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 May)
It’s the Wandsworth Festival season again!
The Wandsworth Arts Fringe, “a celebration of all things arts and culture in the borough”, runs from 6 May to 22 May. You can read the details of over 100 events in the Fringe brochure here and further details can be found at www.wandsworthfringe.com. The full programme for the Wandsworth Heritage Festival – 28 May to 12 June – can be found here.
The Society’s Arts Fringe event is:
Thursday 12 May, West Side Church, 7.45 for 8
Elephant Complex; Travels in Sri Lanka’. An illustrated talk by local author John Gimlette
A journey through post-war Sri Lanka, trying to make sense of an island that is wild, beautiful and occasionally bloody. Not a place that yields its story easily, but what emerges is an astonishing land of ‘ingenuity and catastrophe’.
And there are two Society walks in May:
Wednesday 18 May, starting at 6 pm
Walking Wandsworth Common, a complete circuit of the Common, daylight permitting, looking at its history, ecology and management. Led by Charles Walton, Chair of the Wandsworth Common Management Advisory Committee (the ‘MAC’). Meet at “Skylark” café on the Common, near Dorlcote Road, SW18 3RT.
Friday 20 May
Farthing Down and Happy Valley Circular; visit to Chaldon Church (to view the murals). See Events page for further details about this walk and others.
Homebase site, Swandon Way:
See immediately below. The application is being reviewed by the developers and PAC consideration is not now expected until 27 June, following expected changes to the plans currently shown on the Council website.
Current planning issues
Homebase site, Swandon Way:
The Society has 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 which is in conflict with agreed Council policy for the area in question. It will be discussed by the Council’s Planning Applications Committee on 23 March. The planning officers’ recommendation is currently under consideration. There is growing concern among local residents over the impacts of the scheme. The Society’s letter to the Council is 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.
Formula E at Battersea Park…
… is now set to return this summer. The Council’s decision to go ahead was effectively taken in November, but was subject to planning approval for the necessary associated temporary works. Since many Society members and local residents are regular users of the Park and have expressed concern about the impacts on it of Formula E, we decided to add our objections to those of the Battersea Society and many others. You can see our letter here. Unsurprisingly perhaps, despite the very substantial pile of objections, the planning application was approved, subject to further conditions being added, at the meeting of the Council’s Planning Applications Committee on 24 February. The decision was made by 7 votes (Conservative Cllrs) to 3 (Labour Cllrs).
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