A lot of changes to Wandsworth Town Centre are currently on the local agenda...
The Wandsworth Society has registered our strong objection to a major planning application (2014/5149) which includes the building of a 26-storey tower on the South Thames College site, overlooking the Old Burial Ground. Our letter to the Council is here. The Council’s earlier pamphlet announcing the scheme (including pictures and maps of what is proposed) is here. “New shops, library and 200 homes for Wandsworth Town” is the title of the Council’s press release dated 17 December (available on www.wandsworth.gov.uk). Against the strong objections of the Wandsworth Society and many others, particularly about a new 26-storey building overlooking the Old Burial Ground, the Council’s planning application 2014/5149 was approved by the planning applications committee on 16 December by a majority (the three Labour Councillors and one Conservative voting against). Our letter to the Council, stating our objections, is here. The front page story in the Wandsworth & South London Press of 12 December, a free newspaper, was headed “[Wandsworth] Society chairman bemoans ‘depressing’ rate of development – ‘High Rises Bringing Us Down’”. The Society’s Planning Group is now considering the further steps that we might take regarding this major Wandsworth Town project.
Transport for London (TfL) has completed an initial public consultation on replacing the town’s gyratory road system – which the Society has for many years sought. TfL’s “key objective is to help improve the look and feel of Wandsworth town centre by removing through-traffic from the main shopping areas”. You can view the draft plans, with maps, commentary and artists’ impressions, here. Many Society members responded individually to TfL’s online survey. Our Planning Group is now preparing a position paper to assist TfL’s further work.
Demolition work has begun on the Ram Brewery site – the new ‘Ram Quarter’, as the developers now call it. See Planning News in our Newsletter and www.ram-brewery.co.uk. The Society’s earlier involvement with the project is described on our Current Concerns page. Following recent planning approvals, the tower block will now have 38 storeys (rather than the 36 earlier approved).
There is some good news about Wandsworth and Tooting Commons. The white lines that currently segregate cyclists from pedestrians on shared lanes can now be removed. The Secretary of State has accepted a Planning Inspector’s recommendation that the relevant Council Orders should be confirmed. The Inspector’s report is here. The reasons why we and the Wandsworth Common Management Advisory Committee supported the Council’s proposed action are explained in our November Newsletter here.
The Christmas edition of our Newsletter – the bumper ‘Bedside 2014’, an eclectic feast of articles from far and wide – has now reached Society members’ letterboxes. It is available online here. It’s a great read for the festive season and is brought to members and visitors to our website – with our best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Wandsworth Society is a non-political community environment group, formed in 1971 (registered charity number 263737). In an area of London that is changing rapidly, we aim to:
- safeguard the character, quality and integrity of the built environment, open spaces and rivers (Wandle and Thames), in and around Wandsworth Town and Common;
- raise community awareness of the need for conservation and sensitive local development policies;
- contribute to local debate on environment and transport matters;
- influence decision-making on planning proposals, particularly to curb excessive or inappropriate development, but also to support welcome new developments;
- campaign for improved traffic management and public transport across the area; and
- improve the quality and enjoyment of life in Wandsworth for all its residents.
We aim to make a difference for the better, as the Wandsworth environment continues to change.
- through membership, affiliation or participation, the work and aims of -
Civic Voice, www.civicvoice.org.uk
The London Forum of Civic and Amenity Societies,
The Wandsworth Common Management Advisory Committee
The Wandsworth Cycling Campaign, www.wandsworthcyclists.org.uk
The Wandle Valley Forum www.wandlevalleypark.co.uk
The West London Rivers Group, www.wlrg.org.uk