Monthly Archives: January 2018

Did Labour knock on your door? (28 January 2018)

On Sunday 28 January 2018, at about 11am the Labour Party congregation were at Café Joy getting themselves set up for the Council elections door knock campaign on the Alton Estate.

When they could not reach you they left one of the below leaflets.

It would be interesting to know if they went to any of the tower blocks which might be having retro-fitted water sprinklers installed?

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Advertisements

Knife crime seminar (27 January 2018)

On Saturday a nice young chap was knocking on doors on the Alton Estate handing out these leaflets. It was a shame that the event was for 3pm the same day which meant that many people would not have been able to attend at such notice.

The Alton Estate regeneration has been rumbling on for about four years and yet ‘social regeneration’ still seems to be something which either not well considered or generally disjointed. This event may have benefitted from liason with the local police (a member of the MET was at the Hersham Close Residents Association (HCRA) meeting on 22nd January 2018 and this event was not mentioned) and various health/social representatives might have been interested and could have promoted this.

Readers, do you have any thoughts?

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Kimpton House yellow lines became more interesting

Not sure what observations a reader should make of this. Yellow lines were introduced in December 2017 near Kimpton House with no notice to residents and especially no mention to the Kimpton House Residents Association (KHRA).

In January, residents received a letter which is shared below.

Questions for the readers;

  • Should this have been done before the yellow lines were completed?
  • Should the Wandsworth Borough Council worked with, or notified, the KHRA prior to completing the yellow lines?

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

 

What’s impacting car parking on the Alton East?

With the Bessborough Road/Petersfield Rise planning application (2017/6977) now out for comments, this might be a time to remind readers what impacts car parking on the Alton East on the Alton Estate. Whilst the application itself may not interest the reader, it might be worthwhile reviewing this in context of the following which either do impact car parking on the Alton Estate or could do – (1) the current situation, (2) what has happened and (3) what is or might be coming.

  1. Current situation

Roehampton University does not provide car parking spaces for its students

Given the growth of Roehampton University within the ward is it not unreasonable for it to provide car parking spaces for its students. Let’s remember that Roehampton University code to place its campus within the Alton Estate and as such a question is whether it should be held responsible for some of the car parking issues on the Alton Estate, particularly in the Ibsley Gardens neighbourhood. It might even be viewed as slightly insulting to local residents that Roehampton University prefers to have portacabins in Whitelands College for teaching located on car parking spaces rather than used for cars.

This was a potential problem highlighted as far back as 2002 by The Putney Society, yet 16 years later this appears to be a problem that Councillors have yet to openly tackle?

Manresa neighbourhood

This is the area of the Alton Estate which covers the following areas on the Alton Estate closest to where these portacabins are. Presently, on a regular basis cars are parked on the grass and the area, at times, looks as though it has become a 4 Wheel Drive experience with the amount of grass turned into mud. Very recently the Estate Manager for the area has highlighted that bollards may be put in place by Farnborough House and this would add to the other recent bollard additions.

Local business has used free parking as part of its promotion

At least one business highlights free parking as a selling feature for its services. Do any other businesses do the same?

Parking occurs in front of drop kerbs on a regular basis

This has been frequently seen throughout the estate and parking tickets have been given. In fact, even Council cars have parked in front of drop kerbs.

Car parking is required for major works

An example was the major works for double glazing.

Heathmere School Keepers House, SW15 4LJ, planning application 2016/7179

This is being built right now on Alton Road. This is for 3 x two bedroom apartments and 3 x 1 bedroom apartments with no allocation for car parking.

  1. What has happened

66 Alton Road, SW15 4NJ, planning application 2017/3082

Almost directly opposite the Heathmere School Keepers House planning application was this recent planning application. This involved 24 new apartments and 12 car parking spaces to be provided. The planning application was withdrawn though this does not mean it is finished as the Roehampton University portacabin application was approved after three attempts.

Alton Youth Club, Dilton Gardens, SW15 4AT, planning application 2015/4004

There was an attempt to change the use of this building from a youth club to a nursery and it was withdrawn. A main objection was that the plan seemed to be inefficient with regards to how car parking would be handled.

  1. What’s coming, actual or possibly?

66 Alton Road, SW15 4NJ

It was mentioned earlier that the planning application was withdrawn though it may be attempted again.

Alton Youth Club, Dilton Gardens, SW15 4AT

At the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 14 September 2018, in Paper 17-268 about the Alton Estate Regeneration Project it states in Section 13 – “The Roehampton Youth Club will be relocated to an upgraded facility on the site of Dilton Gardens. The previous use of this facility was as a youth club but it has been unused for a number of years and is currently occupied by guardians. The Council’s Design Service is preparing a brief for the Dilton Gardens upgrade and officers from the Regeneration Team are having on-going discussions with the Youth Service”. The question is, what car parking will be needed to support this?

Pocklington Court, 74 Alton Court, SW15 4NN

A pre-application consultation was conducted recently (though not a lot of people are aware of it). This entails the following as per the Roehampton Voice Facebook page – “The plan is to build “42 Extra Care one bedroom apartments for rent and 55 one, two and three bedroom apartments for shared ownership or rent to buy”.

Conclusion

These may not be all of the items that have happened, could happen, or will happen, though it might peak reader’s interest in the current Bessborough Road/Petersfield Rise planning application consultation.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Car parking restrictions can be added to planning applications

Yes, it’s true the Alton Estate does not have a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) though that does not mean residents on the estate have to put up with the new buildings on the estate adding to car parking pressures. Let’s have a look at two examples.

This has been highlighted before on this blog though it might be worthwhile re-iterating them using two examples.

Egleton House, SW15 4LE (planning application 2012/1713)

Interestingly, with all the planning applications which have been happening with regards to the Alton East of late this planning application, which is on the same side as the Alton East, has a car parking restriction which many local residents may wish to consider for other planning applications (maybe sooner rather than later).

Within this planning application, on a best endeavours basis the clauses from the Section 106 (page 31) which was signed in conjunction with planning application 2012/1713 has been replicated below (apologies in advance for typing errors, though you can compare this with the Section 106 document yourself and if you do, please notify us of any amendments required);

“Exclusion from Controlled Parking Zone

  1. The Owner covenants with the Council –

1.1   not to Occupy or permit any person to Occupy a Residential Unit unless and until such person has been given advance notice in writing of the provisions in paragraph 1.2 hereof either by way of a written letter or notice or by specific reference being made in a contract for sale and purchase and/or the associated title or marketing pack of information;

1.2   to ensure that all Occupiers are notified in writing that (unless they are holders of a Disabled Persons Badge) they are prohibited from applying for a residents parking permit to park a vehicle pursuant to the traffic management order operating in the vicinity of the Site;

1.3   to  ensure that all materials which they publish and any agreements entered into by the them or agents or for the purpose of selling or letting properties in the Development notify potential purchasers or tenants of the restrictions set out in paragraph 1.2 above; and

1.4   they and their successors in title to the Residential Units hereby waive all rights and entitlement on the part of the Developer and its successors in title to a residents permit to park in the vicinity of the Site (unless the Occupier concerned becomes entitled to a Disabled Person’s Badge).

Roehampton University, Elm Grove Hall (planning application 2016/5377)

A letter dated 14 September 2016 from Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr to the London Borough of Wandsworth’s Planning Department states “The University’s contract with residents prohibits them applying for a residents parking permit in the local area”.

Conclusion

A question to the reader, what do you think makes more sense. If a CPZ was introduced into the Alton Estate, which would situation would be better for existing residents. Ask for such restrictions to be imposed after the buildings have been built or before they are built?

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Councillor Malcolm Grimston’s 10+ storey block update (27 January 2018)

The latest update from Councillor Malcolm Grimston was received overnight with regards to the proposed retro-fitting of water sprinklers in 10+ storey blocks in the Wandsworth Borough Council ward.

_______________________

From: Malcolm Grimston
To: News from Councillor Malcolm Grimston
Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2018 1:35 AM
Subject: 10+ storey block update

Dear All,

A couple of anecdotes from my interaction with residents just this week.

In one of the estates in our Ward redecoration works carried out in 2016 included replacing the wooden boards that act as the railings in the walkways. Over a year later these boards are still cracked with bubbling paint (a problem which emerged very soon after the work was done) despite attempts to rectify the problem.

In another block the entrycall system has had to be replaced. At first the new door could not even be opened with the fire override key. The door was eventually opened but yesterday one resident, a young lady, returning home at half past midnight, could not get the door open. The buzzer to her flat did not work either so she could not rouse her parents. In the extreme cold she was fortunately able to squeeze through railings and jump down a metre or so onto concrete to get to the back door, which opened.

I have been accused by the Chair of the Housing Committee and the Leader of the Council of scaremongering about the possible efficiency with which installation of sprinklers in all rooms might be carried out. I apologise if that is the case. But it may take a little more than a carefully prepared ‘show flat’, as promised by the Council, to persuade residents that a large-scale programme of works of this nature will all be carried out to the same acceptable standard.

HOUSING AND REGENERATION OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE, JANUARY 18 2018

The Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on January 18 discussed the imposition of sprinklers once again. In front of a full public gallery there was a very effective deputation by Cameron Young from the Edgecombe Hall Residents’ Association. I spoke outlining some of the changes in information and advice that had happened since the previous meeting in which the issue was discussed and passing on some informal legal opinions which had been received by residents. (The gist was that the Council was very vulnerable to legal challenge on at least three grounds: that it had not held any meaningful consultation with affected residents, the policy being announced as a fait accompli just a week after the Grenfell tragedy; the overreliance on a single source of advice, LFEPA (the London Fire and Emergency Protection Authority), a body which has no duty to balance benefits of sprinklers with costs involved; and the fact that Wandsworth is out on a limb, no other local authority having decided to impose sprinklers on tenants and leaseholders whatever their wishes might be and to recharge leaseholders for the dubious privilege.)

Various responses were made to my comments. However, the Committee Chair then abused the Council’s Standing Orders by refusing me the opportunity that I was entitled to to come back and challenge some of these statements. In particular I wanted to know why, if LFEPA advice was to be taken as sacrosanct, the Council was not now intending to impose sprinklers on all flats in 6+ storey blocks, as LFEPA was now arguing, or that there should be a risk-benefit assessment on a block by block basis, again as LFEPA was calling for. Nevertheless, as I have said previously, one barrier to our campaign has been that in every vote on the matter so far both of the political parties have voted together, leaving me as the only dissenting voice on the Council (one argument for having a few Independent councillors!). Last week the Opposition put down an amendment, coming very close to giving the residents of a particular block the final say (subject to the findings of the Grenfell Enquiry). Though the ruling group did not support it this is still a great step forward, bearing in mind that this campaign is a five year war to defend residents’ rights (the period that the Council thinks it will take to do the whole programme), not a battle of a few weeks.

When I had a chat with some of those attending afterwards I was again struck by the expressions of dismay that, having thought their homes were their own, residents were now finding that someone from outside could apparently force entry, force unwanted changes and (in the case of leaseholders) force very heavy payment. One said it was almost like being burgled. I am not sure that the powers that be are even aware of the emotional impact this is having on some residents. I stress again my own personal position is not pro or anti sprinklers in any particular block (though I know how I would vote if I lived in one of our big blocks) – it is for treating Council tenants and leaseholders with the same respect that they would be treated in the private sector and allowing you to decide, based on the evidence available.

NEXT STEPS

I gather that Bisley House, 52-138 Castlecombe Drive and Oatlands Court are putting together objections to the Council’s plans; this would bring the West Hill objections up to six blocks (out of a possible ten), counting the Edgecombe Hall objection as two as it covers Edgecombe and William Harvey Houses (the other objection being from Andrew Reed House). I also gather that several of the Roehampton blocks are intending to put in objections too. The Council is trying to kick the whole matter into the long grass until the election is out of the way by seeking a referral to the Leasehold Tribunal. It will rule on whether it is reasonable for the council to treat its own leaseholders so differently from what would be the case if they were in a private block but of course as we all know many tenants are also dead against this (over)reaction to the true and terrible tragedy of Grenfell Tower. It seems to me it suits the Council’s purposes to try to portray this as leaseholders-versus-tenants even though the objections have been coming from residents’ associations representing leaseholders and tenants alike.

Since this is the brief period in the four-year political cycle when you will see hordes of party politicians chasing your vote before they disappear into the ether again when the election is over, I would suggest you press any canvasser who may come to visit about their party’s stance on this matter so the message gets back to the decision-makers.

INSIDE HOUSING

You may like to look at what Inside Housing says about it all – see https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/news/wandsworth-sprinkler-plans-set-for-tribunal-54140.

Best wishes,

MALCOLM GRIMSTON

Councillor (Independent), West Hill Ward

_______________________

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

What happened to the planning application for 66 Alton Road?

Background

You may remember that recently there was a planning application for demolish 66 Alton Road, SW15 4NJ. This was covered within planning application 2017/3082.

What happened?

There were many objections from various individuals, local groups and other concerned stakeholders. This planning application was withdrawn and it is assumed that this may be due to, in a large part due to the weight of the objections.

Unfortunately, the planning application objections have been removed from the Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) online planning information. A Freedom of Information was put to WBC asking for a copy of the objections, though (again), unfortunately, this will not be provided unless one chooses to go WBC’s offices. If you wish to see what questions were put to WBC about this and what the answer was, please approach the Freedom of Information team with the Request for Information – 2017/15634.

Does this mean it’s all over?

Definitely not, for anyone that followed the Roehampton University portacabin situation, it would be realised that this went through three planning applications (2015.5648, 2016/1385, 2016/5912) before it was accepted. It will be down to residents to be viligant in seeing whether more planning applications are submitted.

What was done to challenge the application?

Lots of lobbying of individuals and various groups such as the Victorian Society and the Putney Society Buildings Panel were asked to provide objections

A petition was created on Change.org titled ‘Object to demolition of 66 Alton Road SW15’ which was very successful and as this article is published it has about 400 signatures on it along with a lot of comments from objectors.

At least three articles were published on the putneysw15 website;

It is believed that the main individual which launched the petition and lobbied many of the individuals and groups to provide objections may not be repeating the efforts should a further planning application be submitted. In other words, other local residents may need to start getting prepared to take up the challenge (and it might be worth following up on the Freedom of Information request so you may try to contact those that objected to the first planning application).

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

 Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate