Welcome to the Wandsworth Society website, whether as a visitor or as a member of the Society.
Our June newsletter is here.
Latest News (updated 23 July)
Council policies on air quality and cycling are on the Society’s agenda!
The Evening Standard’s front page headline on 15 September read “London’s toxic air ‘is making thousands more people die early each year’”. You can read the article here.
Society members and the public are invited by the Council to a meeting to hear about and discuss the Council’s draft Air Quality Action Plan on Thursday 23 July from 7.30 to 9.30. The meeting should enhance everyone’s understanding of the known health effects of air pollution; and it will explain how the Council’s plan was developed and what individuals can do to protect ourselves – and others. The plan can be accessed at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/airquality. The session is being repeated by the Council partly at the Society’s request and is strongly recommended by Society members who have heard it. The venue is the Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street.
Air quality and cycling are also on our Roads & Transport group’s agenda
Over the next few weeks the Society will be considering our response to two plans that Wandsworth Council wants our (your!) views on – its draft Air quality action plan and revised Cycling strategy. The latter is available at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/cycling.
“What can we do about air quality?” is not a problem we can simply leave to the next generation. But most ‘solutions’ involve penalties of some sort for all of us (extra costs or less convenience), particularly for transport users, including businesses. It would improve things of course if more people walked or cycled more – can we/ they be incentivised to do so? There are many steps that we and the Council could take. How radical do we want to be, and how far and how fast do we want to make changes? Society members, please let us have your thoughts about our response to the current consultation (to firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance), which closes on 5 August.
Members should also be able to learn more about the pollution problem by volunteering to participate in the work of a Wandsworth Society Pollution Monitoring team – which our Executive Committee agreed last week that we should set up – more to follow.
Our Summer Social
There will also be a social event for Society members and their guests: Fish ‘n Chips ‘n Sax Jazz at Brady‘s, 7.30 for 8 on Thursday 30 July. Prior booking (no later than 24 July) required. Full details are here. To avoid disappointment, book now.
Another tall tower for Wandsworth Town centre
The Council's planning committee gave the green light on 18 June to an application (2015/0662) by Pocket developers to build a 25/22-storey residential tower (86 apartments) in Mapleton Crescent. The 'pocket' site of vacant land is tucked behind the southern end of the Southside shopping centre. The Society objected to the scheme, mainly on the grounds that the building's height would be excessive. We welcomed, however, the much higher proportion of "affordable" properties (73%) than in other recent major schemes; we were impressed by many features of the design; and this scheme offered improved access to the Wandle. Our views were highlighted in a front page story in the Wandsworth and South London Press on 19 June. You can read the Society's comments in detail here.
An eyesore approved: Despite the opposition of many local residents and the Wandsworth Society, the Council’s Planning Applications Committee approved on 21 May the Council’s plan to erect an 11.5 metre high illuminated advertising hoarding on the north-east corner of East Hill, at the junction with Trinity Road. You can read the Society’s objections to planning application 2015/0507 here. Our Chairman wrote recently to the Wandsworth Guardian, expressing the Society’s concern over the development. The Guardian published a further letter the next week from Cllr Ambache supporting the Society’s views. We understand that the Council is now considering the need for a Council policy on such advertising hoardings, as several Councillors have requested.
Wandsworth Town: Despite the strong objections of the Society and many local residents, the Council’s major re-development project that includes the building of a 26-storey tower on the South Thames College site, overlooking (overshadowing) the Old Burial Ground, is now expected to go ahead. For more, see Current Concerns.
Initial building work has begun on the Ram Brewery site – now described as the ‘Ram Quarter’. See www.ram-brewery.co.uk, where you can find details of the first building phase (and of the neighbourhood construction liaison meetings that some Society members have been attending). Enabling works are being undertaken by Keir Construction. The first phase of building involves the restoration of heritage buildings within the brewery complex and the construction of 338 apartments, the basement for the development, an energy centre and links to Southside shopping centre. This phase is due for completion in early 2017. The Society’s earlier involvement with the project is described on our Current Concerns page. Following recent planning approvals, the planned tall tower block (Phase 2) will now reach 38 storeys.
Society in the news: The March issue of the free magazine, South West Residents’ Journal (distributed through letter-boxes in Battersea, Balham, Clapham and Wandworth) had a feature article on the Wandsworth Society at pages 19-21. You can see the piece, including an interview with the Chairman, and photographs by Society members, here.
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