Recently, it was announced that the Twentieth Century Society were seeking to list two buildings which are currently due for demolition within the current Alton Masterplan. These two buildings are Allbrook House and the library, both of which have a prominent position within Danebury Avenue Town Centre.
The Twentieth Century Society has commented that “the majority of the estate’s problems were due to neglect rather than its buildings: ‘We think that a sensitive refurbishment that carefully conserves the heritage of the buildings on site should be enough to achieve what Wandsworth wants’ “.
What others have said about refurbishment rather than demolition?
Vote Roehampton suggested a refurbishment suggesting that buildings ‘In most cases it’s just run-down, faded and tired”.
The February Consultation document suggested that;
“However some people would prefer to refurbish existing housing stock rather replace it, as this will be less hassle and more cost-effective” (Page 8).
“Some respondents have suggested only refurbishment of existing housing is needed rather than demolishing existing buildings. There are concerns that new housing will create overdevelopment and will require additional infrastructure in the area”. (Page 10)
In December 2009 the topic of neglect with regards to Allbrook House was written about by the Labour MP candidate of the time Stuart King. So, little seems to change on the Alton estate when it comes to maintenance.
As an aside, does anyone else find it interesting that Labour took such interest in the building and now they are onboard with knocking it down?
Council document 14-447
Council document 14-447 went before the following Committees to sign off the progress of the Masterplan and this came out one week before the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
> 16th September – Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee
> 2nd October – General Purposes Committee
> 6th October – Executive
It mentioned the following regarding 20th Century Society input;
“The 20th Century Society were also consulted at each stage of the process, who would favour a refurbishment approach to development rather than redevelopment in the Danebury and Harbridge areas. However, proposals regarding the parkland, upgrading of public realm, development at Portswood Place with retention of bungalows were supported”.
This leads to the query of why the 20th Century Society was not mentioned in either the February Consultation (this being mentioned earlier) and the July Consultation.
So we asked Team Roehampton, more than once, to confirm what happened and they stated;
“No, there was no agreement to exclude the 20th Century Society from the Consultation Reports. This was an unintended omission. As previously stated however we did meet with the 20th Century Society on two occasions, they were referenced in the September Committee Reports and the Final Masterplan, and comments were received from the 20th Society as part of this process. The feedback received from the 20th century Society in meetings and in writing fed into the Final Masterplan”.
It is interesting that an organisation which preferred refurbishment over demolition just happened to be omitted from the documents…………..until a week before being submitted to the Council for Masterplan approvals.
Make your voices heard, email your Councillors and copy us in. Together we can make a difference.
Email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;
Peter Carpenter – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Ambache – JAmbache@wandsworth.gov.uk
Sue McKinney – SMcKinney@wandsworth.gov.uk
And the Wandsworth Council team managing the ‘regeneration’
Team Roehampton – Roehampton@wandsworth.gov.uk