The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Added on: 21 October 2014 at 12:09:01

Response to Barratt Homes re: 12-14 Lombard Road plans

Your exhibition earlier this month at the Hotel Verta provided a useful opportunity to see and discuss the proposals for the site at 12 -14 Lombard Road. 

We were surprised to find that a single 28 storey tower is proposed on the site. This flies straight in the face of the adopted policy for the site as set out in Wandsworth's Site Specific Allocations Document (SSAD) which  states that 'in accordance with Core Strategy Policy IS3d, tall buildings in this location are likely to be inappropriate. In accordance with DMPD Policy DMS4, the height at which a development in this location will be considered to be tall is 9 storeys.' This proposal is clearly way outside this parameter.

While the design of the tower has merits, it is inappropriate on this site, adjacent to the heritage Cremorne Bridge and the smaller vernacular buildings of Battersea village. In particular the sketch on one of the display boards (and not included among those on the website) indicated just how intrusive a tower of this size would be when viewed from north of the river. It would completely dominate the river foreshore and set an unfortunate precedent for this part of the river walk.  We are surprised that it satisfies air space safety requirements, given its proximity to the heliport.

We were not convinced that another element of the SSAD was fully reflected: that of aiming to replace the previous use with mixed uses as well as residential. The offer of a local convenience store at ground level is a positive gesture but it appeared more likely that the option for a restaurant onto the river walk is likely to be a more viable option. Likewise questions about the level of affordable units to be provided were not adequately answered, indeed it appears there may be no units provided on site merely an alternative payment for such provision elsewhere in the borough. This is not a satisfactory approach.

We consider this site should have more soft landscaping than suggested in the drawings at the exhibition. As drawn the site would be extremely bleak.  The treatment of the public realm was largely hard surface with only a possible gesture towards planting on the boundary with the adjacent site. This site would benefit from some bolder planting including one or two mature trees.

Finally we were not convinced that the vehicle access to the building was sufficient for servicing this number of units. In particular we noted the lack of easy drop off and accessible parking for disabled visitors.