The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Submission to Wandsworth Borough Council
Added on: 30 March 2015 at 16:38:34

198 York Road:2015/0881

While we are supportive of the development of this site we must object to this application on the grounds that the plans have no basis in Wandsworth Council policy as expressed in the Local Plan and: 

  • Are an overdevelopment of the site which will have a negative effect on the surrounding area

  • Propose a derisory quantity of Affordable Housing on the grounds that the development is unviable even at 100% market tenure

  • Have not properly addressed the comments of the Design Review Panel

  • Will contribute further to the strain on transport in the area 

Overdevelopment of the site and impact on the surrounding area

The exhibition materials suggested a more open arrangement of buildings with more public green space and the buildings themselves more subtly modelled on the site.  The proposed views 2, 9 and 13 shown within figures 4.5-5, 15 and 21 of the Design and Access Statement show the dominance of the buildings both on the site and in the wider context; and the four-square impact of the three buildings.  

The impact of the 20 storey building is clearly shown and will be to the detriment of the surrounding streetscape and of the outlook from the regenerated Winstanley Estate.  We are not persuaded that the overshadowing will be acceptable.  The Daylight report concludes that the majority of rooms (263 out of 435 ) tested in neighbouring buildings fail to confirm with BRE guidelines and  will experience a ‘minor’ or ‘moderate’ change in light.  We do not accept that this is to be expected by residents living in an urban area. 

Affordable Housing 

We are surprised that the developer and their architects have bought a site and proposed a scheme which the BNP Paribas report concludes is unviable even if 100% of the property is sold at market rates.  This seems to cast doubt either on the good sense of the developer or the accuracy of the BNP report.  Of the 261 units proposed a mere 30 (11.5%) are offered as shared ownership, 8 x 1 bedroom and 22 x 2 bedroom.  It is to be regretted that even at this low level it is deemed necessary to set these homes apart from the rest of the development. Given the acknowledged need for social housing for hard working families in London this is unacceptable.

 Design Review Panel Comments 

These correctly note the lack of any policy justification for the tall building on this site and appear to offer a compromise of a height reduction, albeit still above that set down in the Local Plan (which has only recently been submitted to the Inspector).  The plans do not reflect this.  The panel also note the need for the highest quality of material in order to meet the aspirations for the architecture.  Given that the scheme is not viable it seems unlikely that this will be possible.  

Lack of Transport Capacity 

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 re-opening of the enlarged John Bosco school in Surrey Lane and the impact of the approved tall building in Gwynne Road are just two of the most recent developments adding stress to the 170 and other public transport in the area.

We can only repeat our call for a halt to any further planning permissions until there has been serious consideration, with TfL, of the implications of the increased demand on road and public transport in the area.  Any study should include achievable plans for meeting the demand for those schemes already consented and realistic proposals for meeting additional demand.

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