Monthly Archives: December 2014

What health benefits will the Alton regeneration bring?

Is capacity going to be an issue under the regeneration?

One aspect of the Alton regeneration which hadn’t been at the front of mind is that regarding capacity to serve the increase in the Alton’s population. This topic arose off the back of the Daily Mail article that was on its front page recently which mentioned the following;

“Originally designed for 6,000 patients, it now serves nearly 19,000. Residents say the extra demand is a result of new housing developments springing up while few improvements have been made to health services”. 

[CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL DAILY MAIL ARTICLE]

What’s the population increase going to be?

Our Labour Councillors commented at the Roehampton Forum of 7th November that the population increase would be;

  • 5% for the ward,
  • 10% for the Alton (I think, hopefully someone will confirm/amend this figure), and
  • 20% for Alton West.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE “COMMENTS REGARDING THE FORUM MEETING OF 7TH NOVEMBER]

Let’s not neglect to mention that outside of the regeneration, student housing is being built and there is new housing popping and there has been the building up of Queen Mary’s Place and Emerald Square over the past few years.

These percentages seem to indicate that will be a lot of people coming into the Roehampton & Putney Heath ward.

How is this being dealt with?

How is the health aspect being dealt with, well… Team Roehampton informs us that we’ll receive “new GP surgeries”.

If that’s good enough for the people of the Alton, then there’s nothing to worry about……is there?

What is the health figure for the Alton estate?

The figures provided in the Alton Masterplan Baseline, page 137 Table 16, is presented below.

Population of the Alton Area Health Issues
Alton Area LB Wandsworth London
Count % Count % Count %
Day-to-Day Activities Limited A Lot 462 7 16,114 5 551,664 7
Day-to-Day Activities Limited A Little 475 7 18,272 6 605,51 7
Household is Deprived in 2 Dimensions 6,040 87 272,609 89 7,016,776 86
Very Good Health 3,484 50 176,198 57 4,127,788 50
Good Health 2,421 35 91,935 30 2,725,645 33
Fair Health 746 11 27,299 9 915,035 11
Bad Health 256 4 8,749 3 305,343 4
Very Bad Health 70 1 2,814 1 100,130 1
Source: Census 2011

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ALTON BASELINE REPORT].

In the Alton Masterplan Report (page 14) it is mentioned that;

“The area also performs relatively poorly on health indicators. 14% of the area’s population have long-term health problems or disabilities which limit their day to day activity ‘a little or a lot’. This isabove the Wandsworth average of 11%. This higher incidence of health problems potentially limits the ability of people in the area to access jobs, or participate in exercise or social activity, or accessservices or amenities. This also puts significant pressure on health and other community services. Anecdotal evidence from health practioners in the area suggests that there are particular problems of mental health and physical inactivity which further contribute to the areas problems regarding the health and wellbeing of its residents”.

If the Alton figures are bad, then London’s need improving too. The figure for London is 14% too (Day-to-Day Activities Limited A Lot + Day-to-Day Activities Limited A Little), according to the figures in the Census report. Is it that the Alton performs “relatively poorly” (and so too London) or is it that Wandsworth’s figures are very good?

The Alton figures are on par with the London figures and in some cases are better.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ALTON MASTERPLAN REPORT]

Considerations

  1. Other than bringing in new residents which will likely be wealthier and contribute to improving the Alton Area figures through a change in type of residents rather than addressing the actual “health issues”, what is being done to address the figures for the Alton Area as is?
  2. What are the anticipated percentage changes with and without the regeneration? For instance, will the “Very Good Health” figure increase to 57% for the Alton population excluding the new residents?
  3. Will the “modern GP surgeries” be able to handle the increase in population?

Contact

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 – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

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

Our email address – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – if you would like to share your thoughts.

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Car parking update

Car parking and car parking charges update

Back in June we published an article titled “Roehampton Regeneration and car parking charges” and within this article we mentioned what happened in Yorkshire regarding a regeneration and the implementation of car parking charges which was to the surprise of local residents.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE]

How much does Wandsworth Council make from car charges?

Well, in the Wandsworth Guardian recently it mentioned that the Council makes the fifth most money in the UK out of car parking charges. It made £19.69m in a 2013/2014 survey.

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE FOR THE WANDSWORTH COUNCIL ARTICLE]

Will the regeneration increase the Council’s coffers?

Have a read of the comments in the Alton Masterplan with regards to car parking and see what you think. The following extracts highlight what the Council has in mind.

Page Masterplan comments Roeregeneration comments
29 2. Mending the Urban FabricLike any other part of London, the Alton area has evolved with layer upon layer added over time, gradually changing the nature of the place. A new perspective is now required to modernise the housing offer, to reconsider building orientation and layout to increase the capacity of some sites, to repair edges and interfaces, to frame streets and public spaces, to rationalise car parks and service areas and to create a more people friendly place Interesting, what exactly does ‘rationalise car parks’ mean? 
91 New parking will be incorporated into the buildings and a careful parking management regime established for residents. “Careful parking management regime established for residents”, could this be another way of saying, “car parking charges will be introduced for residents that don’t have parking in the new buildings”?
136 Parking is to be provided either on street and or on plot (within the structure of new buildings). On street parking will be managed in a way to ensure that the needs of residents are met. Parking provision for new residential units is within London Plan standards. In addition to the residential parking, some provision will be made for parking associated with visits to the retail offer at the Danebury Centre. This centre will continue to have a role focused primarily on the Alton area, with a high number of visits to the centre made on foot or by bike. There will also be parking for employees and visitors to the Park Centre / Portswood Place. Overall it is not expected that redevelopment will increase parking stress in the parts of the estate beyond the redevelopment focus areas. The last sentence is interesting as it is not expected that “parking stress in the parts of the estate beyond the redevelopment focus areas” will be an issue.Can it really be assumed that car parking on other parts of the estate, such as the Ibsley neighbourhood on the Alton East will not face parking issues off the back of the regeneration?

 

Will people not try and park their cars in the Ibsley neighbourhood and walk to the new shops?

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ALTON MASTERPLAN]

Summary

We are aware that car parking has been a topic that has been raised by many residents and it’s surprising that this has not featured within Team Roehampton’s Frequently Asked Questions.

It may be time to ask about this again, starting with what “careful parking management regime established for residents” means?

Contact

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 – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

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

Our email address – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – if you would like to share your thoughts.

Alton’s maisonettes under threat?

The Masterplan makes some comments with regards to buildings on the Alton Estate which poses some serious questions about what possible direction the Council will take with regards to the Alton’s maisonettes.

Let’s consider that at this stage, 171 maisonettes are due for demolition under the regeneration. These maisonettes highlighted by the below table.

Buildings Number
Danebury Avenue 117 – 211 Odd 48
Danebury Avenue 213 – 243 Odd 16
Portswood Place 1 – 14 Cons 7
Harbridge Avenue 1 – 31 Odd 16
Harbridge Avenue 2 – 32 Even 16
Harbridge Avenue 33 – 83 Odd 26
Harbridge Avenue 34 – 84 Odd 26
Harbridge Avenue 85 – 115 Odd 16

Comments used by Team Roehampton to justify the demolition have been;

“A combination of physical factors, including fundamental design flaws in the development layout, along with poorly sited and constructed residential buildings are contributing to the area’s problems and need to be addressed. Design flaws include poor quality entrances to blocks, spaces not overlooked and residential units overlooking refuse and service areas. Furthermore the design standards fall considerably short of today’s expectations and indeed the standards set in the London Housing Design Guide”.
“The external and internal design of Harbridge Avenue’s housing has negative effects on residents and family living standards. Housing units do not meet contemporary standards in terms of services and layout. Issues such as unattractive and deteriorating stairwells, external walkways exposing residents to the elements, worn exteriors, front doors facing away from the street and back gardens fronting on to Danebury Avenue do not only negatively impact the lives of residents living in the area, but also shape the perception of those who visit the area”.

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE TO REFER TO THE ‘ALTON MASTERPLAN REPORT’ AND REFER TO PAGE 16]

Reading these comments could possibly lead one to view that this content could be applied to any of the Alton’s maisonettes.

Does that mean, any, or all, of the following maisonettes are at risk as part of future regeneration progress?

 

Buildings Number
Ibsley Gardens 33- 55 Odd 12
Ibsley Gardens 57 – 79 Odd 12
Ibsley Gardens 81 – 103 Odd 12
Ibsley Gardens 105 – 127 Odd 12
Ibsley Gardens 110 – 148 Even 20
Ibsley Gardens 54 – 108 Even 28
Ibsley Gardens 2 – 52 Even 26
Ibsley Gardens 1 – 31 Odd 16
Holyborne Avenue 1 – 31 odd 16
Holyborne Avenue 2 – 24 even 12
Borden Walk 1 – 23 Odd 12
Borden Walk 2 -24 Even 12
Hersham Close 1 – 39 Odd 20
Hersham Close 41 – 71 Odd 16
Hersham Close 73 – 95 Odd 12
Eastleigh Walk 1 – 29 Odd 15
Eastleigh Walk 2 – 20 Even 10
Shawford Court 1 – 10 Cons 10
Shawford Court 11 – 32 Cons 22
Alton Road 28 – 58 Even 16
Fontley Way 1 – 20 cons 20
Sherfield Gardens 1 – 119 Odd 60
Sherfield Gardens 2 – 120 Even 60

Overall, 171 of 622 (27%) maisonettes are to be demolished as Team Roehampton appear to view these buildings as being unfit for modern day living.

The question is, does this mean that all the remaining maisonettes are in line to be demolished as part of future regeneration stages (should they occur)?

We are not the only ones to question this. The Putney Society, in a letter dated 9th April 2014, to the Council stated;

3. Residential redevelopment areaThe “outdated” maisonette blocks in this area (proposed for demolition in the POP), are also found in other parts of Alton West and East. Are these other areas of similar blocks likely to be recommended for demolition by the council, in due course? With proper maintenance (which has so obviously been lacking for too long), these blocks could provide quite sound residential accommodation.

Contact

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 – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

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

Alton resident’s views regarding Labour’s Roehampton News leaflet

For those of you that have seen the Labour November/December ‘Roehampton News’ you may have noticed that this did not refer to the regeneration.

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE TO READ THE LABOUR ROEHAMPTON NEWS]

One Alton Estate resident has written about this lack of a mention about the regeneration as well commented on Labour referring to the consultation as a ‘farce’. This letter was published in the Wandsworth Guardian on December 11th 2014].

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE TO READ THE ARTICLE ‘REGENERATION PLAN LEFT OUT OF NEWS’ ON PAGE 10]

Sheila Boswell, the Labour candidate that is running for next year’s General Election, has responded in the Wandsworth Guardian.

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE FOR SHEILA’S REPLY ‘REGENERATION IS ON THE AGENDA’].

You may notice that is does not address the mention of ‘farce’ and whilst Labour may ‘listen’, they have seemed to ignore any queries or challenges relating to the regeneration. For instance, we have reached out to Sheila regarding plans for student housing in the Town Centre on November 1st, 9th, 15th and 22nd, with no response. This being off the back of the ‘Vote Sheila Boswell’ card which states “…..and now I want to hear from you”.

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE FOR THE ‘VOTE SHEILA BOSWELL’ CARD]

What is further interesting about this is that it may appear that as result of the resident’s letter this may highlight an issue across other regenerations throughout Wandsworth. Again, in the Wandsworth Guardian a resident of another part of Wandsworth has mentioned that residents views are being ignored regarding a 26 floor tower that is to be built.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE ‘RESIDENTS IGNORED]

Let’s see what happens in the New Year………..

Contact

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 – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

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

Our email address – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – if you would like to share your thoughts.

Labour says Alton Estate, pays one of the highest service charges in the country

If you read the blog entry ‘Roehampton Partnership – 3rd December meeting’ you would have seen a reference to Labour commenting on the level of service charges paid on the Alton Estate.

[CLICK THIS SENTENCE FOR A REMINDER].

In short, Labour claimed in its November/December edition of the ‘Roehampton News’ the following;

“At Roehampton’s recent Let’s Talk meeting, residents vented their anger about the poor standard of cleaning and grounds management they get on the Alton Estate, despite paying one of the highest service charges in the country”.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ROEHAMPTON NEWS]

On December 4th we asked Labour about this, and we are currently waiting on details of where they received this information. An extract of from the email is below;

“Dear Labour,with regards to the November/December issue that was delivered to our home this week it was both mentioned at the Roehampton Partnership by the Roehampton Forum representative much to the surprise of Councillor Ellis and Danny Edwards of the Council, and then later further raised by me with Councillors Carpenter and Ambache.

Whilst a reason has been offered with regards to an explanation of the following sentence taken from the Roehampton News,

“At Roehampton’s recent Let’s Talk meeting, residents vented their anger about the poor standard of cleaning and grounds management they get on the Alton Estate, despite paying one of the highest service charges in the country”

I have now been asked five times by various members of the Alton Estate about this statement and what can be done to address this state of affairs.

Can you please;

1. Provide an explanation of what is meant by this sentence, as others, like I did, have read this as the ‘Alton Estate’ is ‘paying one of the highest service charges in the country’.

2. Provide a link to the information where this was sourced from”.

Whilst we wait on feedback from our Labour Councillors, we have received feedback from a Conservative Councillor regarding this which states;

“I was not present at the Roehampton Let’s Talk meeting, but have looked at the Minutes and can see no reference to a comment about Alton estate service charges being among the most expensive in the country. Equally I am unaware of any data that would either confirm or deny this assertion.Like you I have no idea what information your local councillors have to substantiate these statements, but no doubt they will either provide this or issue another leaflet issuing a correction”.

This is interesting timing by Labour, for we are aware of a service charge query that is currently being worked through for Hersham Close. A brief overview is outlined below;

“In March, my wife and I received a letter from the Housing and Community Services department of Wandsworth Council with regards to ‘Alton Estate External Redecoration & Associated Repairs’ for Hersham Close. The letter stated an estimated an individual cost of £2,586.92.In October, we received an update from the Council whereby the estimated cost had increased to £4,864.90. The justification for this being “the lowest tender received is 52.9% higher than the consultant’s pre-tender estimate”. The individual cost actually increased by 88%.

Has anyone else had such experiences with the Council?”

[CLICK ON THIS SENTENCE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE ON THIS HERSHAM CLOSE QUERY]

We’ll let you know what our Labour Councillors come back with….

Contact

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 – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

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

Our email address – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – if you would like to share your thoughts.

Roehampton Partnership meeting – 3rd December 2014

This past week had a meeting of the Roehampton Partnership (RP). As readers of this blog are aware, this is a group that apparently is a main ‘consultative’ body for the area though as been poor at promoting itself to residents of Roehampton. Click on the below headings for links to previous articles;

The following topics that were discussed may be of interest.

  1. Peculinary interests

This is something that has been taken very lightly by the RP. This has been queried as far back as July with the RP and has been ignored. One such area being that one of the ward’s Councillors works for Roehampton University and the University is to benefit from student housing as part of the regeneration. This is the first meeting where such peculinary interest has been declared.

  1. Service charges

The Roehampton Forum asked about the service charge comment from the latest Labour flyer which stated –  “At Roehampton’s recent Let’s Talk meeting, residents vented their anger about the poor standard of cleaning and grounds management they get on the Alton Estate, despite paying one of the highest service charges in the country”. This was taken from the recently delivered Labour November/December Bulletin.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE BULLETIN]

There was some scepticism expressed by members of the RP at this comment and this wasn’t tackled in any detail, and as such we have followed this up with our Labour Councillors for a response. Asking the following questions;

“1. Provide an explanation of what is meant by this sentence, as others, like I did, have read this as the ‘Alton Estate’ is ‘paying one of the highest service charges in the country’.

  1. Provide a link to the information where this was sourced from”.
  1. The traffic counter on Danebury Avenue

Last week there was a blog entry regarding the traffic counter on Danebury Avenue.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE ‘Highcliffe Drive – traffic being counted’]

The Roehampton Forum asked the RP whether anyone could explain what traffic counter related to, and no one could. This seems hard to believe that no one stakeholder at the RP knew about this.

  1. The Twentieth Century Society

Team Roehampton provided background as to the next steps of the regeneration, referring to English Heritage being a ‘statutory’ group that needed to be referred to, whilst the The Twentieth Century Society was referred to as an ‘amenity’ group. Team Roehampton was not very keen to discuss what the The Twentieth Century Society was up to with regards to listing buildings nor mentioning that suggestion that Alton estate had been neglected.

When the Roehampton Forum offered to share what The Twentieth Century Society had been up to with a member of the RP, the RP declined member declined.

This seems unbelievable that this meeting that at the RP they did not mention, at all, that The Twentieth Century Society, was seeking to list Allbrook House and the library.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE – Protecting the Alton’s history]

  1. Bus routes

There was discussion around bus connections to Roehampton and it was mentioned that the bus routes are quite long as is and that it would be more likely that new routes would have to be created. For instance, the 72 stopping at Barnes station.

In short, there does not seem to be any certainty over future of bus routes.

Contact

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 – pcarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk

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

Our email address – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – if you would like to share your thoughts.