The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 1 February 2015 at 18:47:57

98 York Road, 2014/7103

The Battersea Society objects to this application for a proposal which, overall, is not in accordance with the policies and objectives of the Local Plan; and which fails to meet the needs for successful integration of this and other sites within a master plan for the area.

Our areas of objection concern:

  • Height and Design of proposed buildings

  • Scheme contrary to approved local plan policy

  • Negative impact on the area

  • Failure to link across York Road through York Gardens to Clapham Junction

  • Transport and Traffic capacity

  • Lack of Affordable Housing

Height and Design
The Townscape and Visual Impact (TVI) document shows the detrimental effect of one building of 17 storeys overall and another of 11 storeys on the townscape.  We draw attention to page 23 with an outline of Heliport House and to pages 30-33 which show the impact on York Road and the overbearing nature of the design.  We are not persuaded that this is ‘an elegant focal point’ but rather a generic and dominating design.

Contrary to planning policy
There is no policy justification for new buildings of 11 and 17 storeys in this location. The policy documentation (SSAD) approved in March 2014 and put forward for Examination in Public indicated that this would not be a suitable site for tall buildings.  The guide figure was that any building above 9 storeys was considered tall.  This has not been changed in the revised document which has, in any event, not yet been put to the Executive or to the Inspector.  While we know that DMS4 can be seen, by developers and by officers, as requiring justification of a technical nature only, this is a partial reading of the policy. 

Negative Impact on the area
The outline masterplan included in the documentation is sketchy and does not appear to be endorsed by other developers or by councillors or to have had input from WBC officers.   The TVI shows how the new buildings would block off views through existing blocks, tower over neighbouring buildings and mitigate against a more sensitive approach being taken by other landowners in the area.

This would be contrary to aspects of DMS4 in that the buildings would: 

iv  have an unacceptable visual impact on the surrounding areas.
vi. fail to support and complement the surrounding land use pattern and local community
vii be of a massing and scale which fails to create a form that is well integrated into surrounding developments 

We agree with the applicant that the area is “characterised by a mix of uses, heights and architectural styles”.  This for us is typical of Battersea and to be preserved and cherished rather than being criticised as something which “creates confusion and a lack of legibility in the townscape”. 

It appears from objections that neighbours are concerned at other detrimental aspects of the proposed scheme. 

Links across York Road 
The Design Review Panel argues that there should be a ‘legible route from the proposed development through the Park (York Gardens) and to Clapham Junction Station’.  We support them in this and consider that the layout and proposals as presented fail to indicate where and what form such links might take (in spite of section 02 of the Design and Access Statement picking up on the need for this).  This is significant, given the emphasis placed upon public transport links from Clapham Junction Station, and proposals for redevelopment of the Winstanley Estate including revised pedestrian links across the park. 

Transport and Traffic
York Road is heavily trafficked throughout much of the day and evening.  This will only increase as the impact of developments in Nine Elms and in Wandsworth Town is felt.

The same is true of public transport capacity – already inadequate at peak periods and increasingly at other times. 

The Council should not grant further planning permissions until there has been serious consideration, with TfL, of the implications of the increased demand on road and public transport of existing developments and of the Winstanley regeneration.   Any masterplan for the area must include a full review of transport and road capacity.

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