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Planning Committee Submission

Added on: 1 October 2020 at 14:36:30

Urban Design Consultation: Response from the Battersea Society


The Battersea Society has alerted its members to this study and has previously supplied input to the SWOT for each of Clapham Junction and Nine Elms.  Some members of the Planning Committee may take part in the survey as individuals.  

Our broad concern about this study is that most of the areas are drawn so widely as to be meaningless; and that people in Battersea think of themselves as living in Battersea, drawn quite broadly, or in a much smaller neighbourhood about which they have a sense of place.  We were also disappointed in the maps which seemed to be taken from a commercial map, did not show landmarks of particular relevance to this exercise and were a little hard to read. 

To sum up, we do not think that a number of the districts fulfil the criteria for a character area in that the subdivisions are not based on common features and characteristics such as building types, heritage, open space, land use, settlement pattern and sense of place.  We give brief comments on each of the areas within Battersea to clarify this comment. 

Character Areas 

B1 Battersea Residential: Battersea Residential encompasses the area north of the railway, typified by mid-20th century public housing estates interspersed with Victorian terraced houses and modern housing blocks. 

This area contains the Winstanley Regeneration Area, part of the major developments along York Road and Lombard Road (subject to a SSAD) and six conservation areas, in whole or in part: 

  • Battersea Park - part

  • Latchmere Estate

  • Park Town - part

  • Shaftesbury Park

  • Three Sisters

  • Town Hall Road 

It is likely that residents currently living on the Winstanley Estate feel a sense of place/community but this will change.  People living in any one of the conservation areas are likely to feel a sense of place for their area but not for the Winstanley, the York and Lombard Road areas – or indeed any of the conservation areas other than their own. 

B2 Battersea Riverside: Battersea Riverside follows the River Thames from Wandsworth Bridge to Battersea Park. It includes the Battersea Square Conservation Area: the historic settlement of Battersea. The riverside has been the focus for residential and mixed use redevelopment on former industrial sites. 

Here again people living in the Battersea Square or Westbridge Road Conservation Areas may feel some sense of place but are unlikely to relate to the major blocks along the river.

However Battersea residents living in B1 may feel a sense of place in relationship to the river and the isolation of this narrow strip is not appropriate.  It is for this reason that developers operating on both sides of York Road and in Lombard Road often support their application by offering the benefit of retaining or adding a route through to the river. 

B3 Nine Elms City Quarter: Nine Elms City Quarter encompasses the GLA Opportunity Area which extends into Vauxhall in LB Lambeth. Focussed around Battersea Power Station, it includes the riverfront along the Thames and nearby former industrial area. 

While this is a more cohesive area it contains the Carey Gardens and Patmore Estate areas and Elm Quay Court and Riverside Court whose residents will relate to these smaller areas and are unlikely to consider themselves as directly sharing a sense of place with those living in the Battersea Power Station, Embassy Gardens or South London Mail developments. 

B4 Battersea Park: Battersea Park encompasses almost the entire Battersea Park Conservation Area, as described in more detail in the Conservation Area Appraisal. Its special character derives from the formal relationship between the park, the urban development surrounding it, and the River Thames. 

This is a more cohesive area and we agree with the description 

C1 Clapham Junction Town Centre: the station and the main shopping parade of St John's Road, flanked by the crossroads with St John's Hill/Lavender Hill to the north and Battersea Rise to the south. 

For the most part we agree the description.  However the area of Northcote Road and its surrounding streets is a distinct neighbourhood and it is wrong to exclude Northcote Road from it.  This area is part of Battersea with no part of it in Clapham, Lambeth.  Residents and councillors fought long and hard to ensure that travellers exiting Clapham Junction Station are welcomed to the Heart of Battersea.  It should be listed as B5.  See comment on H2 below.  This area also includes the St. John’s Hill Grove Conservation Area as well as the Clapham Junction Conservation Area. 

C2 Clapham Common and Residential: encompasses the part of the Common that lies within Wandsworth (the eastern part within LB Lambeth), and the surrounding residential streets of consistent, period terraced housing. 

The majority of this area is in Battersea and this should have been listed as B6.  Some areas of Clapham Common Westside and Northside do not contain ‘consistent, period, terraced housing’.  It contains part of the Clapham Common Conservation Area. 

H2 Wandsworth Common and Residential: Wandsworth Common and Residential encompasses the Common and surrounding residential streets of consistent period houses. Almost all of the area is designated as conservation area, reflecting its high quality townscape. 

Those residents living in Battersea in the streets east of the common and west of Northcote Road will have a sense of place related to C2 (B6) and to Northcote Road.  This includes a relationship with Wandsworth Common and some parts of the Wandsworth Common Conservation Area but not to the area to the west of the Common.  


Our main reason for raising these criticisms is that we do not think this exercise is capable of influencing planning policy in any helpful way.  We hope we are wrong and look forward to being briefed on the results, and in continuing to work with the Council on this and other planning matters.