storey too much! Regarding the Clapham Junction proposal of 2 towers of 42 stories that is currently being considered, don’t you think there is some irony?

Tower aboveFalcon

Do you think it would be appropriate to have this in front?

February 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Public Meeting: the videos

Author: Cyril Richert

On the 28th of January, we organised a Public Meeting, with the help of the Battersea Society, in order to talk about the Clapham Junction redevelopment proposal submitted by Metro Shopping Fund. I already told here that several people were invited to the platform to speak and explain their views, including the developers, but they declined to come (Delancey said that “public meeting forums are not the best way to discuss elements of the scheme“!). However we had a fantastic audience, 3 great speakers with Tony Tuck, Kate Williams and Martin Linton and I already reported about the meeting at the end of January here.

Now (after a few issues) you will be able to watch again those great moments of local democracy in action with the entire video of the meeting published below. If you missed it, this is the occasion for you to catch up and have a taste of the event. If you have friends interested but did not have the chance to attend, feel free to forward the link.

Public meeting Part 1: Introduction

More information about speakers and invitations here.

Public meeting Part 2: Speaker = Tony Tuck, chairman of the Battersea Society

Public meeting Part 3: Speaker = Kate Williams, one of the founders of the Clapham Junction Action Group

If you want more details about the number of representations received by the council and the issue with certain support messages, read here.

Public meeting Part 4: Speaker = Martin Linton, MP for Battersea

Public meeting Part 5: Questions/Statements from the public

The first speaker from the floor is Shirley Passmore, from the Wandsworth Society. She underlined the failure of the campaign against the Ram Brewery development due to the poor involvement of the local residents and that “it does really matter to get all of you to write“.

Not intending to make any publicity (we are not related), I am just linking for those interested by the topic raised. At 4:23, the book the lady is talking about is called London Heritage Pubs, An inside story (Jane Jephcote is co-writer) and you will find details of the The Windsor Castle, which is subject to demolition in the development proposal.

There was a comment about the Battersea Power Station scheme. You can find our article about the planning proposal here.

At the end of this video, the Councillor talking is Tony Belton, Councillor for Latchmere ward, leader of the opposition Labour Group and member of the Planning Applications Committee. Answering to a question from the public, he confirmed that “the number does not matter (as even 1 objection should be considered) but clearly if there are 500 objections, that is considered with greater weight. So the more people who write in, the better” and he advised to write to the Chairman of the committee, Councillor Leslie McDonnell, or to the Secretary of the Planning Committee, Martin Newton, asking that the letter be circulated amongst the members (he added that he thinks this is more powerful than the objections on the Council’s website). He also highlighted the number of Putney locals attending the Planning Committee meeting, the day of the decision, and said “it is actually quite difficult to do something unpopular when surrounded by 100 people who don’t like what you are doing. It’s much easier to do something like that if you are surrounded, as you were in the Ram Brewery case, by 20 or 10 people.”

So for those who have not written yet, it is still time to do it. Information about where and who to write to (and copy as many people as possible) are on our website here.

All three of the Councillors of Northcote ward added their comments.

Martin D. Johnson (also a member of the Planning Applications Committee) told us that the Borough planner was still waiting for some very important information from the developers before they can start writing their report and their recommendations (we will publish a full article on that), therefore the date of March, 12th for the meeting was the earliest (indeed we have heard since then that it was not going to happen before April, maybe even later). He was also questioning whether these towers are the right way of securing improvements for the station. Although he highlighted that the planning is not just about the towers and hope that when people write about the application, they include comments on other issues, as “there is not point for the Council to turn down this scheme only to face a similar one only a little bit smaller” (job losses, such as PCS, lack of affordable housing, station facilities and, especially with the current economic time, whether it is sensible to have more shops when you have still empty units in Northcote road and around).

Philip Beddows talked about the environment, the necessity to have “somewhere where you actually love to be and can be proud of, rather than an environment that can be replicated anywhere” (he mentioned that he co-chair with Tony Belton a campaign called “SW11 tch Back to Battersea”). He rightly said that the decision from the Planning committee is going to affect the long term of Battersea and “we need to consider the legacy that the decision will leave on the people who will be leaving here beyond us“. He also talked about buses and car parking and said that such a development should not even have 1 car space as it is already congested. Eventually he suggested to have a look to the work of Peter Deakins displayed on the other side of the room.

and Peter Dawson made a point about their call for people to write to the Council and let them know their view on the different issues of the proposal. He suggested that people “do look at the decision about the refusal of the towers in Putney. It makes very interesting reading; it uses planning words; it uses planning terminology“.

Special mention to Councillor  Paul Ellis (Shaftesbury ward), as apparently he did not notice my statement regarding Shaftesbury ward  and wrote to me. Right at the beginning of the video above, I say: “For the last 4 months of the campaign, I emailed several times the Councillors and I’ve never had any answer from the 3 councillors of Shaftesbury. However, the councillors of Northcote road have been quite responsive.

Public meeting Part 6: Conclusion

Again, big thanks to everybody attending.

February 17, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Planning Decision Deferred Again!

Author: Kate Williams

You might think things have been pretty quiet on the site of late. And you would be right!

The reason has been continued confusion over the date of the planning committee meeting to consider Metro Shopping Fund’s application (MSF), which it now seems will not be considered on 12th March 2009 after all. In fact, we have been told it is unlikely that it will be considered in April either.

Although we still don’t know the reason for the latest deferral, we are willing to speculate that the developers need more time to respond to a substantial letter from Mark Hunter, the Council’s Planning Officer sent on 23rd January 2009, raising concerns about a large number of aspects of the Scheme. Many of these have clearly been generated by your letters – a welcome demonstration of the impact of local democracy in this process.

Key aspects of the Planning Officer’s letter include:

  • Value of Station Improvements: MSF to explain why a substantial part of the £39.5 million set aside for ‘improvements’ to the station is being diverted to costs which the Scheme would generate in any event. These include the purchase cost of  Windsor Castle pub, the provision of a temporary station, and the ‘debateable’ question of the land swap being proposed with Network Rail to enable them to press ahead with their straightening of platforms 15-17. “I would appreciate if you could provide an additional breakdown of the station improvements and other proposals in the £39.5 million package in a user friendly way that could be easily understood by the public, given that the issue of clarity has been raised by a number of objectors.
  • Transparency of Network Rail’s role:Without further information being provided by Network Rail, it may be difficult to progress the application in a positive way, if a compelling case cannot be made for the provision of railway facilities, over other public benefits, including other transport benefits, given the direct relation of those facilities to the very substantial quantum of development and the local impact proposed here.
  • Lack of Affordable Housing: Questions regarding the non-viability of affordable housing within the scheme. “I consider that this is a significant issue concerning one of our primary policy considerations that requires a robust response.
  • Viability of the Scheme in the Current Economic Climate: The Council’s Valuation Office has concluded that the scheme would be unlikely to start in the near future, and given the length of the build programme would be delivered in an uncertain economic climate. MSF are required to provide a revised viability scheme to include transparent costing.
  • Design of the ‘tall buildings’: The Council has concerns as to the overall design of the two towers acknowledging that they will be highly visible in short and long distance views. Reference is also made to the considerable opposition of local residents in this regard. MSF to address comments made by CABE, English Heritage and the Mayor of London and to address concerns in a face to face meeting with the Council’s Planning Department.
  • Detailed design: MSF to address concerns regarding wind tunnelling and over-shadowing. Further work to be carried out on the proposed line of the shopping centre towards the egress onto Falcon Road.
  • Station congestion: Concern at the reduction in number of station entrances from three/four to two/ Concern also at the fact that MSF’s studies only show walking distances being increased from the old entrances to the new ones, and do not take into account the increased walking distance across the over-bridge compared with the shorter distances along the tunnel.
  • Lack of provision for an integrated bus interchange: No consideration given to the station’s position as a major rail/bus interchange. Longer walking distances to the bus stops on Falcon Road and insufficient capacity around the bus stops for people waiting.
  • Traffic: MSF’s claims that the development would generate less traffic by the loss of office space is ‘implausible’ given the number of flats being proposed and significant increase in retail space. Numerous questions raised as to MSF’s assumptions in predicting both car-based movements and the impact on public transport of people visiting the new retail centre and flats.
  • Need for further consultation: Mr Hunter acknowledges the campaign for additional consultation including the provision of scale models at the station and requests MSF to consider whether they would like to be involved in such an exercise!

The Council is calling for a major rethink of the Scheme and for a great deal of additional information to be provided. We are not celebrating yet though. The chances are that the developers will come back with a revised scheme in the near future and there is every chance that skyscrapers will remain a key feature of it.

Whilst attention to many controversial aspects of the scheme (including proposals relating to the station, increased traffic, and design) are to be greatly welcomed, local residents will not rest easily until the Council is forced to reconsider its invitation to developers to propose tall buildings on the site.

Many letters of objection from residents have pointed out that the site of the station could be developed by rafting over the tracks, with no need for tall buildings. Many others have pointed out that the fact that Clapham Junction attracts 22 million passengers a year should be reason enough for Network Rail to redevelop the site as a railway station that we can be proud of.

Tell the Council what you think and let’s continue this debate until we get what we want for the station – not some half-baked oppressive scheme more suited to Canary Wharf than Clapham Junction.

In the meantime, we can but hope that these continued delays will not prevent the other considerable improvements to the area which are already in the pipeline from going ahead. These include SW Trains plan to provide a third step free access to the station from Brighton Yard which should help to alleviate congestion substantially, together with the Council’s own Exemplar Scheme which will improve the pedestrian environment around the Junction, including a one way system around Falcon Lane, improved pedestrian crossings and clutter free footpaths.

On behalf of CJAG, a round of applause to Mr Hunter and the Council’s Planning Department, and half of a hip-hip hooray.

February 17, 2009 at 12:33 am 2 comments

AGM of the Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council

Author: Cyril Richert

Trades councils are often very important organisations in an area if, like the Battersea and Wandsworth one, they are active. They bring together trade union branches in the area to campaign on relevant issues, particularly jobs, pay etc.

The Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council held their General Council meeting in January (see report below) and their AGM on Monday 9th February at 7.30pm at the PCS HQ, Clapham Junction.

The meeting concluded with an address by Imogen Radford from the No Towers in Clapham Junction Campaign who discussed the impact this development would have on local jobs.


Author: Imogen Radford

I went along to the AGM/General Council and spoke briefly to the meeting developing the points below:

Clapham Junction development: impact on the local economy
Talk to Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Council 9 February 2009

Summary of the plans

  • Two tower blocks with 550 one and two-bedroom luxury flats
  • Shops – lots more around the station
  • Station improvements
  • Demolish PCS, Moss Bros etc

Impact

  • Jobs
    • Loss of 400 to 500 in offices, secure, permanent jobs, well-paid.
    • Many new jobs claimed for the new shops.
  • Local businesses
    • Loss of business from the 400 to 500 staff, and 350 visitors a week to PCS for example, shops, pubs, restaurants etc.
    • Loss of prestige of having trade union and company headquarters in the area.
  • Local economy
    • Less stable employment in shops, more vulnerable to recession
    • A less mixed workforce, fewer well-paid staff
    • Higher proportion of people who only live in the area and work elsewhere, particular impact on the daytime economy, making the shopping area are vulnerable to competing areas which retain more of a mix and more employment locally.
  • Impact on local community
    • Impact of about 1000 new residents, possibly in buy to let flats, transient population, making less of a contribution to the local community
    • Insufficient facilities in the community – schools, hospitals, sewerage and drainage
    • Insufficient improvement of the station to cope with this growth in use
  • Transport
    • Insufficient improvement of the station to cope with further growth over the next 20 years
    • Congestion for pedestrians, as underpass closed, bridge only access to platforms, and insufficiently increased areas for movement
    • Station access less easy, as the entrance near the junction will be closed, and access only possible from Grant Road and much further up St John’s Hill
    • Parking insufficient for the number of flats, so people will park in nearby estates and streets
    • No increase in buses provision to cope with the extra numbers of residents
  • Impact on the area of inappropriate buildings
    • Conservation area, massive impact on the character of the area of inappropriate design of buildings, disproportionate sized tower blocks, modish other buildings
  • Lost opportunities
    • The planned improvements to the junction and pavements might not go ahead
    • Local NHS plans for a health centre might not go ahead, medical Centre in the development insufficient and absolutely no discussion with NHS
    • Network Rail work to improve the station might not go ahead (other than the lists installation already underway)
  • Wasted opportunities
    • Lack of a Wandsworth wide strategy on development in the area, so piecemeal proposals unconnected, including Putney towers turned down, Wandsworth towers agreed, hotel plans for Falcon Road?, Clapham Junction development?
    • Lack of a Clapham Junction wide strategy for improving the town centre, so not taking account of local business, economy, community etc, just reacting to this proposed development
    • No London wide strategy on tall buildings. Mayor of London inconsistent and contradictory in his approach
    • Potential for employment in Clapham Junction missed and lost by this proposal – very accessible area (13th most accessible in London, apparently)
    • Transport strategy not joined up
    • Connection between Clapham Junction and Heathrow?
    • More imaginative use of the station site, especially as it is partly up on a hill
    • Major redevelopment of the station to cope with increased growth, linked with the local area

What we can do: Raise in your branches

  • Objection e-mail/letter to Council
  • Attend planning meeting once date known (12 March or 16 April?
  • Local MPs and councillors
  • Mayor of London
  • Petition
  • Comment on website
  • Keep up-to-date on the website
  • Help with the campaign

Resources

  • Campaign leaflet
  • MPs newsletter
  • Item on website about the response of business
  • My e-mail about impact on PCS employee
  • New leaflet due out soon from the campaign

The response was very positive and interested.

There were people there who clearly had a lot of very interesting knowledge about Wandsworth, and talked for example about how Wandsworth Council deals with section 106/planning gain [CR: article here]. Basically they bank the money, we don’t see any improvements that benefit the local community, and this just keeps the council tax down.

They routinely do not require developers to include affordable housing.

And there is a massive oversupply of housing in the area — it is turning into a dormitory area. There have been 30,000 new dwellings built since 1992. Demolishing commercial property and replacing it with housing.

There are 3000 unsold dwellings in the borough, and there is a particular development in Plough Road, Wimbledon, where it is 60% unoccupied. Clapham Junction development will just add to this glut.

February 17, 2009 at 12:05 am


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