Archive for February 20, 2009

Ram Brewery development stopped by Government

Author: Cyril Richert

According to an article published in the Evening Standard tonight, Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, called for an inquiry into the Ram Brewery redevelopment voted by the Council in December. As we presented the consequences in a previous article, the main brewery site will be marked  by a pair of 32 and 42-storey residential tower blocks (up to 145m  or 475ft). The Planning Application committee voted by 9 votes to 2 in favour of the scheme.

The Evening Standard wrote:

When outlining her latest decision, Ms Blears said “she ought to decide herself because she considers the proposals may conflict with national policies on important matters”.

These include building heights, landscaping, hazardous installations (the site contains gas holders) and affordable housing.

The Wandsworth application submitted by developer Minerva will now have to be considered at a public inquiry, with the final decision resting with her.

The plans, which include 11 towers, including one of 42 and another of 32 storeys, had been nodded through by Wandsworth council in December.

The letter in which Ms Blears spells out her reasons for calling in the development says her intervention was attacked by Wandsworth council leader Edward Lister. He said: “It’s unbelievable that in the depths of a recession we have a Government that would put at risk £1billion of investment in a suburban town centre.

“The Ram Brewery development would have been the catalyst for the wider regeneration of Wandsworth town centre. It would have created 1,000 new homes, 400 new jobs and helped solve the traffic problems in a problematic one-way system.”


Wandsworth’s planning applications chair Leslie McDonnell said: “This is an ambitious scheme that has the potential to transform the town centre.”

Mr Johnson supported the tower which, he said, met his requirements for the highest-quality design, and the traffic improvements.

But Ms Blears said the application raised issues that went beyond the locality and had to be debated on the basis of national planning policies. Mr Lister said this was a waste of time and put the entire enterprise at risk.

“The council set three main tests for the development, and the answer was yes on all counts”, he said. “The scheme is backed by the Wandsworth Town Centre Partnership, which described it ‘pivotal’ to their vision for the area.

“It was also backed by the Mayor who said the tall buildings met his requirements for the highest quality design and confirmed that were no another means of funding the transport improvements needed.” Deputy mayor for policy and planning, Simon Milton, said: “The Mayor supports the Wandsworth proposal because of the major improvements it would bring. This decision by Ms Blears will delay crucial development in this period of downturn that will be damaging for London’s future prosperity.” However, he did not want to comment on the wider issue.

Other proposals which could also be called in include the Victoria transport interchange and the Heart of Battersea development.

You can also read our article about what the Mayor Office said on the Clapham Junction redevelopment proposal and his claim against tall building during his campaign.


February 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm 4 comments

NORTHCOTE WARD E-bulletin February 2009

Author: Cyril Richert

I received today the newsletter from the  Councillors of Northcote ward:

NORTHCOTE WARD E-bulletin February 2009

Welcome to our latest bulletin with reports on local issues including the extension of the East London Line, Heathrow expansion, the Clapham Junction planning application, the Bolingbroke Hospital and details of the next Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting. Please forward the bulletin to friends and neighbours in the area.

Philip Beddows, Peter Dawson and Martin Johnson

Councillors, Northcote Ward, Battersea,

Wandsworth Borough Council.


Among all the issues I will quote three, relating to topics on this website (and will link to our articles in bold brown, for your reference):

The East London Line – Good News for Clapham Junction

Boris Johnson and Geoff Hoon came to Clapham Junction last week to announce the go-ahead for the East London Line extension. Really good news for Northcote ward residents that follows a lengthy campaign by the Council and local Conservatives to secure funding for the connection.

On the Council website: Clapham Junction wins East London Line connection

Jane Ellison, Battersea’s Conservative Parliamentary candidate, was there to discuss the proposals with Boris Johnson

Read our article about the East London extension here.

Northcote Road – Shop Locally

The Northcote Business Network launched a new website in December last year

Use it to check out what is happening along Northcote Road .

Read our article about business in CJ here.

Clapham Junction Battersea – Planning Application

Thank you to everyone who has let us know their views about this planning application – it is probably the most important to affect Northcote Ward in a generation. If you have not yet submitted your views to the Council’s Planning department please do so as soon as possible.

All three Northcote councillors spoke at last month’s public meeting organised by the Clapham Junction action group – see reports posted (17th February and 29th January) on the action group’s website At the meeting we explained that we continue to ask questions about a number of key aspects of the scheme including the impact of two 42 storey towers on the surrounding area much of which is designated a Conservation area; the real nature of the station and platform improvements and Network Rail’s plans; the need for a proper transport interchange including bus facilities; the implications for air pollution in the area and the mix of the proposed development with its focus on small flats and retail outlets with the loss of other employment opportunities.

Jane Ellison, Battersea’s Conservative Parliamentary candidate, has issued a Residents’ News opposing this application – go to and scroll to Latest Campaign – Britain’s Busiest Station Deserves Better.

Details of the proposal are available on the developers, Metro Shopping Fund, website Go to Latest News to see their current leaflet (the beat 03).

Full details of the applications and comments submitted so far can be seen on the Council’s Planning website search the planning register and enter application number 2008/4488.

The following links will take you to a recent exchange of letters between the Council’s Planning Department and Network Rail, both are posted on the Planning website – they are well worth reading.

Letter from Wandsworth Planning Department to Network Rail

Response from Network Rail dated 30th January 2009

The following link will take you to a letter that the Council’s Planning Department sent to the developers last month. We understand they are preparing a comprehensive response.

Letter from Wandsworth Planning Department to the applicants

Whatever your own views send your comments, including your postal address, to Mark Hunter at

Copies should be sent to

1. Cllr Leslie McDonnell, Chairman of the Planning Applications Committee, with a request to circulate your views to members of the committee –
2. Cllr Edward Lister, Council Leader –
3. Your Northcote ward councillors Philip Beddows – ; Peter Dawson –
and Martin Johnson –

As we said at the public meeting we will ensure that the views of Northcote residents are properly represented when the application is discussed at the Planning Committee and at any full Council meeting so please do let us know what you think of this application.

Read our report on the meeting here and watch the videos there. See our analysis on the letter sent by Wandsworth Council press officer: Planning Decision Deferred Again! Our comment about Jane Ellison’s statement is here.

February 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

February 2009
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