Will London become New York or Dubai?

Author: Cyril Richert

Will London become New York or Dubai?

(Picture: BBC Newsnight/YouTube)

An article was posted 2 weeks ago on the Independant, showing how London might look like if all its planned skyscraper are built. It is based on the work of Stephen Smith of the BBC’s Newsnight who reported about the 250-odd high rise towers to be built in London which are currently in planning or in progress.

Will London become New York or Dubai?

View from Vauxhall

Will London become New York or Dubai?

View from Lambeth Bridge

For the best view of the changes proposed, you should see the video here:

And see below our own version of what is proposed for Wandsworth/York area:

Will London become New York or Dubai?

Filed under: In the press Will London become New York or Dubai?

Local Company Becomes International Sustainability Flagship

Battersea-based Delphis Eco, the ecological cleaning products company, has been chosen by UK Trade and Industry (UKTI) as Britain’s leading ecological brand in their latest campaign. It is the “Green Pillar” in the “GREAT Britain” campaign to promote British products in 144 countries, alongside such household names as Aston Martin, Virgin, and Burberry. They will be showcasing British excellence globally.

CEO Mark Jankovich says, “We are really excited at this will open up an international market. We are keen to see our products helping companies worldwide to be more sustainable.”

delphisDelphis Eco was set up seven years ago by Mark Jankovich to manufacture ecological cleaning products, and was the first UK company to receive an EU Ecolabel accreditation.   It was also the first UK company to be awarded ‘Best Company’ by the European Commission, which recognised the brand for bringing particle innovation to the sustainability sector. With a focus on manufacturing the highest quality cleaning products that also have an independent eco accreditation, the company is committed to providing quality and sustainable cleaning products without an ‘eco’ price premium. As part of the ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign, it hopes to encourage businesses to be more sustainable and select eco-accredited cleaning products.

Mark Jankovich continues, “Part of our mission is to educate people and businesses to be more sustainable. It doesn’t cost any more and this way you can reduce your company’s environmental footprint.”

Being chosen to represent Britain abroad is a big honour for any company and it is very pleasing that this should go to one of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s Members.

Steve Pinto, CEO of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce says, ” Delphis Eco have been proud Chamber members for a number of years and first came to prominence about 4 years ago when the Chamber assisted their entry in to the Supply Nine Elms initiatives aimed at getting local businesses in to the suply chain of larger developments. Now used by a number of the Vauxhall Nine Elms developement companies they are worthy winners of numerous Awards and a shining example of a local business achieving Global status in a very competitive field.”

www.delphiseco.com

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber’s resident blogger and copywriter – https://julianj.journoportfolio.com   www.julianjackson.co.uk

 

BBC expose Wandsworth Council allowing a developer to drop all office space from development

Author: Cyril Richert

BBC expose Wandsworth Council allowing a developer to drop all office space from developmentYesterday night, BBC News (10pm) showed a report from Political Editor Tim Donovan (3’08”) about the permission given to a Chinese developer to double the size of a new luxury hotel in Nine Elms at the expense of office space and the associated jobs.

Developer Dalian Wanda has dropped all 10,000 sqm of office space from its planned riverside development at One Nine Elms in Vauxhall, along with his promise of nearly a thousand new jobs. The space has been replaced by more luxury hotel rooms and private apartments.

The report says that Wandsworth planning documents reveal it will mean at least 400 fewer jobs – nearly half those originally intended – being brought to an economic “opportunity area”.

Initially the planning permission fro the 60 floors tower block (200m) was for 267 apartments, a hotel and office space. Now both Wandsworth Council (last month) and the Mayor of London have approved the key change.

The BBC article says:

Earlier this year, the company applied to drop all the office space, covering seven floors of one of the towers, but maintain the level of housing, which will provide a far more profitable return.

The local planning authority, Wandsworth Council, approved the changes last month subject to support from Mr Johnson [Mayor of London]. […]

According to the company’s own estimate, the hotel plan will lead to a maximum of 500 new jobs being created on the site, compared to more than 900 if offices had been retained. […]

Of the 490 flats in the development, 52 are defined as affordable. None of the affordable homes are family-sized, nor for subsidised rent.

As usual, local authorities said “it will help regenerate a neglected area” and it is part of a much wider opportunity area.

It echoes our concerns as expressed in a letter we sent to the government last month about the way Wandsworth Council was circumventing the planning policies to suit the needs of major developers. As all previous attempts to engage with the Council were ignored or dismissed at last, local amenity societies and community groups in the borough decided to write directly to the Prime Minister in a joint statement.

In our report, we list many examples of breach of policy, and some illustrate perfectly the case on office space (page 5 of the section “Our Concerns”):

1.10. Breach of Policy DMTS13 (Offices)
· The Council applies “flexibility” when approving change of use, often meaning the total loss of nearly all local office space in specific developments. The Council considered that hypothetical development benefits should justify this breach of policy.[1],[2]
· While planning policy requires for 100% re-provision of office space in Putney, the Council has been prepared to override policy by accepting that offices are less viable than conversion to residential space.[3]
· The Council accepted site owners allowing a property to fall into a derelict state to justify accepting a reduction in commercial space, which reduced employment opportunities.[4]

[1] P.A. 2010/5483: 84-88 Upper Richmond Road
[2] P.A. 2012/4046: 113 Upper Richmond Road
[3] P.A. 2011/0054: 77- 83 Upper Richmond Road, Putney
[4] P.A. 2010/4520: Tileman House 131 Upper Richmond Road

Our full analysis of recent planning decisions makes damning reading. Planning decisions frequently circumvent local and national policies and guidelines and, in recent years, there have been too many examples of this practice for this to be ignored.

In a recent meeting with societies, the leader of Wandsworth Council went as far as admitting that for him statutory planning policies were not more than simple guidelines that can be ignored for bigger interests.

 

Filed under: In the press, Nine Elms & Battersea Power Station BBC expose Wandsworth Council allowing a developer to drop all office space from development

In the Architects’ Journal: London: ‘open land’

The Architects’ Journal (UK’s best-selling weekly architecture magazine) makes us the honour of being featured as Letter of the Week (edition 02/05/2014).

In the Architects’ Journal: London: ‘open land’

Click on the image to see it bigger.

In the Architects’ Journal: London: ‘open land’“[…] If anything is permitted for the (potential and subjective) “overall benefits”, what is the point of spending so much time (and money) in planning frameworks and local and national rules? Let’s officially declare London an open land available for architects to create their own “signature” buildings disregarding of the heritage, the environment and the local communities. That’s already what is planned for the Vauxhall/Nine Elms area anyway.”

Filed under: In the press In the Architects’ Journal: London: ‘open land’

In the Wandsworth Guardian: opinions following Council’s attack of Nimbysm

Following last week article in the Wandsworth Guardian: “Council rails at ‘Nimby’ campaign organisations“, a few opinions were published in the week’s edition (click on the image to see it bigger).

In the Wandsworth Guardian: opinions following Council’s attack of Nimbysm

Wandsworth Guardian 24 April 2014 – Opinions

Filed under: In the press In the Wandsworth Guardian: opinions following Council’s attack of Nimbysm

In the Wandsworth Guardian: Council accuses community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they write to David Cameron to complain

Author: Cyril Richert

In the Wandsworth Guardian: Council accuses community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they write to David Cameron to complain

Wandsworth Guardian – 17 April 2014

Many thanks to Sophia Sleigh for her report to the Putney Society, Wandsworth Society, Clapham Junction Action Group and Friends of Putney Common’s open letter to the Prime Minister.

The article starts with : “Wandsworth Council has accused community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they wrote to David Cameron to complain about the borough’s planning procedures.

Online article >>> HERE.

Last week, Cllr Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, confirmed that according to him, planning Policies are just guidelines that can be ignored if needed (and he must know what he is talking about as he was Chair of Wandsworth planning application committee for a decade).

This is apparently the explanation adopted by the Council to explain that there is no breaches of policies as those are only guidelines (therefore only nice to follow when possible…). According to the article, a spokesman for the council said:

All our decisions are based on planning legislation and we scrupulously follow our own local guidelines where these do not conflict with national planning rules.

In real world, local policies are statutory Development Plan for the borough and must comply with a long list of requirements and must be submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination and reviewed by an independent Planning Inspector and subject to the changes identified in the Inspector’s Examination report. Local Policies say clearly (DMPD p13): “Planning permission will be granted for developments which comply with the following criteria…

 

Filed under: In the press In the Wandsworth Guardian: Council accuses community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they write to David Cameron to complain

In the Wandsworth Guardian: Council accuses community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they write to David Cameron to complain

Author: Cyril Richert

In the Wandsworth Guardian: Council accuses community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they write to David Cameron to complain

Wandsworth Guardian – 17 April 2014

Many thanks to Sophia Sleigh for her report to the Putney Society, Wandsworth Society, Clapham Junction Action Group and Friends of Putney Common’s open letter to the Prime Minister.

The article starts with : “Wandsworth Council has accused community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they wrote to David Cameron to complain about the borough’s planning procedures.

Online article >>> HERE.

Last week, Cllr Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, confirmed that according to him, planning Policies are just guidelines that can be ignored if needed (and he must know what he is talking about as he was Chair of Wandsworth planning application committee for a decade).

This is apparently the explanation adopted by the Council to explain that there is no breaches of policies as those are only guidelines (therefore only nice to follow when possible…). According to the article, a spokesman for the council said:

All our decisions are based on planning legislation and we scrupulously follow our own local guidelines where these do not conflict with national planning rules.

In real world, local policies are statutory Development Plan for the borough and must comply with a long list of requirements and must be submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination and reviewed by an independent Planning Inspector and subject to the changes identified in the Inspector’s Examination report. Local Policies say clearly (DMPD p13): “Planning permission will be granted for developments which comply with the following criteria…

 

Filed under: In the press In the Wandsworth Guardian: Council accuses community groups of being ‘NIMBYs’ after they write to David Cameron to complain

Wandsworth at ease with planning rules

Author: Cyril Richert

Wandsworth at ease with planning rules

Soaring skyscrapers are being given the green light in direct opposition of council policy, leading to accusations Wandsworth Council is putting developers needs ahead of residents“, says the Wandsworth Guardian in today’s edition.

The ton of the article is indeed reflecting the general mood within the residents in the borough who have been facing major planning applications across the recent years.

There are however a few errors that could be corrected for the sake of precision:

  • There are many more than 10 breaches, as it happened for almost all major and noticeable schemes recently.
  • The policy DMS4 on Tall building counts 15 criteria, not 14.
  • Olive Haines is 7storeys not 5 and it abuts a Conservation area and is not in one.
  • More importantly 5 storeys is not the maximum height of tall buildings. Over five storeys is the height(in most of Putney) at which the tall buildings policy comes into play. Buildings above 5 storeys are allowed by policy but then need to “integrate” into their surroundings. All the Upper Richmond Road was at least 8 storeys originally and they were never going to be reduced in height. The challenge for Putney was how an increase to 11, 12,13 or15 storeys could possibly integrate with a maximum of 4 storey existing buildings around them.
  • And to be more precise, although it is right that increase density generates more Council tax, the main and immediate source of income that the Council is eager to grasp is the Community Infrastructure Levy, or former section 106, that is the money given by the developer following granted development permission. That’s what Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, implied when he commented on the Ram Brewery site purchase by Chines developers: “It also delivers on the council’s top priority which is to redesign the Wandsworth Gyratory and remove through traffic from the high street”… thanks to the money given by the developers!

Overall, a good article… and probably more to come.

Filed under: In the press Wandsworth at ease with planning rules