The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Added on: 29 September 2017 at 08:38:46

Peabody consultation on second phase of St Johns Hill

The Battersea Society welcomed the opportunity to visit the consultation exhibition on the revised proposals for St John’s Hill Clapham Junction. It was particularly helpful to speak to the architects and to the Peabody representatives about the details of the changes from the approved plans.

While we are disappointed at the need to increase the height of some blocks, and have reservations about elements of the plans, overall we consider that the necessity for change has led to some significant improvements being made compared to the approved plans. 

The key improvements we see as: 

- the changes to the internal traffic layout and access to the under-croft parking in plot 6; this should improve pedestrian safety and hopefully avoid rat runs through the site which might have been the case with the earlier layout;

- the redesigned frontage of the units onto Comyn Street and round the corner into Burridge Gardens. This is more attractive than the previous layout in that it provides greater privacy for residents through the enclosed central courtyard while providing more planting on the street corner;

- the provision of the extra care units; we like them being above the community hub in the centre of the development which should provide lively and supportive surroundings for the residents. 

Unit Size:  We have reservations about the shift in profile of unit size towards 1 and 2 bedroom flats for all categories.  We appreciate the change to one bedroom for extra care residents but apart from this, the number of small apartments is a concern. 

While we acknowledge that in the case of market units this may be due to financing difficulties for buyers, we are increasingly concerned at the number of small flats being built in Battersea.  The problems relate partly to the danger that the borough is becoming increasingly a place of transient communities with couples having to move away if they require more space for a family.  We do not know if these bedrooms allow for twin beds but it is unrealistic to think that a one-bedroom, two-person unit can be used by other than co-habiting partners. 

Car Parking:  We understand the need to exclude the basement car park even though the result is a reduction in resident parking.  However we are pleased to see additional visitor slots and hope that the idea of slots for delivery vehicles can be included in detailed plans.  We note the increasing number of van deliveries taking place with the increase in on-line shopping and regret that this is not routinely provided within development plans. 

Existing Blocks:  Visiting the exhibition also gave us the opportunity to consider the blocks that have already been completed. The quality and attractiveness of some details is high (in particular the ironwork gates and some of the brickwork). 

We were dismayed therefore that the overall impact was let down by the ugly large white lift boxes protruding from the roof, rather than being incorporated within the overall frame of the buildings. We very much hope that even at this stage further work can be done on these boxes, perhaps with brick cladding.  We would hope that in the next phase the lift returns could be inside the building. The need, if necessary, to walk up the final floor should not prove that great a problem especially in the general needs blocks. 

Finally we note that there has been no use of the roof space within the development for solar roof panels and wonder why not. Could this be explored as a feature of the redesigned blocks?