The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 24 January 2015 at 12:43:07

12-14 Lombard Road, 2014/6909

The Battersea Society objects strongly to this application for massive over-development of a small site adjacent to the listed Cremorne Bridge and to the railway line. The reasons for our objection are as follows:

1 Contrary to planning policy: There is no policy justification for a new building of this height and number of 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 and the guide figure was that any building above 9 storeys was considered tall. 26 storeys are proposed for this building.

We accept that the council took the opportunity of the refusal by the Inspector to accept the modifications to add a proposal in revised documentation that a focal point in Lombard Road ‘be investigated’ (Core Strategy PL9, p.83, October 2014). Consultation on the new documentation took place in October and November 2014. The SSAD height guideline was not revised. Barratts held an exhibition of proposals for a tall building on this site in October 2014.

The revised Local Plan documentation is to be discussed by the Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 10 February and presented to the Executive Committee meeting on 23 February. Assuming it is approved it will go to the Inspector in March. This application is therefore being presented in advance of any approved revision to policy documentation and is outwith current policy..

We understand that the Council are working on a masterplan for the area in consultation with developers. The lack of any plan for the area adds to our concern that the impact of a development of this scale, in combination with others, has not been fully evaluated, let alone consulted on.

2 Detrimental impact on local heritage bridge and river frontage: The scale and massing of the building is out of all proportion to the listed Victorian bridge and the smaller scale of buildings downstream on the river frontage of Battersea Village conservation area. It would massively change the skyline along this river frontage. View 5 in the Townscape and Visual Impact Report, p.33, shows this very clearly.

We do not consider sufficient weight has been given to the detrimental effect of the building on the Cremorne bridge and railways arches during and after construction, nor on the operations of the near-by heliport.

As many of the other objectors state, it would cast a shadow for lengthy periods of the day over much of the adjacent residential development and open space.

3 Lack of public transport capacity: The attached residential transport plan essentially uses the modal split target for public transport as that in the 2011 census. However, as local residents and users of public transport in this area know, the pressure on public transport since 2011 has grown and both buses and overground trains are severely overloaded at peak hours. (We consider references to use of the tube are a diversion as there are currently no tube stations which can reasonably said to be locally accessible).

The council continue to grant planning permissions without any serious consideration with TfL of the implications of this increased demand on road and public transport between Wandsworth High Street and the Nine Elms Vauxhall area. While promoting use of car clubs and cycling is welcomed in itself, it does not address the issue of locally clogged roads. The narrow bridge arches immediately outside the proposed building are a limit on road capacity and type of bus given their low height and width.

4 Affordable Housing: The development fails to provide anything like an acceptable level of affordable housing – just 10% of units to be offered as intermediate dwellings. The developer states that the viability study shows that this level of provision represents the maximum reasonable level supported by this scheme. We contend that given the need for affordable housing in this part of the borough the council should only approve schemes that are designed, if not to meet the policy guideline of 33% affordable housing then at least a proportion closer to that figure than the 10% offered by this scheme.

5 Public Realm treatment: We consider the site plan provides poorly designed public realm facilities given the significance of this site. The proposals fail to recognise the implications of the approved new footbridge proposed alongside the rail bridge. The building and its ground floor access dominate the site and the proposals run counter to section 6.22 of the current DMPD which states: New development will be expected to provide high quality public realm that is safe and attractive and should, wherever possible, improve access and provide opportunities for the public to enjoy the river(s) .

This is an ill-advised proposal without any mandate and should be refused.

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