The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission Welcome to the Battersea Society website 


Planning Committee Submission


Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 15 January 2021 at 16:29:54

Access Storage Mendip Road: 2020/4285

The Battersea Society strongly objects to these proposals for the redevelopment of the existing Access storage facility to a mixed storage, co-living and rented residential development.


We have concerns that the scale and form of the blocks, particular the dominance of the block D tower, would impact detrimentally on those living in the existing adjacent blocks especially to the west and north. Both the roof terrace and open podium area could create privacy and noise nuisance, especially for those blocks in Juniper Drive, given the proximity of the buildings. In total we consider this an unneighbourly over-development and one which provides too little open space for its residents.  Little real change appears to have resulted from the thoughtful and broadly critical response of the Design Review Panel (DRP).  Changes which have been made have contributed to the overall incoherence of the scheme.


Co-living is a relatively recent form of tenure, with little assessment of its long term impact at local level. We consider, therefore, that further provision of co-living units on this site, given the adjacent approval for the Collective, would be an over concentration of this type of provision both in this area and within Wandsworth more broadly. It is essentially designed to meet the need for short-term residency and is relatively expensive.


We are very concerned that no affordable units are proposed. Reflecting the housing needs assessment a mix of build-to-rent and shared ownership, with at least the minimum policy requirement for affordable housing, would be a far preferable option. Such development might also sit better with retention of the storage units.   As proposed, access to the commercial storage cuts across the public realm landscaped area along Mendip Street and could present a significant safety hazard. The access to these should be better separated from pedestrian areas.


There is lack of clarity as to whether the proposed access to the River Walk, from Chatfield Road  through a currently locked gate is possible, given the status of this access point. Much is made of this linkage, however if public access were to be made available the nature of this area, and privacy and security provided for existing users of Ensign Garden and the adjacent nursery, would  be significantly compromised.   A legal ruling on the option of opening up this throughway should be provided, therefore, by the promoters before any decision is taken. It would need careful management as it could present public safety issues at night given that it is hidden behind buildings.


We also consider the term ‘parklets’, and the emphasis on their role to enhance the quality of the public realm, is a misnomer as essentially these are merely small soft planted areas to be expected in any new development. They bear no resemblance to the usual interpretation of a park area.


We consider this scheme is ill-advised and fails to address concerns expressed by the DRP, by the Council in pre-application advice, the GLA in relation to affordable housing and the emerging policies in the Draft Local Plan – see attachment.  We urge the applicant to withdraw these proposals or, failing that, that they be refused.




Appended:


Extract from Draft Local Plan 2021


Large-scale purpose-built shared living accommodation which is defined as being a ‘sui generis’ use will generally be resisted. Such accommodation will only be supported where it is clearly demonstrated that:


1. such development meets all of the criteria set out in the emerging London Plan Policy H16;


2. it can be clearly demonstrated that there is an identified local need for the type of accommodation proposed;


3. it would not lead to an overconcentration of single-person accommodation at the neighbourhood level;


4. it can be clearly demonstrated that the site is not suitable for development for conventional units;


5. it would not give rise to adverse impacts on the amenity of neighbouring properties, the character of the neighbourhood or would not support the creation of mixed and balanced communities;


6. it can be demonstrated that the development would be capable of adaptation to alternative residential use should there no longer be a need for such accommodation;


7. it has been demonstrated through the submission of a management plan that the development will be managed and maintained over its lifetime so as to ensure an acceptable level of amenity and access to facilities for its occupiers and would not give rise to unacceptable impacts on the amenities of existing residents in the neighbourhood; and


8. a financial contribution has been secured towards the provision of affordable dwellings in the borough in accordance with the emerging London Plan policies and those contained in this Plan.


 


You can see full details of this application and other comments, or to make your own views known by copying 2020/4285 and pasting it into the box you will find here