New hotel tower in Clapham Junction

May 26, 2009 at 11:15 am 18 comments

Author: Cyril Richert

New tower-block hotel proposed in Clapham JunctionA new hotel has been proposed at the bottom of Mossbury Road, 155 Falcon Road (in front of PCS).

The application has been submitted to the Council with the reference 2009/1291.

The application description is such as:

Demolition of existing buildings, and construction of a 16-storey building (plus plant and basement) providing a 132-bedroom hotel, with ancillary restaurant/bar and conference facilities; and a separate shop or restaurant unit fronting Falcon Road at ground floor level.

The website set-up by the developers gives a few additional information (I highlight the key points):

  • The new building responds to adopted planning policies accepting the principle of taller buildings in town centres, especially where economic and regeneration arguments add further weight.
  • The design is a contemporary response to the requirements of the brief and to the need to consider the constraints of the Conservation Area in which the site is located. The building envelope uses a range of materials, volumes, rhythms, colours and tones referenced to existing nearby buildings, including the Debenham’s department store (formerly Arding and Hobbs), the Falcon public house and The Grand Theatre.
  • The architects have undertaken a comprehensive review of the constraints of the brief and the site, and paid particular attention to the setting of the building within the Conservation Area and its relationship with existing buildings including nearby but unadjacent listed buildings.
  • The hotel entrance and servicing will be off Mossbury Road and the ground floor contains reception, restaurant and kitchen areas, with plant and service facilities below.
  • The development is restricted to three levels at its abutment with the terrace of houses on the rising frontage of Mossbury Road, reflecting the rhythm of the street.

The application has been filed by Oak Trading Company Ltd, a part of The Redwood Property Group.

David Rosemont, architect consultant to Husband and Carpenter Architects Ltd, and former Chair of the Wandsworth Challenge Partnership, said

“The design has evolved after a long period of design refinement following scrupulous consultation with the fullest range of local and other bodies, including potential operators.

The project has been carefully considered to provide the correct balance between quality, sustainability and viability. It is acknowledged that this part of the Clapham Junction Town Centre is in need of improvement and investment and a hotel of this high quality can deliver significant benefits to the Conservation Area and local community including businesses. The project offers the opportunity of a lifetime for the right project in the right location”

You might have noticed that David Rosemont has already commented some of our articles on this website, here and there (bottom of the articles, section comments).

In order to have an idea of one of the consequences on the area, here is a montage based on images from the developers:

155 Falcon Road currently
Current site

155 Falcon Road hotel proposal 155 Falcon Road hotel proposal - building mark
Site proposal


Update: As I was criticised below with the choice of colour to picture the building mark, I display some other possibilities 😀 (feel free to email me if you think that blue or pink gives a better representation of the building)

155 Falcon Road hotel proposal - building mark green 155 Falcon Road hotel proposal - building mark yellow


155 Falcon Road hotel proposal - building mark

Update 2: First image criticised by the developer (in size… and colour, so it was amended above):

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Entry filed under: New Hotel Falcon Road.

European election Thu 4 June 2009 Tower-block hotel proposal in Mossbury Road: photos and sketches

18 Comments

  • 1. architecturerosemont  |  May 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Through the use of our own website:

    http://www.newhotelclaphamjunction.wordpress.com

    and other extensive consultation we have referred local residents, businesses and others to the planning application and that itself contains full and accurate information on all aspects of the project. Our own blog is intended to be a gateway in that regard.

    In the meantime may we draw attention to the inaccuracies contained your post showing the terracotta rather “blobby” building in the bottom right montage you have supplied:

    1 The colour used is unrepresentative of the colours actually proposed in the application and does not properly reflect the variety of materials, details, tones, modelling and reflectances envisaged.

    2 The height drawn in the montage exceeds that in the accurate repesentations submitted with the application, some of which are in our own blog. There is a wider selection on the council website.

    3 The building drawn in the montage appears to have a rather alarming lean of approximately 4 degrees towards Falcon Road which again is not a feature of the actual proposal. The montage thus projects a rather “crowding and toppling” effect which is certainly not proposed, and which we ourselves as designers would have considered totally inappropriate.

    Inaccurate representation of the proposal for whatever reason is unacceptable and should not form a part of any informed debate. In essence the montage is unrepresentative of the proposal and should be discounted.

    We note that you have described your Post as “New Hotel Tower in Clapham Junction”. Whilst we acknowledge that the proposed building is of 16 stories we have carefully considered the setting and give a detailed design and planning rationale in the Design and Access Statement and other documents submitted with the application.

    It should be borne in mind that our proposed building is in fact no taller than some existing and consented buildings in the area and some 26 stories lower than those recently proposed for the Clapham Junction Station Site. It should also be noted that the site at 155 Falcon Road is the lowest within the immediate town centre. The setting of the proposed hotel building within the town centre and within the existing and any future likely backdrop has been a fundamental part of consideration of the design and is again covered in detail in the Design and Access Statement.

    Regrettably it must therefore be concluded that if as you say the montage is intended to give “an idea of the consequences” of the proposal it comprehensively fails in that regard.

  • 2. architecturerosemont  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    In preparing a planning application we were careful to ensure a robust set of information that showed the proposal correctly in two and three dimensional form, as well as in colour, shape and texture. Illustrations of materials were submitted and are on our gateway blog

    http://www.newhotelclaphamjunction.wordpress.com

    as well as with the council application.

    My previously posted comments on the gross misrepresentation of the first image provided by your website has been met with your instant alteration of the profile of the building, thus acknowledging the deficiency of your earlier post, although your new images are still wrong.

    Other legitimate points about the proposed building’s colour, detail and other features being incorrectly shown on your blog’s images remain. Clearly there has never been any intention to deliver a building of the alarming hues of your latest illustrations, which seem to display a wildly imaginative streak.

    The planning application for the hotel is concerned with a well researched project to remove an unsatisfactory existing building with a stylish new one, and, at the same time through investment to drive regeneration, economic vitality and employment in an area that needs it.

    By all means let’s have a debate, but base it on accuracy not misrepresentation or fantasy.

  • 3. Cyril Richert  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    architecturerosemont> I am sure that your own website will give several pages of sketches and explanations, as well as attracting a wide debate with extensive justifications. Nevertheless in order to contribute modestly to it, I have decided to publicise here a few information.

    I welcome your comment on this article. However I did not expect to have to correct your points so quickly.

    1- The colour used: the legend says “building mark” (yes, just try to leave your mouse on the photo and you will see it). However as you did not like the colour of our mark, I gave you other choices in green and yellow, I hope you will like it 🙂

    2- As this is a montage, I reckon that I could have made a mistake of a few millimetres (also on the side I tried to correct it, but it is not completely straight). In any case, feel free to point out how many exact marks I should correct. Regarding the alteration? Yes, in order to change the colour upd to your taste I needed to redraw the picture… sorry to disappoint you 😉

    3- Should I comment?

    I thought that the English word for the building was “tower”. I may be wrong, so I am always happy to learn. Is your proposal a low Edwardian or Victorian construction?

    All in all, I think you should engage with a constructive dialogue with the local resident of Clapham Junction… but of course it it just my personal advice. Some other developers in the past found it was not worth it… we now what happened.

  • 4. architecturerosemont  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Whilst I have a downloaded copy of your first “blobby” image could you please confirm that you have removed it from your site in view of its inaccuracy.

  • 5. Cyril Richert  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    architecturerosemont> I put it back, so you can take you time to save it. You are right, it is better not to mislead people in anyway and let them compare the total inaccuracy.

  • 6. architecturerosemont  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    The applicant has offered to meet you by invitation through the Love Clapham website and by hand delivery of a letter to your house in April 2008 and again last week. His offer remains open.

    I can facilitate this any time you wish; please let us know when this will be convenient.

    We have given before details of the consultation already done and submitted to the council a Statement of Community Involvement. This is freely available from the council, as it is a planning application requirement.

    I personally gave a presentation to The Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership and attended two public exhibitions on site in April 2008 after neighbouring residents and businesses were hand delivered invitations to the events. To imply as you have done that there was no consultation is again just plain wrong. Having been the ten times elected chairman of a publicly funded and successful urban regeneration partnership the importance and value of public consultation is well known to me.

  • 7. Cyril Richert  |  May 26, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I was not been invited not even aware of the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership presentation. I don’t know who to blame, so I won’t comment.

    I have noted you invitation. Unfortunately time is short and due to the Twin towers application, It is only today that I found time to report on the hotel proposal. However I will let you know as soon as we could arrange something.

  • 8. architecturerosemont  |  May 26, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    We have already done a consultation going back 18 months or more and based the designs on those consultations. The application is in and the time for comments is set down. To be meaningful any futher meeting should be sooner rather than later. The meeting that is on offer is on an individual basis and the agenda needs to be agreed in advance.

  • 9. Cyril Richert  |  May 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    architecturerosemont>Thanks, I appreciate. However you must know I’m not an architect nor a town planner in the borough, therefore must do a few other things for living.

  • 10. andrew paul healey  |  May 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I’m afraid that I just do not understand the blanket objection to tall buildings in Battersea. Surely if a building is tall but is well designed that is better than most of the dross built at mid height in the 60s and 70s.
    In my view this proposal is quite an improvement on the site and if it causes a precedent that allows well designed tall building in the Clapham Junction area – good.

  • 11. Cyril Richert  |  May 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    andrew paul healey> This is not a blanket objection.
    See here: https://towerscj.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/hotel-in-clapham-junction-why-we-object/

    Many residents chose to live in Clapham/Battersea rather than Croydon or Canary Wharf because they love the village atmosphere, Northcote Road, the Victorian and Edwardian streets and we want to preserve this specific character.

    We are currently working with other volunteers to help define better guidelines on what is an acceptable development for the area. We do not dismiss towers, but are considering them within the immediate vicinity.

    You have recent applications for redevelopment that have been successful and that we consider an improvement for the area. See here:
    https://towerscj.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/another-redevelopment-in-clapham-junction/

  • 12. architecturerosemont  |  May 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    An infill scheme on St John’s Hill, which retains on the south side the principal character of the Conservation Area, is one thing, although there is considerable diversity including a more modern building there too.

    Falcon Road north of the St John’s Hill, St John’s Road, Lavender Hill junction just doesn’t have any of the characteristics of the best part of the Conservation Area, neither does most of the station site. The whole of Falcon Road north of The Falcon on the west and Mossbury Road on the east is crying out for improvement and investment which ultimately may include the Asda, Boots and Lidl sites. These areas should not be set in aspic, but are a fundamental part of the adopted regeneration strategy of Clapham Junction town centre.

    This particular part of the Conservation Area has been identified as one where development may be expected. To see something more in the future than the very basic and boring buildings currently on these sites requires vision, committment and investment.

    Whilst the involvent of residents and local businesses in a local strategy is of course to be welcomed, the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership, comprising a range of local interests, already exists and that organisation has been involved from inception with development of local policies.

  • 13. Si Ho  |  May 27, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Hi

    I would just like to say that this proposal looks great. I have already submitted to the council my view that this area desperately needs a hotel, and so am so glad to see this come forward;- a deliverable scheme to kick-start economic regeneration of Clapham Junction Town Centre.

    I appreciate this information might be available in your application, but I would love to have the opportunity to understand in more detail how you intend to improve the environment outside the development for pedestrians and cyclists (since I understand you will be supplying no parking at all?). are your proposals linked in with the councils plans for redesigning the traffic junction to become pedestrian friendly? Without this, I fear your development will not bring as much benefit as it could to the retail and leisure to the northern side of Lavender Hill.

    I also want to know if you will be actively promoting the improvement to the quality of the environment for pedestirans underneath the rail bridge, following similar improvements as achieved through the ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ initiatives at Waterloo.

    Well done and Best of luck

    Si

  • 14. Cyril Richert  |  May 28, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Si Ho> I acknowledge your comment and appreciate that it is consistent with our previous discussion.
    Bear in mind that I am not against a hotel, and I would actually like to encourage business and considerate development around Clapham Junction.
    However I consider that towers are not the obligatory answer to regeneration; I have also issues on the way a hotel of this size will be working on Falcon Road, as I very well know the state of the traffic. Your comments make additional concerns actually on the benefits it will bring to the Town Centre.

    When I think of the Wessex House redevelopment, or recently of the Nine Elms proposal (after initial plans from developers was pulled down), I remain certain that architecture and town planning can work together for the best of the residents.

  • 15. James Marsh  |  May 28, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Do we want Wimbledon or Kingston Town centre In Clapham Junction? I have heard nothing about this proposed hotel untill today & I try to keep an eye out on what is going on in the area.

  • 16. architecturerosemont  |  May 28, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Si Ho raises interesting points about possible improvements to the public domain and transport in the town centre.

    The hotel itself will be a relatively small part of the town centre, although it is possibly the first deliverable sign that regeneration of the town centre is going to be real not just a utopian’s dream.

    For whatever reason the station project is at least delayed. The council’s “Exemplar” scheme for traffic and pedestrians in the area is only partially funded and further funding was seen as dependent on other contributions presumably from future projects or other public funding. If they are delayed, no funding, so the Council and others may have to reconsider their plans or at least the programme. Clearly public funding of projects is under close review given the financial crisis.

    How could one not agree that certain parts of the town centre are dingy and unworthy of a “town centre fit for the twentyfirst century”? As a former resident of the Junction and somebody exceptionally familiar with the patch, the road tunnel under the railway is surely the apogee of unpleasantness. Roaring noise of buses, pigeon filth and nasty lighting all combine to make this a truly horrid and frightening space. Yes lighting and possibly some sort of constantly changing art presentation using apparently plentiful local artistic talent based on technology spring to mind. Bring art to the streets by all means. Funding of this will be difficult to find however, but the Town Centre Partnership as a body has the power to apply for funding of projects.

    In terms of the hotel the council’s website on the application gives full details of the proposal, including transport considerations. As you say it will be a car free scheme; there will be a cycle storage facility. Disabled access has been considered and is provided for to ensure inclusivity. Analysis by the traffic consultant determined that the proposal complies with all guidelines. Within the borough and assuming it gets built the project will provide the most green friendly hotel facility through its proximity to the station and other forms of public transport. Adopted policies anticipate that activities of this type will occur at transport hubs.

    On public domain improvements we as designers were encouraged by the planning officers to improve the public domain and active frontage particularly to Falcon Road and Falcon Lane, as the site is seen as a pivotal one linking the existing main town centre to other areas capable of change and improvement in the future. Town centres are, after all, dynamic organisms.

  • 17. Dan Fryer  |  May 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Hi,

    As a local resident who makes an effort to keep abreast of local developments, I am concerned that I have only just heard of this new hotel tower development at Clapham Junction. I live a couple of minutes walk from this site and I have not been involved in any consultation process.

    I too have some concerns about the scale of the building in relation to it’s surroundings, and the precedence this might set. It certainly doesn’t fit into the low rise surrounding residential and shopping structures. CJ and Northcote Road is extremely popular for it’s village feel, and the introduction of towers into this environment could be detrimental.
    I have checked the developers site and also do not find the renderings particularly clear, in terms of external covering, can you provide more detailed information as to the materials you plan to use, photos and or links to a website detailing the material would be useful.

    Dan

  • 18. architecturerosemont  |  May 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Full details of the consultation, which was extensive, have already been given and are available in the Design and Access Statement which has been registered with the council under main application 2009/1291.

    Consultation commenced in 2007, Coverage includes the web and local press. The council has advertised the application. A presentation was made to the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership in November 2007, being a public and advertised meeting attended by representatives of the public and various local organisations.

    We draw your attention to the fact that the site is not in or near Northcote Road which is an entirely different sort of area.

    There are adopted council policies relating to taller buildings in certain parts of the town centre and where regeneration is encouraged, and the application site is within that part of the town centre.

    Our website is intended as a gateway only. Materials have been selected to be appropriate for the purpose of the building, its intended lifespan and in order to relate to the predominant materials and colours in the Conservation Area.

    Detailed choice of final materials will be done later and as is usually the case approval of those will be subject to separate later approval by the local authority.

    We suggest you visit the Town Hall to review the documents in their full size format as web versions are often less accurate than one would wish.


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