Welcome the Wandsworth Society website, whether as a visitor or as a member of the Society. Our
Newsletter is here. Earlier Newsletters can be found on our Archive page.
Latest news and events (updated 9 June)
The full programme for the Wandsworth Heritage Festival, which continues until 12 June, can be found here.
The Society's next meeting is our own Heritage Festival event:
Thursday 9 June, West Side Church, 7.45 for 8
Making Records in Earlsfield: illustrated talk by Dr Tom Going
Tom looks back to the time when Earlsfield became home to Columbia Graphophone, one of Britain's first record companies. In the early 20th century the Columbia factory in Bendon Valley was a major employer. Illustrated with recordings and a contemporary local film; a look at what was once a cutting-edge industry.
There are two forthcoming Tooting by-election hustings (by-election itself on 16 June):
- On Friday 10 June, at 7.30pm, at Tooting Market – to be broadcast on Wandsworth Radio (listen at www.wandsworthradio.com). Five of the 14 by-election candidates are taking part: Rosena Allin-Khan (Labour), Alex Glassbrook (Lib Dem), Elizabeth Jones (UKIP), Esther Obiri-Darko (Green) and Dan Watkins (Conservative). If you wish to attend and ask a question, email email@example.com.
- On Monday 13 June, 8 – 9.40 pm, at the New Testament Assembly, Beechcroft Road, SW17 and 7BU. Organised by Churches Together.
Monday 20 June, 7pm at Naturescope (on the Common, next to the Skylark Café/ Neal’s Lodge, near Dorlcote Road, SW18 3RT).
Annual Public Meeting (APM) of the Wandsworth Common Management Advisory Committee (the MAC)
All local residents and users of the Common are invited. ‘Enable’ (former Parks Department) staff, police, contractors and a Crossrail 2 representative (given the MAC’s interest in the project’s implications for the Common) will attend to give progress reports and answer questions. Members of the MAC (up to 24) for the next yearwill be elected or re-elected. Come along to have your say and ask questions about any aspect of the Common’s management that concerns you. The MAC advises the Council on all aspects of the Common’s management and works closely with its management. You might like to consider joining the MAC and/or its Enhancement Sub-committee yourself.
There is a Society walk this month on Monday 20 June - alongside the Pymme Brook, between Barnet, Southgate and the New River. Further information on the Society's walks can be found on our Events page.
Current planning issues
Homebase site, Swandon Way
The Society objected strongly to planning application 2015/6608, which involves a 17-storey tower overlooking the Tonsleys and Old York Road. This is another development proposal in apparent conflict with the Council policy for tall buildings in the immediate area. The scheme was due to be discussed by the Council’s Planning Applications Committee (PAC) on 23 March, but consideration was deferred at the developer's request, for revisions to be made.
Some have commented that the revisions, which can be viewed on the Council website, are 'cosmetic'. Certainly, the 17-storey tower remains in the revised scheme which has already attracted a lot of further objections (and, currently, no voices in support). Our Planning Group is preparing further comments on behalf of the Society. Along with other groups, including the Wandsworth Riverside West Association, Tonsley Residents Association and Transition Town Wandsworth, we are in discussion with Fairfield Councillors about our shared concerns. The revised scheme is now scheduled for PAC consideration on 27 June. There is growing concern among local residents about the height of the new buildings proposed, in particular the overwhelming height of the main tower.
The Society’s initial letter to the Council about the scheme, as originally submitted, is here. Having seen the officers’ report on the initial scheme, we sent further comments, which can be seen here.
Planning application 2015/4797 for the change of use of parts of Neal’s Lodge, Wandsworth Common, as a pre-school for some 62 infants, proved very controversial. The application was approved by the Council’s Planning Applications Committee on 24 February, by 7 votes to 3 (Cllr Critchard (Lab.), Cllr Heaster (Con.) and Cllr McCausland (Con.). In the view of the Society and many others, major concerns remain over the impacts on the Common. See the Society’s comments on the application here. The lease to the pre-school has not yet been awarded. Local residents have applied for a judicial review.
Our President, Shirley Passmore, wrote to the Council on this subject (see Planning News in our February Newsletter). Her letter is here.
As noted in the February Newsletter, the Society has supported the landscaping proposals for Springfield Park. You can see our letter here. And you can see pictures of how the Park might look here.
The Historic Environment
The Council recently sought views on a revised Supplementary Planning Document (to form part of the Local Plan) on the historic environment. Our enthusiasm for the text was not unalloyed. You can read our views in a letter here, which includes a link to the Council text.
Crossrail 2* – consultations
A further round of public consultation on Crossrail 2 concluded recently. The Society’s response can be read here. The consultation included a new proposal to route Crossrail 2 through Balham rather than Tooting (the route earlier proposed) and the construction of a ventilation & access shaft on the edge of Wandsworth Common opposite the junction of Honeywell Road and Bolingbroke Grove. Details can be accessed here. There are other links, more details on other aspects of the consultation and an interactive map at www.crossrail2.co.uk including more fact sheets. You can read more about Crossrail 2 shafts here. There will be further consultations in due course.
Replacing Wandsworth Town’s gyratory road system*
Transport for London (TfL) has been consulting further on its revised proposals, details of which can be found here. Many Society members and other local residents submitted their personal responses to the proposals. The Society’s own submission (17 January) is here.
Another tall tower for Wandsworth Town centre*
... despite our objections (see here) the Council has now approved the developer’s revised application for a taller tower, offering a lower proportion of ‘affordable’ housing.
*For background information, see our Current Concerns page.
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. Further correspondence followed. We understand that the Council is now considering the need for a Council policy statement on such advertising hoardings, as the Society and others have sought.
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 set 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.
*For background information, see our Current Concerns page.
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.
The Society's Constituon is here.
- 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 Wandle Valley Forum www.wandlevalleypark.co.uk
The Wandsworth Common Management Advisory Committee
The Wandsworth Cycling Campaign, www.wandsworthcyclists.org.uk
The Wandsworth Environment Forum
The WEF meeting held in the Town Hall on 19 January discussed 'Rubbish, Recycling and The Circular Economy'. The minutes here contain a lot of interesting material - and questions needing answers and/or further discussion. You can read about the ‘circular economy’ here. Dealing with rubbish is an important - and often fascinating - issue! The Society, along with other local groups, is a member of the WEF and all are welcome to attend its meetings.
The West London Rivers Group, www.wlrg.org.uk