The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 27 August 2019 at 10:28:10

2- 18 Yelverton Road, 2019/2295

The Battersea Society objects to this application on the grounds of its height, the mix of unit sizes and the proposed tenure, size and location of the affordable housing being offered.  In addition, this development adds to our ongoing concerns about transport capacity in this area. 

Design and Height 

This site is set back from York Road in a narrow side road and near to the 8-storey Caius House.  We consider that at 16 storeys the building is too tall and will be overpowering; and that the height of buildings along York Road is not a relevant comparison.  The graphic on page 21 of the Design and Access Statement shows how the proposed building rises up between the lower storeys of the Big Yellow development (thoughtfully staggered back from York Road) and the eight storeys of Caius House.  This is an over-development of the site and one which fails to respect its neighbours and its position away from York Road and Lombard Road. 

We find it hard to judge the eventual look of the proposed design.  We are concerned that, as presented, the deliberately modern design of the upper floors sits somewhat uneasily above the more traditional lower floors which themselves are inconsistent with their neighbours. Without photographic visualisations it is hard to judge the eventual streetscape from York Road back. 

Mix of Unit Sizes 

We object to 32% of the units being for 1 bedroom only, this made worse by the fact that 50% of the proposed affordable housing is of 1 bedroom only.  In order to maintain a fully mixed community it is essential that Battersea provides housing for the longer term resident not merely starter homes and small rental units.  We also note that numbers are, as ever, predicated on persons being prepared to share a double bed. 

Affordable Housing 

While the percentage of affordable housing is higher than that usually offered at 35%, this reduces to a 31% share of bedrooms with 13 of the 26 being for single bedroomed units.  We object to the fact that the majority of the units offered are on the 1st and 2nd floors and take up entire floors rather than being placed throughout the block.  While we can see some benefits in intermediate shared ownership we are concerned that in a volatile market this can lead to a diminishing asset for the part-owner.  

Lack of public transport capacity 

This is a broader concern repeatedly articulated in our comments on applications within this area. 

Public transport is already over-stretched and this with the majority of consented buildings yet to be occupied. A corridor study will be helpful but this has to address not just a more pleasant environment for pedestrians and cyclists but the lack of space on buses and trains for those who may not be able to walk or cycle, or who have longer journeys. It is vital that Wandsworth Council and TfL take this lack of capacity seriously and look anew at ways in which this can be addressed.  They should look to bring forward the Cremorne Bridge proposals with rather more speed than appears to be the case currently.  The opening up of the Battersea High Street station would greatly benefit new residents and might reduce over-crowding at Clapham Junction station.  We are concerned that no consideration appears to be being given to this. 

We would also note that while there are several bus routes going north from the Battersea High Street stop in Falcon Road these are busy during the rush hour and subject to traffic delay in Battersea Bridge Road, especially as it reaches the junction with Battersea Church Road and the approach to Battersea Bridge.

We trust these areas of concern will be addressed and revised proposals brought forward.

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