Tag Archives: 12

Bessborough Road/Petersfield Rise Consultation #2

Well, it’s round 2 of the Bessborough Road/Petersfield Rise Consultation.

As a reminder, there was a pre-application consultation

This time around;

There was some fun and games regarding the dates which the Alton Regeneration Watch (ARW) spotted and has since been corrected. Not Wandsworth BC also had some fun with this.

This is part 4 of the Alton East recent planning works which people should be aware of. If you are concerned about car parking or general developments in the area, especially the Alton East, there is a lot happening on the planning front and residents might wish to take an interest in this planning application.

The first is the Heathmere School Keeper’s House, Alton Road, SW15 4LJ, planning application (2016/7179) which is in the process of being built now. This is for six apartments with no car parking.

The second was the (in)famous planning application for 66 Alton Road, SW15 4NJ (2017/3082) which was for 24 apartments and with questionable car parking quotas? This was withdrawn though can always come back.

The third which is pending and has not been formally launched yet is the planning application for Pocklington Court. A pre-planning Consultation was provided though not many people were invited or aware of this. Roehampton Voice provides a quick view of this –https://www.facebook.com/RoehamptonVoice/videos/1545465088833192/

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.

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Can Twitter help you get things done on the Alton Estate?

It has been mentioned at the recent meetings of both the Alton Regeneration Watch (ARW) meeting of 17 January 2018 and Alton Leaseholders meeting of 8 January 2018 how powerful the use of Twitter can be to assist with having things done. It is appreciated that not everyone has access to the internet or is on Twitter, though if people form groups then maybe one or more people can access Twitter to make the points. It is an extremely useful tool for having issues resolved.

Some examples are provided below.

The great water fall of Hersham Close 41-71. This took five months of effort  by the Hersham Close Residents Association (HCRA) to have something done and it kept dragging on. Once a video of the water fall was placed online with Councillor Sue McKinney copied into the Tweet as well as the Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) this got resolved quite quickly. Now it might be the case that the Tweet and the sorting out of the situation are related though there was a step in attitude from WBC to get this resolved after the Tweet, perhaps it was a fluke? Have a look at the Tweet here –  https://mobile.twitter.com/AltonWatch/status/946741512842498049

A recent bust water tank on Kimpton House (surprisingly a resident of Stoughton Close mentioned this at the recent ARW meeting) perhaps this might have had a similar expediency if the water spillage was filmed and placed on Twitter?

Bessborough Road planning application (2017/6977) somehow, the application date was 12 January 2018 and the date for comments was by 5 January 2018? Clearly an error and was quickly looked into by the WBC and a response by Councillor Carpenter. Here are a couple of links which highlight this –

https://mobile.twitter.com/notwandbc/status/954003331889991681

https://mobile.twitter.com/AltonWatch/status/953976158902681600

There was a hole in Alton Road near Heathmere School. Despite ongoing mentions to WBC even during Stoughton Close/Greatham Walk Resident Association meetings it appeared that being proactive was a bit too much to ask? In the end by placing this on Twitter copying in Thames Water it was resolved very quickly – https://mobile.twitter.com/AltonWatch/status/918461886290628608

Very recent examples regarding fly tipping and a messy work site on Hyacinth Road on the Alton East show how quickly WBC responded –

https://mobile.twitter.com/AltonWatch/status/954272140504784896

https://mobile.twitter.com/AltonWatch/status/954271815060414465

Now imagine that every time there was an issue that was not being resolved quickly or being ignored. You take a picture, Tweet it and copy in the WBC and a Councillor and maybe other relevant groups. Other groups see this and then Tweet it. The situation might become harder to ignore and it might get resolved quicker?

An idea could be that each building or group of buildings on the Alton Estate have Twitter champions who make Tweets and maybe things might be done a bit quicker around here. Who knows?

It’s now up to you.

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.

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

10 storey block newsletter from Councillor Grimston (12 January 2018)

Leaseholders and tenants across the Wandsworth Borough Council may be interested in the newsletter that has recently come out from Councillor Grimston regarding water sprinklers. The newsletter is below;

______________________________

From: Malcolm Grimston <malcolmgrimston@btconnect.com>
To: News from Councillor Malcolm Grimston <mgrimston@wandsworth.gov.uk>
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 1:58 PM
Subject: 10+ storey block newsletter

Dear All,

Happy New Year. Please feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested.

The Housing Committee meeting on January 18 will consider a paper (attached) on the Council’s plans to force sprinklers on residents of its 10+ storey blocks. I don’t suppose you would choose a Council paper for fun reading any more than I would but it is actually fascinating and suggests that the wind may just be blowing in our direction, as the Council’s position slowly but surely disintegrates. In fact, part of me suspects they may be looking for a way of backing down with the minimum embarrassment.

I don’t know if it might be worth a deputation from say Andrew Reed House RA or Edgecombe Hall RA to ask the Committee about the report and press the desires of residents? You would get five minutes to put a case, the Committee could ask you questions and then they would discuss your comments in the context of the Paper. If you want more information please let me know – there was a very impressive deputation from colleagues from Roehampton last year and although it did not cut any ice at the time I believe it did sew some seeds of doubt which may be starting to find root.

Things which jumped out at me from the Paper include the following.

First, objections against the policy have been received from no fewer than five residents’ associations, including two from our Ward (Andrew Reed House and Edgecombe Hall) but also three from St Mary Park Ward in Battersea (Battersea High Street RA, Ethelburga Tower RA and Totteridge House RA), plus “a small number of individuals from other blocks”. I would anticipate further objections from Roehampton as I know many residents in the Alton are equally worried. At the last Council meeting the Leader was very patronising and dismissive, saying “a small number of leaseholders had objected” and implying that it was just a matter of money. He seemed unaware that there are also a lot of tenants who are very unsure about the whole thing. The current paper at last accepts that “some residential leaseholders are opposed to sprinklers regardless of whether they have to pay for them or not on grounds of disruption and aesthetics or because they feel they are not needed”. This is a real step forward and suggests that the work we have all been doing (helped by this being so close to a Council election) is bearing some fruit.

Secondly, although the Council is still refusing to let anyone see their legal advice re charging leaseholders for this work (even though we paid for it), it is clear that doubts are creeping in as to its validity. The Council notes that: “Although a number of other councils have announced that they also intend fitting sprinklers to their high-rise blocks, none have indicated that they are able to require residents to accept sprinklers or that they will be recharging leaseholders.” To put it another way, only Wandsworth has managed to find lawyers who say that it can force leaseholders to accept sprinklers against their will and that they can charge thousands of pounds for the privilege. Hammersmith & Fulham, for example, is intending to put sprinklers only in common areas (there may be a few exceptions but not many – in fact it is ironic that I have managed to get more information from H&F about their intentions than I have from Wandsworth!) and not to charge leaseholders for the work, so other more proportionate approaches are clearly legally valid. Given that Wandsworth has put itself out on a limb in trying to force this policy through, in my view now would be a good time for residents to seek alternative legal advice if it could be crowd-funded.

Thirdly, the Government recently announced it would be beefing up the First Tier Property Tribunal to help leaseholders in particular to defend themselves against their landlords. Wandsworth is now saying that it will make an application to the Tribunal to “ensure that the leaseholders’ voice is listened to” and to “seek a clear decision on the Council’s ability to undertake the works”. This is obviously the first opportunity to have the leaseholders’ case seriously listened to and my instincts suggest this may be part of a process to allow the Council to climb down without losing too much face.

Fourthly, the Council has already admitted that it was not true that it was imposing the same approach on Council blocks as is the case in the private sector – private sector blocks of the same age and similar size do not even have to have safety checks, let alone sprinklers in every room. The paper now admits that the claim that the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) was recommending that sprinklers (or Automatic Fire Suppression Systems, AFSS) should be fitted to all existing 10+ storey blocks was premature. The actual words used in the formal LFEPA advice of December 6 2017 are:

“We recommend AFSS in:

  • all new residential developments over 18m in height;
  • existing residential blocks over 18m in height (retrofitting), subject to a risk based approach that should include consideration of the vulnerability of the residents.”

In other words, LFEPA seems to expect Councils do a block-by-block assessment of each block and decide if residents are particularly vulnerable. This is extremely important as it chops the legs from under the ‘one size fits all’ approach which the Council has been pushing. More positively, it gives the Council a further opportunity to climb down and blame it on LFEPA’s changed advice.

It is certainly worth keeping going with this campaign – I suspect that ultimately the Council’s position can’t be maintained but they can be very obstinate even in the face of public views so we’ll have to see.

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.

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 became of the portacabin planning application?

For background on Roehampton University’s portacabin planning applications this can be found in previous articles within this blog under variance references such as ‘portacabins’, ‘2016/1385’ or ‘2016/5912’. Many people have asked about this planning application, for various reasons whether it be what happened or how did it not go to the Council’s Planning Application Committee (PAC), and this blog is to highlight some further background which might be of interest, not just for this application, though perhaps for others.

There were three retrospective planning applications, with the first two being withdrawn.

Application number: 2015/5648

Proposal: Erection of six portacabins for a temporary period of five years.

First Council document mentioned is on 14 October 2015 and the decision notice of 19 February states this application was withdrawn on 14 February 2016.

The portacabins in question are highlighted in the photo below taken from Kimpton House. Keep an eye on the portacabins in the red rectangle. Parkstead House (Grade I listed) is in the background.

Application number: 2016/1385

Proposal: Retention of seven portacabins sited against the southern boundary for a period of three years (affecting the setting of a Grade I listed building).

Decision: Withdrawn

Notice the retention change in the proposal from five years to three years, though the number of portacabins increased from six to seven?

This application was started on 15 March 2016, only a month after application 2015/5648, though was able to continue until December 2016. At this stage, this retrospective planning application had been in motion for a year with two withdrawn applications. There were a lot of objections which were lodged against this withdrawn planning application meaning that objectors had to start again with the next planning application.

Application number: 2016/5912

Proposal: Retention of three portacabins at the southern end of the site for use as additional teaching space for a further 3 years (Affecting the setting of a Grade I listed building).

Application Registered: 14 November 2016, though documents started to be uploaded on 11 October 2016

Decision: Approve with Conditions 14 February 2017

Again, there were a lot of objections, though have you noticed two further amendments.

The retention is now for three cabins instead of seven. Also, the date of approval is 28 months after the first document was uploaded (15 October 2015) with the first planning application (2015/5648).

The following photo, also taken from Kimpton House, highlights the now removed portacabins.

Didn’t Councillor Carpenter suggest he was going to provide resident representations at the Council’s Planning Application Committee (PAC)?

Yes, this was stated at the Roehampton Forum, yet didn’t happen. It has been suggested that Councillor Carpenter may not have been aware of the Council’s delegated power which permits planning application to be agreed by the Council’s planners rather than the PAC. This application was approved as it was less than 500 square metres of non-residential floor space. If this is true, one hopes that Councillor Carpenter is aware of the delegated powers now that he is on the PAC?

Another suggestion was that maybe Councillor Carpenter did not make his views known to the PAC that he wished to make representations at the PAC regarding this planning application. If this is true, then could Councillor Ambache, who was on the PAC at the time, could have informed Councillor Carpenter to make his representation position known to PAC members?

At the Let’s Talk event of 12th September 2016 wasn’t the portacabin planning discussed?

Yes, it was, and the following is taken from the Minutes;

“4. Roehampton University

Question/Comment – A resident said that he had contacted the planning service, without response, about the portacabins that had been erected without planning permission in the car park at Roehampton University facing Kimpton House. He said that the portacabins had been in place over 4 years and reduced on-site parking provision at the University that had been pushed out onto already busy roads such as Holybourne Avenue and Fontley Way. He suggested a survey by the University about staff and student parking during term and non-term time to determine the impact of the portacabins and said that residents were being forced into accepting a CPZ because of University demands. Concern also raised that the University is ‘getting away’ with not following due process and who is auditing the process? A resident raised the issue of excessive noise emanating from the University portacabins that affected Kimpton House and ‘terrified’ some residents.

Response – It was noted that an earlier planning application had been withdrawn but a revised one was due to be submitted including a transport assessment. A planning enforcement notice was still valid in respect of the unauthorised structures. Councillor Carpenter said that the University claimed that the portacabins did not reduce parking as the car park had been repainted to provide the same number of spaces as previously. He again advised residents to come along to the councillors surgeries to speak about any problems and if possible to attend the Roehampton Forum and Roehampton Partnership meetings. Councillor Ambache told the meeting that breaches of planning control should be reported to the planning service at the Town Hall and that, as a member of the Planning Applications Committee that would consider any application, he would not be able to ‘take a position’ on the matter but was listening to the related dialogue. He also confirmed that he was available to be contacted on any of the issues raised and this could be done in a variety of ways.

Councillor McKinney said that she understood the portacabin area to be the psychology department.

 With the consent of the meeting, Rev. McKinney then spoke as a governor of Whitelands College to inform the meeting that some concerns had been expressed at the Roehampton Forum. He said that he would raise the issue of the noise with the college and also that as far as he was aware the portacabins would be removed as the need for them had now reduced”.

Note that there is a comment in the Let’s Talk Minutes which states that the “portacabins would be removed as the need for them had now reduced”?

What does this application and Ibstock School’s planning application (2015/5074) have in common?

Both applications have taken at least two years to work their way through the planning system before being approved, though were being utilized by the applicants to some extent. As this is typed, Ibstock School’s planning application was registered on 22 September 2015 and is yet to be approved.

Three attempts for one planning application, maybe something to think about for 66 Alton Road?

With so many objections to the second application having to be repeated for the third application, is this a lesson as to the fate that 66 Alton Road (planning application 2017/3082) may face? Residents and interested parties may need to be vigilant in keeping an eye out for further attempts to demolish this building.

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.

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