Posts filed under ‘Ram Brewery’

Ram Brewery: the Secretary of State could make a decision before next election

Author: Cyril Richert

Sian Evans, the Secretary of State, has published a statement regarding the Ram Brewery Inquiry with an apparent intention to issue a decision before next general election (due by June 2010 at latest). [*]

Following the closure of the Inquiry, the Inspector is now preparing his report and recommendation(s) for submission to the Secretary of State for their consideration.

In accordance with Schedule 2 to the above Act, I am writing to let you know that the Secretary of State will issue their decision(s) on or before 27 May 2010.

In any case, it could mean that we are likely to have a recommendation from the Inspector early May 2010.

Read also our article: Ram Brewery Inquiry is over: what next?

[*] That’s the usual story of the glass half full or half empty: you could think also that a general election is likely to happen before the decision.

December 18, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Ealing town centre gets a reprieve

Author: Shirley Passmore

We learned this week that the Secretary of State has refused planning permission for a development in Ealing town centre for a 25-storey tower and 6 further blocks of between 2 – 11 storeys, by architects Foster and Partners (full report HERE).

A piece of very good news for the Wandsworth objectors (ie. most of the local population of all political parties and none) is that the formidable Russell Harris QC [representing Minerva in the Ram Brewery Inquiry], who conducted the case for Minerva and was also the QC acting for Glenkerrin at Ealing, did not win. We thought he might be unbeatable!

The proposed scheme is different from that for the Ram site in many respects but there are interesting similarities. The area around the site is similar to Wandsworth, a mixture of very old, of Victorian (2-6 storey), and more recent buildings of doubtful merit. There are also many listed buildings nearby.

The main differences are that the proposed tower is ‘only’ 25 storeys high and there is only one. The proposed density for the site is way above the highest required level in the London Plan, and Ealing is categorised as a Metropolitan Centre as opposed to a Major Centre for Wandsworth.

However, euphoria over the result must be dampened down somewhat because, as one reads through the inspector’s report, one wonders when he will find anything to oppose. It is a glowing appraisal of the benefits of landmark towers and their suitability on town centre sites, of the benefits that very high density can bring, and of how the scheme conforms to the London Plan and Ealing’s UDP in nearly every way.

We are soon made to understand that any thoughts that well-researched objections to density, building standards, lack of public open space, traffic generation, poor public transport, wind around towers, retail needs, affordable housing, parking spaces, etc etc, might because for rejection is in the realm of wishful thinking. They were all considered but brushed aside.

Feeling more and more depressed but realising that there must be a rainbow at the end one comes to paragraph 685. Ah, at last!

Here PPG 15 is spelled out ‘environmental stewardship demands protection of the historic environment’, and London Plan Policy 4b1. requires that ‘development proposals should protect local history, context, built heritage, character and communities’ and finally in paragraph 797 (of 802)

Notwithstanding these clear benefits [as defined throughout the report] the design would be inappropriate in its surroundings, and would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Town Centre conservation area…

Para 802 recommends refusal by the Secretary of State. He said:

Notwithstanding […] clear benefits, I consider that the bulk, massing and certain aspects of the design would be inappropriate in its surroundings, and would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Town Centre conservation area, and the setting of Haven Green conservation area, for the reasons set out in full in my consideration of the main issues. The massing of development facing Haven Green, and the elevations to Ealing Broadway are of particular concern. The height of the southern elevation of the scheme would in my judgment also harm the setting of the Grade II* listed Church of Christ the Saviour, diminishing its role as an important Town Centre landmark. While I accept that, considered in isolation, the design of the proposed tower is of high architectural quality, I consider that it would not contribute to the distinctiveness and identity of Ealing, and would be dominant and overbearing in the predominantly low rise context of Ealing Town Centre and development surrounding Haven Green. […]

I recommend that planning permission for the application should be refused.

It is clear to see why Russell Harris is in great demand by developers at Public Inquiries. His documented case takes every objection, however slight, and pulls it apart in a logical and clear manner. However, he is not immune to picking policies from either current or emerging plans to suit and then suggesting the one not chosen is irrelevant. He also shows his irritation with the “articulate and educated section of the community” whom he thought “wasted much time over issues not identified by the S of S“.

So in the end it all came down to landmark towers being suitable in the right place but heritage and local context comes first. Hooray. Let us hope our inspector comes to the same conclusion.


The decision follows a public inquiry earlier this year into the high-rise £500 million project backed by developer Glenkerrin which would have created 567 homes.

The Secretary of State agreed with the planning inspector that the development of the 1.7ha plot would have had a ‘dominant and overbearing impact’ on the area and ‘seriously detract from [its] distinctiveness and identity’.

After winning the Mayor of London’s backing earlier this year, the whole project was called in by previous Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

More:  architectsjournal.co.uk

John Denham’s conclusions (click to download full decision)

The Secretary of State considers that, although the application proposal is broadly in compliance with the development plan in many respects, there are significant areas of conflict, most particularly in relation to design principles and conservation. He also considers that the proposal does not fully accord with national policy in PPS1 and PPG15 in these respects. He has therefore gone on to consider whether there are material considerations of sufficient weight to overcome these.

He acknowledges that the proposed scheme would deliver a number of substantial benefits and fulfil some important objectives of development plan policy by contributing strongly to the Council’s regeneration objectives including reinforcing the status of Ealing as a Metropolitan Centre. The scheme would include, among other benefits, a landmark tower of high quality design and attractive pedestrian streets and spaces which would improve the permeability of the site. It would also deliver a significant volume of housing. Against these benefits, however, the Secretary of State considers that the bulk, massing and certain aspects of the design of the scheme would be inappropriate in its surroundings. It would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Town Centre conservation area and the setting of the Haven Green conservation area, as well as harming the setting of the Grade II* listed Church of Christ the Saviour.

In coming to his decision, the Secretary of State has taken full account of the views of CABE in their support for the quality of the proposed buildings and streetscape improvements that the proposed scheme would deliver. However, he notes that CABE’s views did not include consideration of the way in which the scheme would relate to its wider surroundings, and he regards that as a key design objective of PPS1. He sees it as essential for the design qualities of the proposal to be considered in context, and he considers that its dominant and overbearing impact would seriously detract from the distinctiveness and identity of Ealing Town Centre and the Haven Green area.

Overall, therefore, the Secretary of State concludes that, although the scheme would comply with some specific development plan policies relating to the regeneration of Ealing Town Centre and would bring many benefits to the area, these are of insufficient weight to determine the application other than in accordance with those national and development plan policies relating to conservation and design in order to ensure that the distinctive existing character of the area is maintained.

December 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm 3 comments

Ram Brewery Inquiry is over: what next?

Author: Shirley Passmore

The Public Inquiry is over. To be honest, much of the time was taken up by anything but the public’s views on the proposed re-development of the sites.

The Wandsworth Society was given a fair hearing of its case against, but the rest of the local public was relegated to one day out of the 20 days of actual inquiry time.

All individuals spoke, and listed, very good reasons for asking the Inspectors to recommend refusal to the Secretary of State. Some, I think, said things that the SofS will have to consider seriously, included amongst these was Cyril Richert’s paper for the Clapham Junction Action Group.

Lined up against the public’s amateurs were three QC’s. The most formidable was Russell Harris for Minerva, who has won numerous similar Inquiries. The Wandsworth Society did not go on the final day to hear his summing up. To listen to his, no doubt competent, attempt to destroy the public’s case would have been too depressing.

There were six main issues to be resolved:

1. Did it comply with Governmental, Regional, and Local Planning Policies for the area?

2. Was it acceptable not to provide an adequate number of affordable homes or a mixed community (by having a majority of one-bedroom flats, no family homes, and the affordable homes on one site only)? Did the development conform to good design and standards for housing ?

3. Could the transport system cope?

4. Did the proposals contravene all the Planning Policies that seek to protect the historic environment and, in this case, the many listed buildings on the site and surrounding it? Would it have an adverse effect on the setting and character of the Wandsworth Town Conservation Area?

5. Was it unsafe to put a glass tower of people next to a gasholder of potentially explosive methane gas?

6. Was it acceptable to approve a possibly unacceptable (in planning terms) development because it might provide enough funds to remove Wandsworth’s gyratory road system?

When will we hear the decision and what will it be?

Neither question is answerable but we can at least hazard a guess. The first is the simpler. It is unlikely that it will take less than three months, probably considerably longer because of the complexities of some of the issues.

The second…..who knows?

All the Planning Policies relating to Issues 1, and 4, are open to interpretation. The Wandsworth Society and individuals put forward telling evidence of the environmental damage that will be done but it’s largely a matter of opinion…. The inspectors, the public’s, Minerva’s.

Issue 3 was won by the public. As things stand it is obvious that the public transport system cannot take yet more development in the area. But, of course that depends on the outcome of Issue 6.

Issue 6 will probably decide the result of Issue 2 also. Ironically, Issue 6 is not part of the planning application but an add-on to make it acceptable. The most telling admissions from witnesses for both WBC and the GLA was that without the road proposals they would not have recommended approval.

The most complicated and time-consuming issue of the whole Inquiry was Issue 5, the case against put by the Health & Safety Executive. It is accepted that the likelihood of the gasholder exploding in a fireball is not great, but the trouble with anything that might happen once in a thousand years is that you never can tell when the ‘once’ will happen. Debate revolved around how serious the results of an explosion would be.

If the HSE have won their case the proposals will be refused planning permission . If the Inspectors feel strongly that the development is unacceptable for other reasons, they have enough Planning Policy ammunition to shoot the proposals down. On the other hand, the benefit of any doubt has to go to the developer because the local planning authority (WBC) and the GLA / Mayor of London have (to their shame) already approved these proposals. Proposals that will alter the character of Wandsworth, both the town and the borough, for ever.

December 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm 3 comments

Ram Brewery inquiry: report on week 5

Author: Shirley Passmore

This week, week 5 of the Inquiry, will firstly be about what is called the Section 106 agreement between the council and Minerva on how much money will be forthcoming, and when, for a variety of requirements made necessary as a result of the development, plus other money used as a kind of bribe to get the proposals acceptable. This latter is £38,000,000 for removal of the Wandsworth gyratory system. There has to be a legally binding document. and as at last week, we believe this had still to be settled. Then there will be discussion on what conditions should be made if the Sec of State decides to grant permission.

On Wednesday there are to be site visits by the inspectors with, among others, representatives of the objectors .

On Thursday, probably the last day,the legal teams will sum up their cases. Firstly the HSE lawyer, then Mr Hobson QC for the London Mayor. He will be followed by Mr Cameron for WBC, and finally Mr Harris QC for Minerva who has the last word.

It has been a long, sometimes tedious Inquiry, but the inspectors can be in no doubt that local people do not want massive towers looming over them and stealing the sky. Whether the inspectors can agree with us that the proposals do not conform to enough planning policies to warrant refusal, only time will tell. I think we shall have some months to wait.

December 1, 2009 at 8:09 am

Ram Brewery inquiry: more photos and a video

Author: Cyril Richert

I was back at the Public Inquiry on Friday to give my testimony (see HERE with other information). It gave me the opportunity to take more photos… and even a very short video of the entrance.

Ram Brewery Inquiry, Capital Studio, Friday 27th


November 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm 1 comment

The Ram Brewery Inquiry in a nutshell

Author: Cyril Richert

In order to follow the events of the Ram Brewery Inquiry, I will list below the links to related article and contributions you might be interested to see:

  1. Pre-inquiry note
  2. Reports on the different days (report from week 1 by  Shirley Passmore, Week 1&2 by Sylvia Harrison, report day12 by Julia Matcham)
  3. Photos
  4. Martin Linton MP: evidence (Tuesday 24th)
  5. Wandsworth Society: proof of evidence (Thursday 26th)
  6. Cllr Tony Belton: evidence (Friday 27th)
  7. Cyril Richert: evidence (Friday 27th)
  8. Jonathan Smith: evidence (Friday 27th)
  9. Sylvia Harrison: evidence (Friday 27th)
  10. and many others which I did not receive by email, but feel free to send them and they will be added here.

Contributions can be sent by email to Toby Feltham: TFeltham@wandsworth.gov.uk

November 26, 2009 at 9:08 pm 3 comments

Ram Brewery inquiry: photos

Author: Cyril Richert

I’ve just come back from the inquiry this morning where Martin Linton made a statement against the scheme (you can read the evidence HERE). I had the occasion to take a few photos, so you can get a taste. I might have the opportunity (more difficult: find the time) to give a representation on Friday.

In this photo, I coloured in blue the towers to put them in perspective.

November 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm 2 comments

Ram Brewery inquiry: report day12

Author: Julia Matcham

Friday 20th of Nov 09 at The Inquiry on DAY 12

Apparently the session had started at 9 am and I arrived at the time it was scheduled to start:10 am. It was eventually ‘adjourned’ at 1.30pm until next Tuesday, so anyone coming to the afternoon session as billed, from 2pm – 5pm’ would have found an empty hall. I guess that sort of thing is unavoidable but one could be forgiven for thinking that starting on Tuesday and either stopping early or missing out altogether the Friday session is very convenient for long weekends, even a City Break.

I have never been to one of these things before so this is an incoherent account of what seemed to be going on. The room was full of important looking persons.

On the stage were the two inspectors. To the right of them and at an angle was a table (also on stage) at which sat whoever was being currently grilled.

Off stage, to the left, side-on to the stage, were two rows of tables occupied by a united front of those in favour of the development. The three QC’s were side by side at the front, but most of the grilling was done by QC Neal Cameron for Minerva and a small amount by QC John Hobson for the Mayor of London.

Off stage to the right and facing the QCs were a similar number of persons (about 12) from Health and Safety team.

When I arrived, currently being grilled at the small table and looking a bit lonely was a representative of the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Stewart Reston.

Everyone involved had about 4 huge folders of documents, the sort of size that you see when choosing your furnishing fabrics or carpet. So from the start it was clear that all I could do was to use my antennae to guess what they were on about.

Documents were constantly referred to (eg Doc. HSB Page 37 para 4.1); obviously these references were meaningless to local people attending with only a few hours to spare (although heaps of documents were on desks behind the public area). I am not saying that this can be helped, but that that is how it is.

Very fine tuning seemed to be the order of the day. Who exactly should be responsible for applying the Health and Safety rules. It sounded like the HSE felt the Council should have been more, or equally, responsible. It sounded like the Council were being blamed by the HSE for paying insufficient attention to Health & Safety (and hence the recall) while the Council were blaming HSE for not providing enough information.

None of this was crystal clear because it was peppered with references to documents.

Then there was a whole lot more paper shuffling and arguments about the difference between whether ‘due weight’ should be given (to H&S matters) or, ‘great weight’ as was evidently written on a different piece of paper! Gosh it was exciting. And then there a bit about ‘risk versus socio economic benefits’ which ought to have been interesting but wasn’t because it wasn’t really explored. Probably a lot of it was designed to remind the inspectors of points in the applicants favour (supposedly).

Then from QC John Hobson (for the Mayor of London) there was some argument about the validity of HSE recommendations.

It seemed to me the general idea, while subtly manifested, was to discredit the HSE.

As a relief came a change of scene; Stewart Reston was thanked, and a new witness was put ‘in the box’ ,that is, at the table. The new witness looked excitingly different from all the men in business suits. Dr Deaves (hope I have that right) has a beard and looked like a young version of Bernard Shaw. He was a chief engineer with safety and liability qualifications (and a lot more) and was called as an expert witness.

It became clear that he had written a document about which he was to be cross examined.

The subject was in particular the gasholder adjacent to the development and its potential for blowing up and causing at the worst a devastating fireball. Dr Deaves was not found wanting in the examination by QC Neil Cameron for Minerva. Dr Deaves knew how it all worked, exactly, and every circumstance that could happen, and the area of devastation that could occur were these various events to actually take place. He described the physics of the various possible accidents and gave a calm description of the serial failures that could happen and what it would lead to, and how many people would die instantly and the effects of flash fires. He knew the level of ‘societal risk’ there would be if the building went ahead. He knew the thickness of the walls of the rings of ‘our’ gasholder in comparison with others (no worse). He also knew the likelihood of an event was about 10 in 1 million (I hope I got that right).

QC Neil Cameron had evidently read Dr Deaves document with extreme thoroughness and was doing his best for an hour and a half to question every detail, including every turn of phrase, and possible implication. Dr Deaves appeared to be an un-perturbed, accurate, man of Science unburdened by any obligation to anything other than honesty!

The Inspectors diligently took note of every detail.

To be continued in our next…

Tuesday:

  1. Martin Linton will speak.
  2. Followed by Fr Deaves being cross examined again.

November 21, 2009 at 12:39 am 2 comments

Ram Brewery inquiry: report from week 3

Author: Shirley Passmore [Wandsworth Society]

The Health & Safety position seems to be that the risk from the gasholder would be classified as ‘tolerable’ [1].

It is not expected to blow up any day soon. However accidents do happen (6-8 a year) and although there are people living now within the vicinity and subject to this tolerable risk they are in a widely-spaced area. It is unacceptable to add hundreds more in a concentrated mass righ t next to the gasholder.

HSE would have expected to be consulted on the development before the application went in but they were not. They have expertise on how to minimise the effects of a major accident by suitable building design. A glass-fronted tower full of people is not the best kind of building to have next to a gasholder.

Mr Williams was cross-examined by the QC Mr Harris, endlessly, and in my opinion rather pointlessly. He was trying to discount Mr William’s evidence on how the HSE measured risks and the distances within which they would be serious in terms of loss of life. Since it is admitted that the risk is not high , one wonders what the questioning proved. The fact remains there is a ‘tolerable’ risk and as one can never tell if/when an accident will happen, it is unwise to put a tower full of people at risk.

I left before the end but more HSE issues tomorrow. Timetable in the AGENDA page. Anyone who wants to speak on day 16 must tell Toby Felpham of WBC.

[1] HSE to be consulted on various development proposals including: proposed development in the vicinity of existing hazardous installations where the siting would increase the risk or consequences of a major accident and development within an area that has been notified to the LPA by the HSE because of the presence of hazardous substances and involves:

  • residential
  • more than 250sqm retail floorspace
  • more than 500sqm offices floorspace
  • more than 750sqm floorspace for an industrial purpose
  • transport links
  • or which would be likely to result in a material increase in the number of people working within or visiting the notified area

The HSE note refers to three progress review papers concerning methodology: in May 2002, August 2002 and 2003/04 (MSDU Bulletin) respectively, which were used to clarify the LUP assessment approach to be adopted within the unit until a new siting policy for gasholders is formally agreed.

November 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Ram Brewery Inquiry Week 1&2 – Report

See also Shirley Passmore’s report HERE.

Author: Sylvia Harrison

I read Shirley’s account interest and would like to add a few more comments:

WEEK 1

Tuesday 3 November 2009

I attended the first day, when all the procedures were explained. Everybody is drowning in paper. I fear for the trees felled in the name of the RAM BREWERY! The absence of what has now become known as ‘The Road Map’ seemed to be the most problematical topic for the afternoon session, as well as the Inspector’s request for a breakdown of the Section 106 agreement!

EVIDENCE FOR THE APPLICANT (MINERVA)

Daniel Cove, Architect

Obviously totally in love with the design! He made a number of references to the response from CABE which obviously touched a nerve, so I would think this will be something which is raised at a later date.

It was my impression that the Inspector was very helpful to the Wandsworth Society, frequently involving them in consultation with the Architect, who, in the end, did not finish his presentation and asked for another hour the following morning.

I did not eventually hear his final presentation, but I was concerned about the lack of ‘joined-up’ thinking, as he made the comment that his analysis stopped short of the North Side of Armoury Way, even though he did draw a diagram of the Town Centre ‘Core’ with some venn diagrams and expressed the view that the development will encourage visitors from North of the development and provide a walking route to the Thames.

Wednesday 4 November

I spent time doing some research on the Counsels and Minerva, so I could more fully understand the major issues!

Thursday 5 November

Chris Miele – another Partner in Montague Evens

I came in on the end of Chris Miele’s presentation as by this time the Enquiry appeared to be running behind. Again no copies of Proof of Evidence on the ‘Back Table’.

I finally found a reference to the height of the towers apart from the number of storeys. 145.4 metres and 114 metres respectively. To refresh people’s memories, the following is a quotation from Minerva’s own site, which gives some additional information:

This development comprises three individual sites: The Ram Brewery, Capital Studios site and 20-30 Buckhold Road, London SW18. The sites were acquired for a total purchase price of £83.5 million. Resolutions to grant planning consent have been passed by Wandsworth Council to redevelop these sites, with planning consent to follow subject to a Section 106 being agreed. However, the scheme has been called in by the Secretary of State for a public inquiry. The schemes are residential led mixed-use regeneration opportunities in an affluent catchment area of South-West London. Combined, they will comprise 1036 apartments and 238,000 sq.ft. of retail, restaurant and other commercial accommodation, incorporating heritage buildings with modern architecture, including two towers of 32 and 42. storey’s. The developments will incorporate high quality public realm including a riverside walk, 2 public squares and a public viewing gallery in one of the towers.

We have recently exchanged contracts to acquire 1-9 Church Row for £8 million. This acquisition comprises 8 town houses with developable land, adjoining our existing buildings. This will be subject to a future separate planning application.
Minerva November 2009

David Hunter-Yates (Highways)

Again no copy of Proof of Evidence! However, I didn’t need one, as he read from it with great gusto! This is the point which exasperated me most of all, as well as the ones quoted by Shirley.

He assumed Wandsworth Town Station could take extra passengers, and was not overcrowded at peak times as, when it rained, it looked as though the train was full because passengers did not want to walk up the platform and get wet! This was his case for the station having more shelters. He also made an assumption the development would only generate approximately 80 additional passengers therefore it would have no impact.

Paul Burley – Partner in Montague Evans

Like Shirley, I was singularly disappointed with Paul Burley’s Proof of Evidence. He only provided a summary for the ‘back table’ so I was unable to follow many of his points, as I did not have sight of the whole Proof during the day. It was my impression that he knew little about the nature of Wandsworth, in spite of the potted history contained in his evidence. He was asked questions about the Section 106 agreement, and agreed that it was ‘usual’ to stage the draw-down of the funding pending agreed occupancy. He did provide a schedule of indicative timescale for payment of the ‘Gyratory’ contribution over a period of 6 years. It was anticipated completion would be by 2018, if permission was granted, which means building would start in the Autumn of 2010.

He was questioned on the ‘notion’ of a Town Centre, in view of the fact that Wandsworth Borough has at least four: Tooting, Wandsworth Town, Putney and Clapham Junction. He agreed Southside had the character of a Centre, but it is not ‘nice’ enough. He had lots of ideas about what shops there should be including high end properties and quoted Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden of an example of how small units can develop character. He had, of course, forgotten the biggest draw for Neal’s Yard ha been the improvements and incorporation of the Donmar Warehouse!

One interesting point I did pick up from his presentation was that the gasometer is just 80 metres from the North East corner of the site. I assume this statement will be developed further by the Health and Safety Executive.

Friday 6 November

EVIDENCE FOR WANDSWORTH COUNCIL

I did not attend the Enquiry, but downloaded Robert Stone’s Proof of Evidence – 42 pages with 10 pages of Appendices and for the first time I saw an ‘indicative’ proposed road network and an analysis of the ability of the proposed transport networks to meet future demands. I found the document well-written, interesting and informative.

WEEK 2

Tuesday 10 November

John Webb– Forward Planner, particularly relating to Heritage and Conservation matters

I did not attend for the morning session, but a colleague gave me the following notes which supplement Shirley’s:

  • Residents were shown a copy letter received from English Heritage dated 6 November, commenting on the London Borough of Wandsworth’s Local Development Framework and changes to the Core Strategy. They also made comments on the Stage One Urban Design Statement – Tall Buildings (September 2009). English Heritage suggested that the relevant principal Policy requires further amendment.
  • Mr Webb stated the scheme was well-integrated and complimentary
  • Overall the impact will be beneficial
  • A town centre must continually adapt to stay relevant to people’s needs
  • He agreed there would be likely adverse impacts on adjacent residential properties

I came in just in time for the very skilful cross-questioning from the Wandsworth Society. See Shirley’s comments.

Wednesday 11 November

Tim Cronin – Planning

I found him articulate and professional. He had presented his evidence the previous day, so he was subjected to cross-questioning both by the Council’s Counsel and the Wandsworth Society.

I did pick up some interesting points in relation to the emerging Tall Buildings Strategy. He recognized that robust criteria were required, and that the draft policy included the suggestion that a building will be designated as tall when it was 12 storeys and above, rising to 30, and that this was the absolute maximum. However, the 42 storeys suggested for the Ram Brewery project had stand-alone reasons for being acceptable. Again, questions were then raised in connection with the Gyratory System and the Section 106 agreement and the supposed ‘trade off’ between the Transport scheme and Social Housing.

NOTES:

A letter was circulated today as an add-on to John Stone’s evidence. It was from South-West Trains and confirmed that they had submitted a proposal to the Department for Transport for the use of additional rolling stock that would meet their criteria for providing additional capacity into Waterloo during the morning peak period.

A number of people have been asking about Section 106. The document contained in this link is worth studying if you are interested.

MAYOR OF LONDON

The Counsel reviewed his Proof of Evidence and introduced his Witnesses.

Gordon Adam, Transport for London

I missed this one. But I understand that one of the key points was to do with parking and the lack of it on the site. There was also a general discussion of the gyratory system, when the Inspector made the following comment: The Enquiry is not to look at the merits or otherwise of the gyratory system, only the Ram Brewery Site.

Michael O’Callaghan – Transport for London

A link to his proof of evidence is on the Council website (albeit in black and white) so I was able to look at this in advance. The residents were given a copy of a brief summary with a feasibility study for the removal of the gyratory system in Wandsworth Town Centre and an outline delivery programme for the project. Link HERE.

I understood the situation as being that Tfl are not prepared to carry out any work whatsoever unless they get the whole £38 million from Minerva, although if there was a shortfall over and above this amount, they might be prepared to find some funding to complete the project. Their estimate is completion by 2018.

The people in attendance were shown a CD-Rom Video clip showing a traffic simulation analysis called VISSIM. This demonstrated what happens now and what could happen in the future when the gyratory system was removed. There then followed a lively question and answer session which covered virtually all of the provision, and not just the area round the Ram Brewery which the Inspector had indicated. This session was very well managed by the Wandsworth Society, who brought up the major points of concern, a number of which had been raised by other residents. In particular a resident from the Tonsley’s said that the traffic simulation seems to predict a greater increase in traffic down Old York Road. This could devastate what is a much-used and loved area in the Borough which includes a number of restaurants, cafes and small shops and a very popular public house opposite Wandsworth Town Station.

The Enquiry was adjourned until Tuesday 17 November.

I hope others will be able to pick up on the next week or so, as I cannot attend any more sessions until the week commencing 24 November.

November 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm

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