The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 10 September 2019 at 12:30:19

Nine Elms Square: Linear Park and Entrance Plaza: 2019/2722 & 2019/2781

The Battersea Society wish to object to both these applications and is submitting a single objection as our concerns are common to both.

The two applications, as submitted, give an inadequate assessment of how the scale of the linear park and Entrance Plaza relate to the surrounding, high rise development plots, both those owned by CGMA and the separately owned adjacent plots of 1 Nine Elms and Embassy Gardens.  

Lack of clear visualisation: The recently submitted application (2018/2269) relating to the section of the linear park within the former South London mail site provided far clearer visualisations of the park areas in relation to most of the development plots. Where this was not the case we raised objections to that application. In these two applications it is not possible to get any sense of scale or feel for what it would be like to walk or use areas of the park. The visualisations are either provided from above or merely illustrate the type of planting or landscaping material/furniture proposed. No visual indication (as was the case in 2269) is given of the public /private realm boundary and the integration of residential blocks into the park. The Planning Applications Committee (PAC) should ask for additional information providing some indication of the elevations of the whole proposed buildings alongside the environment of the park. The lack of information is no doubt due to there being as yet no detailed approval for these blocks. In that case greater detail could still be provided here, as input to their later design. Alternatively these applications are premature prior to the availability of greater understanding of the configuration of buildings on the surrounding plots. 

Key Plaza Entry: We consider that too little attention is given to the key plaza entry from Wandsworth Road. No visualisation is given of the street furniture, signing, or materials at the entrance to what is heralded as the most  significant public realm in Nine Elms. The same is true of the less significant entry point from Nine Elms Lane. In relation to the Entrance Plaza there is no discussion of how the park landscaping ties in with that around the hotel at 1 Nine Elms. 

Children’s Play Area:  Neither application gives a full justification for siting the children's play area in the Plaza entrance rather than further into the linear park. This does mean that children living outside the linear park can more easily access the facilities. However we are not convinced that, as proposed, the play areas are adequately protected from traffic and other risks arising from its location just off an extremely busy highway. If more detailed information had been given of railings, bollards etc it would be possible to assess how safe an area this is for young children. We ask that this aspect of designating the Plaza as the children's play area be further investigated and assurances sought that this is a secure, low risk area for children. 

Link with next section of linear park:  At the western end there is again no discussion of how this area leads through to the next section of the linear park. We raised this as an issue in relation to plot A of the South London Mail site and the western end of the CGMA developments. The problem recurs here. The objectives of the linear park stress the importance of homogeneity of park identity, design ethos and management through the park. This is not demonstrated here with no cross-boundary proposals and/or discussion of treatment of the actual change from one ownership to the next.  

Finally we commend this section of the park for its lack of vehicular traffic crossings with pedestrian and cycle routes. However we reiterate our concerns about the management of the cycle route through the park. It is essential that cycling speeds are kept to a low level suitable for the park, and there is strong enforcement of the ban on all cycling off the designated cycle route.  It reinforces our call for a presentation to the PAC and others of the whole of the linear park. 

Given these concerns we consider the applications as submitted should be refused and further information and clarification sought from the developers.

Click here to see details of application no 2019/2781

To see full details of this application and other comments, or to make your own views known please click here