The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 3 March 2018 at 12:35:28

South London Mail Centre, 2017/6764

The Battersea Society has a number of concerns about this application and overall these lead to us objecting to the proposals as they now stand. 

Rental only:  We do not object to this as one development within many but this should not set a precedent for future decisions. It is essential that the rents are set so as to be affordable for a wide mix of people, not just the rich or senior staff being housed at the expense of their employers.

Tenure Mix:  We object to the high percentage of studio and one-bedroom units.  Given that emphasis is given to the offer of long-term stability within the rental market this does not make sense.  At any one time nearly half of all units will be occupied by people likely to move out or to a larger flat.  The likelihood is that many will move out leading to a lack of investment in the community to the detriment of placemaking. 

Affordable Housing:  The statement appears to be a justification for the tenure mix and we can find little or no detail about the terms for discounted market rent, in particular relief from what appear likely to be very high charges for the services provided.  We fear that in this case tenure blindness, while desirable in itself, merely covers the fact that only the most affluent of those eligible for dmr will actually be able to afford to rent.

Service Provision:  We are concerned that the very highly specified services will lead to high rents for all occupants.  We recommend that some overall analysis of the provision of services throughout Nine Elms and Battersea Park Road is undertaken to see to what extent these are needed.

The nature of the units, combined with the leisure and other services offered, could lead to the development becoming essentially an apart-hotel.  This would not meet the need for long-term stable housing either for market or affordable residents. We consider some measures should be put in place to avoid those renting using all or part of their homes for Airbnb type letting.

Design:  This is undistinguished at best and the changes recommended are to the detriment of the neighbourhood.  We look forward to seeing the views of the Design Review Panel – not yet available on the website. It appears that the last review of the design was by CABE back in 2011 and we had reservations even then.  See comments 2016/2424.

Lighting Scheme:  This reads as intrusive and serving principally as advertising for the buildings.  We note with interest recent comments on the detrimental effect of light and noise on health.

Car Parking:  Provision is inadequate, in particular there is too little provision for deliveries, service vehicles, traffic to the commercial developments and car club spaces.

Overall we object to the application as it stands and trust that revised proposals will be put forward.

Submission relating to 2016/2424 can be found here.

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