Decision deferred on the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)

Author: Cyril Richert

Decision deferred on the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)Decision on Swandon Lane/Homebase planning application (p.a. 2015/6608) was deferred yesterday at the planning application committee meeting. While the Council’s officers recommended approval for the scheme including a 17 storey tower, it emerged that the developers now wish to review their proposals and consult further.

Apparently, the Council’s officer in charge of the case is himself bemused. Is it that now even developers are thinking that the Council is passing any scheme without any consideration on the local impact and unlike the Council, are cautious with local resident opposition? In any case it would be wise to confine joy for the present.

The Planning Officers believed that reducing the initial proposal from 25 storeys to 17 storeys was a victory for Council’s policies. Despite those policies saying that buildings of 9 storeys or more are unlikely to be appropriate for the site. It shows again the discrepancy between the official line and the views real views in the Council.

According to a campaigner : “Former Land Owners who gained consents when being forced to adhere to Council Policy on height, massing and density are considering seeking financial redress for loss caused by a complete sea change in over-riding Policy should an Approval be granted that would be contrary to Council and London Mayoral Policy.” Although there is indeed a financial risk to be considered by the Council, this does not impact directly the decision that developers are making.

The proposal received over 100 objections along with the views of the Wandsworth Society, Battersea Society and Riverside West Residents Association.

>> Read the objection from the Wandsworth Society to the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)

Filed under: Wandsworth Town Decision deferred on the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)

25 storey tower for 100 York Road

Author: Cyril Richert

25 storey tower for 100 York RoadA scoping exercise last year for a 30 storey tower in 100 York Road has now turned into a more advanced pre-application as the developer organised an exhibition to promote their scheme at the end of January 2016.

The exhibition presented in January shows several building (essentially a tower of 25 storeys and a 6 storey neighbouring block), with a retention of the original Candle factory building. The new development will include 162 new dwellings (1,2 and  3 bedroom appartements), 72 parking space and 18 residential cycle spaces. It will deliver 3,200 sqm of office space.

25 storey tower for 100 York Road

According to the developers, a previous exhibition organised in December 2014 presented 3 options. The developers argue that the options “focusing on making the best use of the space available and on integration with surrounding community space [and to] prioritise the layout of the new buildings and their architecture relative to nearby developments” was rejected and new blocks incorporated into the site was much preferred. Therefore the result is that:

25 storey tower for 100 York Road

If you feel flabbergasted by the proposal, have a look at the initial scoping opinion (p.a. 2015/1835), requested for a mixed-use scheme including 200 residential dwellings and erection of new buildings up to 30-storeys in height.

25 storey tower for 100 York Road

And developers will find without any pain all the justification they need thanks to the already approved towers in the close vicinity, that they quote on page 4 of their exhibition documents:

  1. 98 York Road: 17 storey tower
  2. Heliport heights: 4+15=19 storey tower
  3. Homebase: 20 storey building (actually now 21!)
  4. Lombard Road: 28 storey building
  5. 56-66 Gwynne Road: 14storey building
  6. Winstanley & York Road Master plan.
25 storey tower for 100 York Road

They even compare with the Ram Brewery tower to justify the scheme.

25 storey tower for 100 York Road

And – contrary to the Council – they are not ashamed to show some  cumulative impact along the Thames.

It looks like the developers are quoting CJAG in their list (we should have asked for a patent 😉 ).

> Read:Planning in Wandsworth: is the Council out of control?

In any case, this was exactly the subject of our public meeting organised last November. You can see in this article that the cumulative impact of all those developments which the Council is approving was made clear through our presentation. And although we did not have the architects plans for 100 York road at the time of the meeting, we were quite close in our mocking exercise:

25 storey tower for 100 York Road

A planning application will be submitted in Spring 2016.

A few weeks ago I heard that an officer made a comment about Manhattan and how nice it would be to get the same here. Apparently it was not a joke…

Filed under: York Road area 25 storey tower for 100 York Road

Proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road

Author: Cyril Richert

Proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road

A new proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road (currently occupied by Tesco at its ground level) will replace a series of 2 storey maisonnettes by a 5 storey building, to create 25 new homes, including 1, 2 and 3 bed flats, two new retail units, cycle parking and space for a gym (with low membership fee). No parking spaces will be provided for new residents, and not resident permit on the streets.

The proposals match the height and scale of the neighbouring buildings on Patience Road and Khyber Road (3 storeys to the top of the roof) stepping up to five storeys on Falcon Road.

Walters Properties own the building and are seeking to redevelop
and retain the site on Falcon Road. Walters Properties is also proposing to rename the building Walters House, and will seek to do this in consultation with Wandsworth Council.

I attended the exhibition organised at York Gardens Community Centre on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 to discuss the proposals.

It will be of similar size to the site across the road (Redevelopment of the Princes Head pub site) which has already an approved planning permission for a 5 storey building (Dec. 2014).

Proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road

In its objection to the Princes Head redevelopment, the Battersea Society said that the visualisation the proposed building was substantially taller than neighbouring buildings and will be overly dominant in the streetscape. That was true at the time. Unfortunately since 2015 and proposals for  the redevelopment of York and Winstanley Estates consisting mainly of 5 storeys buildings, the size of the 15-27 Falcon Road proposal is becoming the norm for the future of the area.

In term of style, you will also note that similar modern façade exist in the same street already, closer to the bridge, although building does not exceed 3 storeys.

Proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road

However we make 2 comments:

  1. There is no current specification on the amount of affordable accommodation proposed. Wandsworth planning policy IS5 specify that a proportion of at least 33% of homes should be affordable (although new developers always raise the viability argument to safeguard their comfortable profit margin!)
  2. Developers constantly use, nowadays, the excuse of good access to transport (and being environnementale friendly) to justify the absence of car parks. In reality, they save money as building car parking is expensive. It sweeps away the obvious need, from time to time, to access the building with vehicles (families, visitors, builders, delivery…etc) and the cumulative effect that such approach of ALL new developments will have on the area. Especially as, despite the proximity of Clapham Junction, the public transport is already stretched and congested, as acknowledged by TfL.

To find out more about the plans for 15-27 Falcon Road you can email

Proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road

Filed under: Clapham Junction Proposal for 15-27 Falcon Road

Winstanley Estate: Demolition of social housing flats causes anger

Daniel Zylbersztajn published an article about the demolition of social housing flats in Taz, die Tageszeitung, Tuesday, 16th February 2015 (read HERE in German).

Winstanley Estate: Demolition of social housing flats causes anger

Ganley Court in Winstanley Estate

Below is the part of his article about Winstanley estate (Translation: Daniel Zylbersztajn).

South-West London: Wandsworth. Profit 40 storey high avoided!

South of London’s busiest train inter-junctions, Clapham Junction, lies the huge Winstanley Estate. It too has many social buildings erected in the 1960s and 1970s. For quite a while the local council has intended to profit from the location in the name of regeneration. Eight years ago, they intended to built two 40 storey-high private residential towers next to the station. Local residents up in arms about the proposals, were able to prevent it in a long and protracted campaign, aided by the financial melt-down. But Wandsworth continues to take up the argument of “rotten buildings and anti-social people.”
After years of battle with the local government, Cyril Richert, 43, of the Clapham Junction Action Group, has lost any hope of being heard by the council. “They do not listen to us,” he notes. This forced him and others to seek allies from the outside, in order to indirectly put pressure on the council. Occasionally there are even little victories, like when the investigation of Transport for London and established, that yet another tower Wandsworth had planned, stood exactly where a future exit is to be. Still, Richert accepts, that the total destruction of Winstanley Estate South of the station can not be halted any longer.

Good Life between murder and garden-houses

If one looks closely, there are but three eight storey blocks on the massive estate, that are in a real bad way. Occupants talk of bad windows and pipes, and yet report many outstanding and trustworthy neighbours. Many of the other houses are two storey high, and many even have generous gardens. Violent crime, even murder are not unheard of though, and still not a daily occurrence. The last murder happened three years ago. All this is not as bad as it was over 15 years, when it was, people say, really rough. But security measures such as cameras, security operated doors, and fencing stopped most of that.
All claim, that the community spirit and life is good here. The feeling of it being a bad estate, residents say, is but a feeling by external visitors, who mostly do not know the estate and its people. That sounds very much like what Clasford Sterling said about Broadwater Farm. Accordingly high is the amount of people on Winstanley Estate who bought their own council flat. “Poverty Trap?”, asks a 30-year old lady, when she learns of Cameron’s arguments to knock down 100 of the worst estates, including this one. “I grew up and went to school here, and today I am a medical doctor.” She adds, that it would be wrong to idealise life here, even her brother was mugged here not so long ago, “but it isn’t much worse than elsewhere in London,” she insists.

At the same time the 102 Million Pounds that Cameron wishes to spend to enable renovations on 100 estates are not much money at all, unless one makes deals with property developers.

Secure Tory Votes

In parts of Chelsea and Kensington the majority of councils homes these days are private property, courtesy of Margaret Thatcher’s >>Right to Buy << schema. That appears to be the dream of Wandsworth too. Winstanley is not that far from lucrative regions such as Nine Elms or the stretch along the Thames. The station itself is a good selling point. Tony Belton, councillor of the Labour Party for over 40 years and representing Winstanley, believes it is all but a political game. “The amount of social housing units relate directly to how many people will vote Labour or Conservative,” he explains. Cities with less poor and more private properties ensure secure votes for the blue party, so he believes.

Filed under: Winstanley&York Road estates Winstanley Estate: Demolition of social housing flats causes anger

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?

Difficult time for the Council as they receive a damning report

Author: Cyril Richert

Wandsworth Council has just received a damning report from Ofsted saying that vulnerable young people are being put at risk by “serious failings” in children’s services (read article from the Evening Standard HERE). But the worse might be that the Council’s self-assessment last June found most services as good.

That could be the most worrying, wrote a former Tory councillor, as showing a “cultural problem in which the belief that Wandsworth is a top-performing council overrides evidence to the contrary“.

And indeed, this seems to be the norm as the Tory-led council is so sure of their rightdoing that they ignore any evidence showing the opposite and dismiss any criticism without consideration.

For many years in the past we have been saying that Wandsworth Planning policies were ineffective. The Council has always denied it and went up to calling us Nimbies (choosing to hurl false and groundless allegations around…. yes they said it!) because we dare highlight facts. And yes, they are not our own fantasy, but those allegations were actually confirmed by a government inspector in charge of reviewing Wandsworth Local Plan: “the documents as a whole are ineffective” he wrote at the end of July. We were right. Is the Council going to apologise?

In the same way, we complained many times that so-called consultations were only box-ticking exercises for the Council. In December 2014 we wrote to the Council:

“As usual, we noticed (and regret) that most of the comments made by the residents, groups and societies have been rejected or ignored in your responses to the 2013 consultation; it questions, once more, the purpose of the full process, other than ticking the right box at the right time.”

Recent debates within the Council chamber have once again proven us correct. When the Council decided to run its own poll on its website and was eventually displeased by the result, they decided it was irrelevant regarding the entire population of the borough. Cllr Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, made this cynical remark:

“62% of the 1,366 respondents to the Council’s survey expressed this view – not 62% of residents. That equates to 847 people. As a percentage of the Borough’s population of around 310,000, that is 0.27%”.

The leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Govindia, explained that objections to Council’s plans should be reported to the entire borough population, assuming that everyone not objecting is fully supporting the Council!

Following Mr Govindia reasoning, only 21 representations were received regarding the examination of the Council’s planning documents. Which is 0.0068% of the borough’s population. Even Mr Govindia was only elected as a Councillor last May 2014 by only 2134 voters, which mean “as a percentage of the Borough’s population of around 310,000, that is” 0.69%.

Let’s be honest. We will never reach 160000 representations of residents (including new born babies according to Mr Govindia’s calculation!). What’s the point of consultation?

Once again it is a very clear example of the level of consideration that the Conservative majority of Wandsworth Council is giving to consultation and democracy.

Filed under: Miscellaneous Difficult time for the Council as they receive a damning report

Wyatt Park People’s Fight For Justice For their Families

Planning outrage doesn’t happen only in Wandsworth, and here is an example of developers’ cow-boys hand-in-glove with Lambeth Council and the fight of local residents and their call for help (Donation link in the article)

Author: Wyatt Park Residents Group

Wyatt Park People’s Fight For Justice For their Families

Buildings erected on immediate back garden walls belonging to a small Streatham Hill

On Friday 29th of January 2016 we – Wyatt Park Residents Group – took Michael and James Overton owners of Hambridge Homes to court for failing to notify us they were digging 30 foot deep excavations inches away from our Edwardian brick walls. Neither did they tell us they intended to erect 3 storey prefab-like concrete blocks with HUGE windows looking sinisterly improperly directly into our children’s bedrooms.

Hambridge Homes’ construction caused 3 garden walls that had previously stood for over one hundred years to collapse and large deep crater-like sink holes to form. Though this was bad enough things could have been a great deal worse, people could easily have died! We’re thankful this didn’t happen but wonder what their buddies Lambeth would have done if it had?

The collapse of walls meant families were afraid to go into their gardens, fearful of what would happen next. So OUR gardens became no go areas?!

> Read previous article:Bully builders hand-in-glove with Lambeth Council

Our Day in Court

About a dozen of us were at court but father and son building duo – Michael and James Overton did not attend. They’d sent along a barrister to argue we’d completed the legal forms incorrectly.

Our hearing was scheduled for 2pm but we didn’t get in front of the judge until 3:30. At 2pm Hambridge Homes barrister handed us their bundle, paperwork they’re legally obliged to give us at least 3 days before the hearing…  The judge was given his bundle at 3:30… He was not happy about this and said so.

Hambridge Homes barrister ignored all the laws the Overtons had breached, highlighted in our legal bundle but chose instead to fixate on the technicalities of the legal forms we non lawyers aka Litigants in Person had completed. He solely argued about us having completed part 7 instead of part 8.

Hambridge Homes’ barrister also made no mention of the intimidation, bullying and distress we’d experienced for over two years also stated in our case against Hambridge Homes.

Our bundle contained photographs and footage of the breaches which included:

1- Sinister Porta Cabins: They raised their portacabins to the top of our garden walls, placing them so that the doors faced into and looked directly into our garden.
When one of our members asked Michael Overton to turn his portacabin round 180 degrees to allow us some privacy we were aggressively told to ‘get lost’, that they could do exactly as they pleased…

2 – Gestapo Style Lights: We were itching to tell the judge about the Gestapo style blazing lights the Overtons beamed aggressively into our bedrooms ALL night EVERY night?!
We wanted to tell the judge about regularly coming home to find Hambridge Homes builders sat on our garden walls with their legs swinging nonchalantly over on our side of the walls. When we asked them to get off our garden walls, we were told to shut up and go into our houses.

3 – Ugly Concrete Slabs Forcibly Stuck on Our Edwardian Brick Walls: We were keen to tell the judge to force Hambridge Homes to explain why they ignored planning laws (party walls) and stuck ugly prefab-like slabs of concrete on top of our brick Edwardian walls against our expressed wishes.
When one of our members went out to tell them to desist from concreting ugly concrete slabs onto their wall, the builders told them to get back into their house and out of their garden that they ought not to be home during the day…

4 – Deep Internal & External Cracks: Since the erection of Hambridge Homes illegal buildings many of our properties now have ugly deep internal and external cracks caused by the earthquake like vibrations the Overtons deep excavations caused.

Please help us get justice for all the injustice and wrong doings of Lambeth and their development partner Hambridge Homes.

They both know that literally the only way for us to take them to task and force them to rectify ALL the problems they’ve caused it to take them to court and this costs money.

Michael & James Overton’s Barrister: Hambridge Homes barrister tried to get the judge to throw our case out and ban us from ever taking Michael and James Overton to court again over ‘incorrect form filling’ but the judge refused to agree. The judge granted us more time to get our legal case together. He chastised Hambridge Homes legal team for failing to submit their legal bundle until the very second the hearing was due to begin. The judge adjourned our case and asked us to seek further advice re: completing the legal forms correctly.

We’re ordinary folk not schooled in legal jargon, but we’re categorically certain numerous planning laws have been broken and our rights have been disregarded, for which we deserve & demand justice.

With Your Help/People Power BOTH Lambeth & Hambridge Homes Can Be Beaten

Cressingham Gardens took Lambeth to court and won. Those against the Garden Bridge took Lambeth council to court and won. Neither defeat would have happened had they not taken Lambeth to court and exposed their illegal behaviour. Please help us do the same. Had both this cases not gone to court Lambeth would have got away once again with ‘cosying’ up to property developers against the needs of its residents…?

Please help us get justice for our families, for our community, go to our link and donate to our Legal Fight Fund. Once you’ve donated please share, share and share with literally EVERYONE you know. People Power is literally the ONLY way forward.


Filed under: Miscellaneous Wyatt Park People’s Fight For Justice For their Families

Objection to the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)

Author: Wandsworth Society

Objection to the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)Here is the objection sent by the Wandsworth Society to the Council, regarding Homebase site in Swandon lane redevelopment proposal (Application number 2015/6608).

We object to the application on a number of grounds:-

1. Building height

(i)  The proposed tower of 17 storeys- 62 m in height will dominate the residential area to the south, looming over the low-rise flats and houses in the Tonsleys, parts of which are within The Wandsworth Town Conservation Area.

(ii)  In the approved SSAD(section 3.6) “the height at which a development in this location will be considered to be tall is 9 storeys”. Tall buildings in this situation “are likely to be inappropriate”.

(iii)  This is not a town centre site, nor is it a focal point. Tall buildings approved in the town centre have generally been located in mixed –use or commercial locations where their overbearing character has been held not to affect significant numbers of local residents. Here the tower will directly dominate the several hundred close-knit houses, flats and cottages in the Tonsleys, an area of some 400 metres square.

(iv)  The rail tracks on the southern boundary of the site are on an embankment some 5 metres in height, thus the top 15 storeys of the tower and indeed the top 7 storeys of the “Garden” and “Crescent” buildings will directly overlook Old York Road and the Tonsleys, dominating views from the south.

(v)   The tower is on a totally alien scale. The Tonsleys are built on a steep slope running up to East Hill and this will make the development highly visible from these houses and streets. The corner of East Hill and Alma Road is 15 metres above Old York Road, thus the tower will be more than three times the  height of the highest point in the whole residential area north of East Hill!

The height of the tower is totally inappropriate, as well as being in contravention of the approved Local Plan. We suggest that the two nearest developments, the “Schoolyard” in Eltringham Street(2-9 storeys) and Riverside West(mainly 7 storeys) which are each approximately 200 metres from this site should set the standard here. They are on a human scale, 9 storeys or less in height( and thus appropriate in this location) and would set an acceptable height for the scheme.

2. Massing and Design.

(i)    In our view an excessive amount of built space is crammed onto the site, totally overwhelming the two open spaces provided. The density of development equals even the high levels accepted in the town centre.

(ii)   The massing has the effect of creating a cliff face to Swandon Way and  when the B&Q site opposite is developed, likely to be of a similar height, this section of Swandon Way will become a “canyon”.

(iii)   We are most disappointed with the appearance of the individual blocks, which resemble a regimented 1970’s office development, both in massing and choice of materials.

(iv)  The open spaces created are hard-landscaped and lack interest, with the attractive areas of the gardens restricted to private use at podium level and invisible to people crossing the site, or using Swandon Way.

3. Affordable Housing.

(i)    We are again being asked to accept a low level of affordable housing at 21% with no contribution towards off site housing.

(ii)    Yet again, this falls well below the standard set under Core Strategy policy IS5 and wastes another opportunity to provide more housing at reasonable prices.

(iii)    As in many other schemes accepted in Wandsworth, the type of accommodation provided will not contribute towards solving the very real local housing needs.

4. Cumulative Effects.

(i)   The rapid expansion of the population in and around the centre of Wandsworth is putting increasing pressure on local services. We have noted Thames Water’s lengthy concerns in their letter of 21st December 2015.

(ii)    We are also concerned about the ever increasing traffic in this area, which, when the new gyratory system is operational will put increased pressure on Swandon Way. This will also increase the already well publicised  decline in air quality in South West London.

(iii)   Wandsworth town station is already overcrowded at peak times and a source of great concern and discomfort to commuters. Yet another high population development which is likely to be occupied by potential commuters will contribute to intolerable over use of the station even after Network Rail’s proposed improvements have been completed.


(i)   The location is totally inappropriate for a tower of 17 storeys, in breach of the SSAD guidelines.

(ii)   The tower and the other two blocks will loom over the residential area to the south, dominating the existing human scale low-rise buildings.

(iii)  The design and massing of the scheme is overbearing and unfriendly and should be reconsidered.

(iv)  The nearby Schoolyard and Riverside West developments should provide the template for the scale and height of this development. A smaller scheme would reduce the strain on local transport and services.

(v)   A higher proportion of affordable housing should be provided.

(vi)  The application should be refused.

We trust that you will take our comments into consideration in making your report and recommendations to the Planning Applications Committee.

>> Read also: Plans to replace Homebase, Swanden Way, by several residential buildings


Filed under: Wandsworth Town Objection to the 17 storeys scheme in Swandon Lane (Homebase site)

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BAC

Author: Cyril Richert

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BAC

Fire destroyed Battersea Art Centre Grand Hall- Twitter pic

The Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) organised an event about the Grand Hall reconstruction project on the 18th January.

On 13 March 2015, during a major renovation programme (due to finish this Spring 2016), a fire broke out in the roof, and engulfed the building, causing severe structural damage, including the collapse of the tower. The Grand Hall and Lower Hall were destroyed. Firefighters were able to save a large part of the building including several of the smaller theatre spaces (source: Wikipedia).

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BAC

Battersea Art Centre Grand Hall – Credit: Wikimedia (Edwardx)

The loss of the Grand Hall had a great impact with losing the ability to hire the larger venues (a significant source of income). The BAC is not looking at changing the previous appearance of the Grand Hall, but wish to take the opportunity to make the space more efficient. An application will probably be submitted in February.

The first few months were spent to clean debris and make the building safe. By chance, the owner of Company Deconstruct UK, who happened to be also a neighbour, offered to work on the deconstruction site, at a cost to themselves.

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BACThe presentation was carried out by Imogen Long (Haworth Tompkins Architects), the project lead in charge of the rebuild.

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BACThe ceiling and volumes are not reusable, but amazingly one of the window survive and will be able to be used as model in order to rebuild the other windows.

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BAC

Only one of the windows survived.

She explained that, although they look to rebuild as close as possible to the original Grade II features, a major difference to the new plan is the roof space, where they hope to create a timber lattice, keeping the natural curvature of the roof, but allowing better access to the roof area. It will be also an opportunity to get new thermal and acoustic insulation. The new ceiling should be a “reinterpreted” version with three dimension features. Next year, a new roof should be in place.

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BACPresentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BACPresentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BACFortunately, the mechanism of the Robert Hope-Jones organ (believed to be the largest and most complete of its kind in the UK) was off site being restored, but the console, cases and pipes have been completely destroyed. As part of the rebuild Ms Long said the company was looking at placing the instrument at the opposite end of the hall, on the balcony, which was not really used previously. They also plan to create access of the balcony within the room.

Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BACThe new layout of the Grand Hall should allow many different configurations with the stage being able to stand at the front, at the back or in the middle. While 7 to 8 days were needed previously to set up the venue for events, only 1-3 days should be needed with the new configuration.

I raised two concerns (overall the project is impressive and with a great quality of work):

  1. They do not intend to re-plaster the walls, and wish to keep their current state, touched by the fire, which allows “multiple interesting colours” in their opinion. In my view, this will be derelict and unfinished but at least it will leave the possibility to cover the walls later on if it is preferred.
  2. The open ceiling is a very interesting concept, but it remains to be seen how it will be maintained as dust and small debris could amalgamate on the 3D structures and later fall on the audience, which would not be very pleasant 😉.
Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BAC

One 3D element of the new ceiling

All of that should be finished by 2018.

Filed under: Clapham Junction Presentation of the Grand Hall rebuild project at the BAC

Wandsworth is looking for a development partner for Winstanley/York estates

Author: Cyril Richert

Wandsworth is looking for a development partner for Winstanley/York estates

Preferred Option = Option 3A

According to an article published in the Estates GazetteWandsworth Council has appointed Bilfinger GVA to find a development partner for the 32-acre Winstanley and York Road estates. The scheme could potentially have a gross development value in excess of £1bn.

The Estate Gazette wrote:

Gerry Hughes, senior director at Bilfinger GVA, said: “It is rare to have a regeneration opportunity like this in such a high-profile and well-connected location with such latent potential.

“It presents an opportunity to show the way in delivering a world-class development, while fully protecting the interests of local people,” he added.

The preferred partner will be selected through an OJEU process beginning on 11 January.

David Cameron announced £140 millions to help transform the poor estates

A few days ago, David Cameron pledged to bulldoze ‘sink estates’ where he claims “poverty has become entrenched“. He specifically made a link with the 2011 riots and said in the Sunday Times that three out of four rioters in 2011 came from sink estates. “The riots of 2011 didn’t emerge from within terraced streets or low-rise apartment buildings. The rioters came overwhelmingly from these postwar estates. That’s not a coincidence” he wrote.

He announced a new £140 million fund that will pump-prime the planning process, temporary rehousing and early construction costs for 100 housing estates in Britain, aiming to transform them. The multi-million redevelopment programme is to be overseen by Lord Heseltine, who helped to transform the Liverpool and London docks in the 1980s.

The housing developments being targeted reportedly include the Winstanley estate in Wandsworth, south London.

Several studies following the data showed that actually that there is no evidence that many rioters acting in Clapham Junction in 2011 came from the Winstanley and York estates; rather the contrary. The Guardian published several articles about the “riot commute” and reported that “an analysis of one day’s court hearings found 70% of those accused of riot-related crimes had travelled from outside their area“. The newspaper quoted one 18 year-old interviewee from Lewisham who described how he and his friends drove around in a van to several riot sites, including Clapham Junction because they heard something was happening in the area.

Filed under: Winstanley&York Road estates Wandsworth is looking for a development partner for Winstanley/York estates