The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 25 April 2015 at 17:53:12

346 Queenstown Road.2015/1218

The Battersea Society objects most strongly to this application to add four storeys to one block of a development which is already overbearing in relation to its neighbours and to its location within a Conservation Area directly opposite Battersea Park. 

This further height would not only have an unacceptable added impact on Battersea Park but would also harm the attractiveness of the public open space for both residents and the general public.  It would intensify the density and produce an over-development of the site. We note from details of the consent to an earlier planning application that the density was then above the London Plan but was considered acceptable. 

This scheme has been developed for at least four years past and we cannot see how, at this late stage when both blocks are well into the construction phase, the architects and the developer have suddenly decided that the curve needs to be completed with additional height.  A cynic might consider that this is due to the wish to add penthouse accommodation rather than any long held concern about the quality of the consented design. 

Paragraph 4.13 of the planning statement shows that the proposal is for an added 6 each of one-bed and two-bed affordable units and two three-bed units.  While we are naturally concerned at the lack of affordable housing throughout the Nine Elms area we cannot accept that this increase is sufficient justification for the detrimental impact of the proposal.  We have not been able to find a clear statement of the total affordable housing for the scheme already consented but think this is around 15%.  It seems probable from the experience of other developments in Nine Elms that added affordable units are likely to become available from within the current scheme.

We are further concerned that the fact that “the scope of this application has been discussed at length through pre-application discussions with LPA officers” will not have given the applicant the impression that the application is somehow assured of approval.  We very much hope that when it comes to be assessed against policy and scrutinised by members of the Planning Applications Committee the decision will be taken to refuse this application.

Finally we are concerned at the lack of consultation at the initial stage and the timing for comments to be made.  We do not consider that two hours of consultation on one day only is adequate when such a major change is proposed. The applicant does not list members of the Planning Committee of the Battersea Society nor the Friends of Battersea Park amongst those notified of the exhibition.  The application was listed for w/e 4 April and we received notification of the 4 April list during the week of 6 April with the closing date for comments given as 23 April.  The extensive material is posted randomly on the application website. Attached is the letter sent in October 2014 flagging our interest in the proposals.

This is an opportunistic application and should be refused. 

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