Redevelopment of the Princes Head pub site, Falcon Road

Author: Cyril Richert

Redevelopment of the Princes Head pub site, Falcon Road

Prince’s Head pub, 44-46 Falcon Road SW11 2LR

A planning application has been submitted in July for the redevelopment of the Prince’s Head pub located at 44-46 Falcon Road SW11 2LR (p.a. 2014/3881). The proposal is:

Demolition of existing building and erection of a five storey, plus basement, building to provide 25 residential units (4 x one bedroom, 20 x two bedroom, 1 x three bedroom) and two commercial units (Class A1/A2, 470sqm of floorspace) together with cycle storage and refuse stores.

Redevelopment of the Princes Head pub site, Falcon Road

While everyone welcomes the closure of the pub and the redevelopment of the area, although objection received raised concerns about the lack of provision for site parking. One of the comment says:

“The previous planning application had a condition attached to it that residents of the new development would not be entitled to apply for resident parking permits. Does this condition still form part of this revised application? The developers may wish to revisit the possibility of providing underground parking at the development.”

Comments received on the Council website ask for confirmation that new residents would not be eligible to apply for resident parking permits in the nearby Kambala Estate.

Another comment questioned the need of more retail for the area, saying:

“why the ground floor is proposed as retail when so many empty units have been vacant for a considerable period within a five minute walk of the development”

The Battersea Society sent a very detailed objection raising concerns on:

  • Lack of off-street parking
  • Affordable Housing
  • Dominance of the architecture (the visualisation the proposed building is substantially taller than neighbouring buildings and will be overly dominant in the streetscape)
  • Viability of the Retail Frontage (risk of empty shop frontages at street level)

You can make online comment on the application on the Council Website HERE.


Filed under: Clapham Junction Redevelopment of the Princes Head pub site, Falcon Road

Display hoarding appeal dismissed at Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

Display hoarding appeal dismissed at Clapham JunctionFollowing the refusal by the Council to grant planning permission to erect a (temporary) large, externally illuminated advertising hoarding at Clapham Junction, outside of Wessex House (St John’s Hill), the appeal lodged by the owner has been also dismissed by the Planning Inspector on July 30th, 2014.

The Inspector said:

“Whilst this would have the potential for an adverse effect on  the appearance of the CJCA it would not be as great as the significant negative  impact of the proposed large illuminated advertisement in this prominent site  in a Conservation Area, close to Listed Buildings. The limited benefit of the work to the bulding does not outweigh the harm that would be caused. On  balance, therefore, I consider that the proposal would not preserve the character and appearance of the CJCA.

For the reasons given above I conclude that the display of the scaffold screen building wrap advertisement would be detrimental to the interests of amenity.”

Read the full decision here. Planning application 2014/0492.


Filed under: Clapham Junction Display hoarding appeal dismissed at Clapham Junction

Wandsworth Citizen Borough Assembly

Join Wandsworth Citizens on Tuesday 13th May from 7pm to 9pm at York Gardens Library.

The Borough Assembly will be joined by the Borough Police Commander, Jane Ellison MP, the leader of Wandsworth Council and other special guests.

Entrance is free but you will need a ticket.
Please RSVP wandsworth@citizensuk.org.uk for a ticket.
Bring your family to hear the leader of Wandsworth Council respond to the results of our Community Listening Campaign
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Enjoy Cultural Performances from our young people
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Creche available

Advertising board on Wessex house refused

Author: Cyril Richert

Advertising board on Wessex house refusedPlanning Application 2014/0492 to erect a (temporary) large, externally illuminated advertising hoarding at Clapham Junction, outside of Wessex House (St John’s Hill), has been refused on March 31st. Decision was made by the planning department under delegation.

The reason given for refusal is:

“The proposed advertisement by reason of its size, height, and prominent location would be inappropriate and visually intrusive and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the streetscene, to the character and appearance of the Clapham Junction Conservation Area , and setting of two nearby listed buildings.

It has not be demonstrated that the significant harm from the temporary installation of this advertisement would be offset by longer-term benefits to the streetscene and Conservation Area by restoration works to the application building. The proposal is therefore contrary to Council policies DMS1, DMS2 and DMS8 and paragraphs 67 and 131 to 134 of the National Policy Framework.

[... This is] clearly contrary to our statutory policies and negotiation could not overcome the reasons for refusal.”

An objection was received from the Northcote ward Councillors saying that it was inappropriate in the Clapham Junction conservation area and town centre:

Such a unit will seriously impact the visual amenity of the Clapham Junction town centre which is a designated conservation area with many notable features including the nearby Grade II listed buildings of the Falcon PH and the former Arding and Hobbs department store“.

The Battersea Society, Wandsworth Conservation Area Advisory Committee objected also on the same lines.

In addition 13 objections were received raising matters such as:

  • The area is being smartened up to make a nicer area with the recent streetscape improvements and a large billboard would do nothing for the area.
  • It would be out of keeping for the place.
  • It would harm the streetscene.
  • It would clash with the architecture of the neighbouring buildings.
  • It would compromise highway safety.

Filed under: Clapham Junction Advertising board on Wessex house refused

Advertising board on Wessex house refused

Author: Cyril Richert

Advertising board on Wessex house refusedPlanning Application 2014/0492 to erect a (temporary) large, externally illuminated advertising hoarding at Clapham Junction, outside of Wessex House (St John’s Hill), has been refused on March 31st. Decision was made by the planning department under delegation.

The reason given for refusal is:

“The proposed advertisement by reason of its size, height, and prominent location would be inappropriate and visually intrusive and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the streetscene, to the character and appearance of the Clapham Junction Conservation Area , and setting of two nearby listed buildings.

It has not be demonstrated that the significant harm from the temporary installation of this advertisement would be offset by longer-term benefits to the streetscene and Conservation Area by restoration works to the application building. The proposal is therefore contrary to Council policies DMS1, DMS2 and DMS8 and paragraphs 67 and 131 to 134 of the National Policy Framework.

[... This is] clearly contrary to our statutory policies and negotiation could not overcome the reasons for refusal.”

An objection was received from the Northcote ward Councillors saying that it was inappropriate in the Clapham Junction conservation area and town centre:

Such a unit will seriously impact the visual amenity of the Clapham Junction town centre which is a designated conservation area with many notable features including the nearby Grade II listed buildings of the Falcon PH and the former Arding and Hobbs department store“.

The Battersea Society, Wandsworth Conservation Area Advisory Committee objected also on the same lines.

In addition 13 objections were received raising matters such as:

  • The area is being smartened up to make a nicer area with the recent streetscape improvements and a large billboard would do nothing for the area.
  • It would be out of keeping for the place.
  • It would harm the streetscene.
  • It would clash with the architecture of the neighbouring buildings.
  • It would compromise highway safety.

Filed under: Clapham Junction Advertising board on Wessex house refused

Do and do not: two residential developments in the area

Author: Cyril Richert

Do and do not: two residential developments in the area

7 Mossbury Road SW11

The 6 residential units planned beside Travelodge Hotel in Mossbury Road are nearly completed. It was designed to integrate with the existing Victorian terrace houses of the street and, albeit having only one entrance and extension at the back, it will look like 2 similar houses. The building will comprise 3 x 1 bedroom and 3 x 2 bedroom flats over three floors.

Although part of the same development as the Travelodge hotel (the new residential units are located on Woburn House’s former car-park, now replaced by Travelodge) the residential unites were designed to harmonise gently with the rest of the street and to match the existing Victorian houses  (dated from late 19th century!).

Although located in a residential street of the same area, with similar Victorian terrace houses, a comparison with the newly approved building in 4-8 Hafer Road can only highlight the major criticism that we raised on the latest one: a very imposing building, out of context within the Victorian-style of the surrounding and which will harm the amenity of nearby properties.

Do and do not: two residential developments in the area

4-8 Hafer Road SW11

The Mossbury Road scheme shows however that it would have been possible to build residential units while respecting the character of the area.


Filed under: Clapham Junction, New Hotel Falcon Road Do and do not: two residential developments in the area

The heart of Battersea

Author: Cyril Richert

The heart of Battersea

There is now a sign erected over the exit from Clapham Junction Station telling everyone that they are in Clapham Junction, (SW11, Battersea), and not in Clapham (SW4, Lambeth borough). And it even lights up at night, so train users always know where they are!

We all need to thank Philip Beddows and  the Love Battersea campaign who have been chasing up all those shops and organisations which misplaced the location of Clapham Junction in Clapham, instead of Battersea since… September 2005! They started campaigning specifically for a sign with this wording 5 years ago.

One of the major victory in December 2011 was with Google map correcting  its data and putting Clapham at the location where it is, and not in the middle of Battersea on top of our town centre Clapham Junction. Since then the campaign managed to register many other success such as Asda renaming it shop “ASDA Clapham Junction, Battersea” (despite evidence, Asda decided first to hold a ballot to decide if they were in Clapham or Battersea!) or Travelodge Hotel beside Clapham Junction station first advertising their location as Clapham.

Recently we spotted a similar error in Topps Tiles advertising for their new shop in St John’s Hill. The shop had actually responded to earlier notification and already corrected the mistake.

Clapham Junction takes its name from the famous railway station. The first station opening in 1863 was called Falcon Bridge but later changed name for “Clapham Junction”, as in the mid 19th century the area of Clapham was seen as much more attractive.


Filed under: Clapham Junction The heart of Battersea

Another large advertising board for Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

Another large advertising board for Clapham JunctionPlanning Application 2014/0492 has been submitted for a (temporary) large, externally illuminated advertising hoarding at Clapham Junction, this time for the outside of Wessex House (St John’s Hill).

Temporary advertising board to cover scaffolding on Wessex House

The display of an illuminated hoarding is planned on scaffolding shroud (6.8m high, 14.6m wide and 20cm deep) for a period of one year. It won’t be digital, but illuminated with overhead lamps.

The Wessex House has been let for 10 years to the Grand, and a scaffolding will be erected to inspect the façade and the roof, which certainly needs work. Several phases are planned, which requires first to inspect the building, carry the necessary repair and then cleaning, restoring and refurbishing the Wessex House building. The advertising board on top of the scaffolding would allow to raise more cash to contribute to the refurbishment.

Two proposals to erect large digital advertising board beside the Revolution Bar at the Junction and beside Asda on Lavender Hill have been withdrawn last autumn.

Although different from the previous application at the Junction, it must be noted that the site façade (and therefore the proposed advertising board) will be adjoining the Clapham Junction Conservation Area. In addition the structure supporting the advertising board will come forward as the building upper floors step backward from the street frontage.

A previous similar plan in Putney Hight Street

The Council pointed out a previous application for a similar proposal (13m tall, 12m wide) for 10 months on a scaffolding in Putney High Street, that was allowed after appeal. The decision considered that it was not creating a distraction for the traffic as to endanger the road users, and the zone being brightly lit at night, it won’t be a problem in a “busy, urban, commercial environment“. The judge justified his choice between the debris screened scaffolding and the temporary advertisement as appropriate measure  to speed up the work on the frontage.

As for Putney, conditions to restrict the illumination to some hours (for example 4pm -11pm) and for a maximum period could be set. A different type/size of advertising should also be preferred, or no advertising at all.

Northcote councillors said in their newsletter that they will be opposing this application as being inappropriate in the Clapham Junction conservation area and town centre. The Wandsworth Conservation Area Advisory Committee has decided to object too.

You can send your comments on the Council’s website (P.A. 2014/0492).


Filed under: Clapham Junction Another large advertising board for Clapham Junction

4-8 Hafer Road redevelopment approval is a huge disappointment for neighbourhood

Authors: Cyril Richert with Hafer Road residents

4-8 Hafer Road redevelopment approval is a huge disappointment for neighbourhood

A scheme proposing to replace a few 3 storey small residential blocks in the style of former council houses, with a modern 4 storey building has been approved two weeks ago by Wandsworth Council.

The existing building is 8 units – 4 2 storey maisonettes and 4 single storey 1 bedroom apartments with balcony walkway. Each maisonette has a front garden (2m x 3m) and back garden (varying in length, average 9m x 4m).

In the summer of 2012, the existing residents of 4-8 Hafer Road bought the freehold of their building from Wandsworth council for under £40,000 and formed a company which 7 of the resident owners are directors. They approached developers to design a new building with 21st century architecture and facilities, and that would allow them to sell additional units from the new block to clear all remaining debt of the residents and make the developer a +20% profit.

The architects hired to design the new building are well known for utilising maximum space to achieve maximum living space with no regard for green space or local character. The design submitted to Wandsworth Planning Committee is the following:

  1. Demolition of the existing building
  2. Construction of 16 units including 2 x 4 bedrooms, 4 x 3 bedroom and 8 x 2 bedrooms

Strong objection from the neighbourhood and amenity groups

The Clapham Junction Action Group objected to the development saying:

“The total footprint of the construction will be more than 3 times as much as the current dwellings. As a consequence it will be very imposing and with a quite different style to the Victorian terrace houses that characterize the rest of the area.”

They also strongly supported the objection of the Battersea Society which said that “the design of the frontage remains out of keeping with its neighbours with obtrusive balconies in particular introducing a jarring note“.

The Clapham Junction Action Group and the Battersea Society were supported by about 40 households in the direct vicinity who also objected to the new design.

Local residents pointed out that there was no reference to the lack of an independent parking survey from the Applicant. There will be a massive impact on parking from the extra households/residents on such a small street exacerbated by the rack of Boris Bikes planned on an adjacent road.

Another issue was the lack of independent Light Assessment (one resident at 10 Hafer road claimed that the assessment submitted on behalf of the Applicants sanctions a 40% loss of light in their kitchen!).

The neighbours said:

The Company of Architects used are based in Kings Cross and their plans are for a high density build far more suitable to an inner urban area where space is less valued or available.

Almost 40 local households wrote objections to the design on the Council’s Planning Application website. There were 30 comments in support, with many of them from Clapham South.

Local neighbourhood disappointed over the Council’s planning process

The Council’s communication of the process of the application, how to object, make comments, and the process of decision making has been pathetic, with many residents being left in the dark about the situation and even when the planning committee meeting was or how to get local council to support their concerns.

The Monday before the planning committee meeting on Thursday, some of the local residents discovered, by accident, that the meeting was in 4 days time. The local residents formed an action group and door knocked local residents asking them to partition their ward councillors to attend the meeting on their behalf and express their concerns.

An article in the Wandsworth Guardian described the huge disappointment of the neighbours:

“Neighbours said they were left disappointed after their ward councillors declined to speak on their behalf during the committee meeting.

Requests were sent to Councillor Peter Dawson, Councillor Jenny Browne and Councillor Martin Johnson for help but the councillors said all they would do is pass on their emails to the committee members.

The councillors defended their actions pointing out ward members can only give short statements at meetings, are unable to participate in discussions and cannot vote.

During the meeting, four councillors asked questions and agreed that the development was oversized. Cllr Belton (Labour) thought that the ‘castellated’ design might break up the acknowledged mass density of the build. They did not consider how a flat, squared (rather than pitched ) roof at increased height would further add to the mass imposition of the structure.

At the end, only Cllr Heaster (Conservatives) voted against the proposal.

There were 3 council officers who were supporting their report but they couldn’t provide any photos or models; they didn’t even have the correct number to hand on how much bigger the development is.

Eight of the residents were holding banners against the proposal at the meeting, which attracted laugh from some committee members. After the meeting, the residents of Hafer Road mocked those residents who objected to the building.

Post meeting, those residents who are opposed to the design are pursuing other angles of action including obtaining legal advice.


Filed under: Clapham Junction 4-8 Hafer Road redevelopment approval is a huge disappointment for neighbourhood

Accessibility around Clapham Junction: can do better

Author: Jacqui Bowers

I find it quite shocking that Blacks have just undergone a major refit and ignoring any access for wheelchair users and people with buggies.

Accessibility around Clapham Junction: can do better

Outdoor Clothes Blacks’ entrance in St John’s Rd

For Clapham Junction station, it is brilliant to have lift access to all platforms and this has transformed wheelchair users in accessing rail transport. It is equally illogical that there is no information for wheelchair users or people with buggies or heavy luggage to go to Brighton Yard for step-free access.

Accessibility around Clapham Junction: can do better

Photo looking west. No sign of any information for wheelchair users. February 2014.

Accessibility around Clapham Junction: can do better

Photo looking east. No sign of any information for wheelchair users. February 2014.

The only downside of using Brighton Yard entrance is to go up St John’s Hill over a cobbled-stone pathway. Cobble-stones present another problem for wheelchair users.

UPDATE 23/02/14: We have received the following tweet from Blacks:


Filed under: Clapham Junction Accessibility around Clapham Junction: can do better