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


Planning Committee Submission



Added on: 19 August 2020 at 14:15:31

Response to Arding & Hobbs Stage 2 Presentation

Introduction


As with our earlier response, there is much to commend about these proposals and we have confidence that the restoration work and new building will be carried out to the high standard this important Battersea landmark building deserves. 


However we have a number of concerns and this response focuses on these which are:



  • The design and height of the two-storey roof extension

  • The need for continued public access to the first floor retail space

  • The lack of public access to the dome area 


Roof extension 


In our earlier response we noted our concern about the scale and design of the proposed new two-storey roof structure and asked for a fuller justification of the two rather than one storey structure.  The latest proposals do not consider this but rather present the two storey structure as a fait accompli.  In terms of design it appears that these are a development of the preferred option at stage 1.  It remains a design element in its own right rather than something more neutral with the danger that the roof will compete with, rather than complement, the building below.  We are disappointed that neither the height nor a more neutral addition has been considered and we ask that this be done even at this late stage. 


If an acceptable attractive structure is developed for the roof area we consider that some public access to facilities at that level is made possible. It would be an asset for the community to be able to hire rooms for meetings, private events or more generally have restaurant facilities available for use in the evening. 


Public Access to the First Floor 


We would not support the change of use from retail or other public use to offices at the first floor.  The fenestration is designed for the public to look into and out of and we are concerned that office use would diminish the streetscape as well as reducing the importance of this flagship retail element within Clapham Junction. 


Dome Area 


We are not clear whether current plans will place the Dome area into private use although think that this is so. As with the roof area, we hope that this will not be the case.  We note the mention of The Department at Brixton and this looks to be a possible solution, although ideally any restaurant or bar should be open to the public rather than for members of a private club and their guests. 


Conclusion 


We are broadly optimistic about the future of this building but very much hope our continued concerns can be addressed before a planning application is made.