Archive for the ‘Planning and development’ Category

The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership is holding open days about the development of the project at  the community centre on Bolney Meadow estate on Thursday 26 June, 3pm – 8pm and  Friday 27 June, 8am – 6pm.

The event will be an opportunity to have your say if you wish to save the Vauxhall bus station, which is threatened with demolition under proposals to replace the current one-way traffic system (‘gyratory’) with two-way traffic, and dispersal of the bus stops from their current accessible and user-friendly sites.

The event will also provide information on developments with the scheme, including the latest scale model, and the development of the Northern line extension to Battersea, cycle ways and a proposed new Thames bridge,

Further information at: http://www.nineelmslondon.com/events/open-days-2014

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One-way scheme rejected

Following the recent consultation about how to spend money from Lambeth for a Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme (NEP) in our streets, the council has now agreed to drop the proposal for an experimental one-way traffic scheme around Albert Square to discourage rat-running through our area. The ward councillors have now agreed to recommend the NEP funds for the following projects and proceed to statutory consultation on them.

New NEP recommendations 

–    Traffic calming in Aldebert Terrace, St Stephen’s Terrace and Albert Square (maximum spend £30,000)

–   Tradescant Road Pocket Park (maximum spend £20,000)

–   Claylands Green- Traffic calming and public realm improvements (maximum spend £45,000)

–   Bonnington Square- Public realm improvements (maximum spend £45,000)

–   Cycle and motorcycle secure parking – Various locations (maximum spend £10,000)

–   Heyford Avenue- Traffic calming (maximum spend £15,000).

The agreement also approved money for a communal bin store and implementation of tree planting and greening in various locations (£25,000), Meadow Road- build-out and greening (£10,000), and  Play Streets in Ashmole Road and Kibworth Street (as part of a separate process through the council website).

How to spend the £30,000? – Public meeting Tuesday 12 November

In order to pursue the welcome allocation of £30,000 to traffic calming through our streets with as much consensus as possible, ASSA has invited Councillor Imogen Walker and Haibat Abro, Project Engineer for Lambeth Transportation, to a public meeting with residents to discuss options for the optimum use of this money to reduce the speed and volume of traffic through our area. Haibat is an expert on traffic engineering and can advise on the cost and effectiveness of specific proposals. The meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss the format and siting of communal bin shelters, which has been another hot issue in our area.

We want as many people as possible to express their preferences so that we can proceed with proposals that are the most effective and cause the least upset among residents. We appreciate that the meeting is at short notice and may be at a time that is not convenient to you, so we welcome your suggestions and comments through this website or to the ASSA chair Peter Edwards on:  superedwards3@gmail.com

Traffic calming – NEP proposals public meeting

Tuesday 12 November


St Stephen’s Church annex

St Stephen’s Terrace

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Lambeth Council has approached all the residents’ associations in our area about its plan to invest in a Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme. The Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme is about street improvements for all the streets in the triangle between Stockwell, up to Oval and Vauxhall.

The committee of Albert Square & St Stephen’s Association wants your views on what we should ask for in our streets. We’re trying to encourage people who live in the following streets to tell us what they think:
– Albert Square

– Aldebert Terrace
– St. Stephen’s Terrace
– Wilkinson Street

Lambeth has given us a number of options to chose from. Please have a look at the online questionnaire we’ve created. There are only 10 questions to respond to. It should take five minutes to fill out the questionnaire.


We’ve asked for your name and contact details at the bottom of the questionnaire. You don’t need to tell us who you are unless you want to. We’ll only use this information to let you know what progress we’re making or to ask any questions if you have specific queries.

We look forward to seeing your responses on the online questionnaire

Many thanks

The committee of Albert Square & St. Stephen’s Association

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It looks as if Chelsea Football Club has failed in its bid to obtain Battersea Power Station.

Let us hope that this Malaysian outfit  who wish to buy, have the pockets to build out – and the inclination to get a wiggle on- unlike ALL the previous owners.

Failed: Chelsea's bid to build a new Battersea stadium has been ended

Poor old Battersea Power Station has suffered terribly in not having the right owners over the decades. All the previous development companies have been doomed to failure and after all these years the Power Station is still  a sad and total mess. The fact that such a huge central London site, a Grade 2  listed building and strategically important part of the regeneration  jigsaw puzzle can have been left to languish,  should be a greater source of embarrassment to those who have any power or influence within London. Successive responsible  councillors, M.P’s, Mayors and Ministers of whatever political persuasion should all hang their heads.

Now, in 2012, we have reached the stage where SP Setia and Sime Darby have  entered into an exclusivity agreement with the intention of buying the  39-acre (15 hectare) site. The potential purchasers now have 28 days to do their due diligence and work out if they should go ahead.

The venture is understood to  hope that it can work within the existing  8.3m square foot outline planning consent obtained by the site’s previous owner, the struggling Irish developer Treasury Holdings, for a scheme by  architect Rafael Viñoly that comprised 3,700 homes along with offices, shops and restaurants.

In a joint statement, the Malaysian partners said they were planning a “multi use  real estate regeneration project” that would preserve the facade of the historical power plant with its distinctive four white chimney stacks. It is understood that the Malaysian duo would contribute £250 m to the cost of the proposed Norther Line extension.

Local planning authority Wandsworth Council said the deal was “potentially very good news”.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “We’re making tremendous progress towards transforming this old industrial stretch of the South Bank which will provide up to 25,000 new jobs for London.

“It’s important that this site and its iconic building are not left behind and that a developer is brought in who understands our vision for the new Nine Elms.”

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Battersea power station ceased generating electricity in 1983- that is coming up 30 years ago.

Since then as a result of a madness/ planning restrictions and the lack of inspired thinking by successive governments / owners and developers the  site has remained entirely neglected. Only London can do so little with such a centrally located iconic jewel.

The last owner of Battersea had  money problems  and was unable to develop the site  and now Battersea Power Station is up for  open sale.

There were many rumours but now Chelsea Football Club  has confirmed that it has submitted an offer. Interestingly they say that the four iconic chimneys will stay and be restored and retained creating a unique back drop to a stadium for 60,000.  They also propose a town centre, shops affordable housing and offices.

Chelsea FC or its owners could be the first people in the last 30 years who have the resources to develop out and make this happen. IF CFC think to move to the South of the River they will be wonderfully welcome in that  they might be the last part in the Vauxhall Nine ELms ( VNEB) Jigsaw puzzle.

For those of us in South Lambeth / Vauxhall Stockwell area however it probably means not being able to drive over the bridges Northwards on match days?

Fulham – where CFC currently resides is paralysed by Chelsea Fans and traffic when a match is on. All the locals loathe the jams and parking problems.

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What will make Vauxhall A Lovelier Place?

It could be argued that a great deal of development has got through  planning without a proper or engaged debate about the needs of the existing communities around  the Vauxhall Nine Elms development area (VNEB).

The VNEB development is 195 hectares- a colossal area- larger than Hyde Park and it is proposed that more than 16,000 homes will be built.

There will not be many more opportunities to  input into  the  overall planning picture  and this should be considered a last chance to really influence Lambeth to get the best solutions for Vauxhall.Image

 WHERE ? : The council is holding open days on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 March (3pm to 8pm) at Unit 13A, St George Wharf, Vauxhall SW8 2LL. All are welcome to share their views.

WHY ? : The council is currently preparing a supplementary planning document (SPD) for Vauxhall area that will guide development in that area for the next few years and it wants to hear people’s views about what the priorities should be.


The council is putting forward a number of ideas that will make it clear what kind of development will be welcome.

This includes the creation of a new public square that would provide a focus for the area, and the potential for replacing Vauxhall bus station with bus stops along a new high street lined with shops.

“We are determined that any future development in the area brings improvements and benefits for the local community,” says Cllr Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council

“We want to create a proper town centre in Vauxhall and remove the physical barriers, like the gyratory, that make this difficult.

“The SPD will set out what improvements local people and the council want, making it clear to developers what will be acceptable and how they will be expected to contribute.”

The council says it wants to wants to consider ambitious plans to remove the gyratory and reintroduce two-way to get a better balance between cars, walking and cycling.

Last year the Mayor of London Boris Johnson told the London Assembly that abolishing the one-way system would cost “in excess of £20 million”.

Last month Mr Johnson said: “TfL is continuing to work closely with the London Borough of Lambeth and the GLA to develop short and long term proposals to improve Vauxhall gyratory for all road users.

“There are currently a number of options that are being considered and discussions are continuing between the public bodies, landowners and other stakeholders, although no agreement on a preferred solution has been reached as yet.

“TfL hopes to be in a position to provide a further update by the middle of this year.

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That’s Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework to you. A huge development plan that affects the area between Vauxhall, Battersea Power Station and the Wandsworth Road. The consultation response from ASSA is given below plus some background on the development.


ASSA is responding to the VNEB OAPF because we believe that the development of the area will

  • increase the burden on local services and infrastructure
  • impact the appearance of and views from our neighbourhood
  • has the potential to positively impact on the services and amenities available to our residents

In summary of the ASSA feedback on the VNEB OAPF

  • The overall density of the development area and the plans for a cluster of tall buildings around Vauxhall would place an excessive burden on the transport, leisure and social infrastructure in our area and the OAPF does not include sufficient mitigants to alleviate these impacts
  • The expected visual impact of the cluster of tall buildings is deeply regrettable both the direct impact on views from our conservation area and also views from the very pretty walks around our area, particularly in Vauxhall Park and surrounds.
  • The density of the development area also allows little room for green areas (the linear strip of land surrounded by high buildings cannot be considered a ‘park’), community gardens and allotments, sports facilities and other areas of public amenity.
  • The VNEB OAPF recognizes that existing business will be forced to relocate out of the area, many of which are SME local employers. They will be replaced by “20-25,000” retail and office jobs. There is no indication that these jobs will match the skills of local residents or whether there will be any training for local residents to work in this new employment zone.
  • Our concern is that the development plan creates little incentive for residents of the surrounding areas to enter the VNEB Opportunity Area. This will lead to a ‘ghetto’ of flats with little linkage to the surrounding area.
  • There is no clarity in the development plans on what the requirement for affordable housing will be in the area.
  • We are supportive of the plans for the New Covent Garden Market and the plans to open up the market to encourage local tourism, training and hospitality facilities to celebrate this unique London asset in our neighbourhood.
  • Apart from the district heating plans there is no vision to create an area that is more self-sufficient in its energy use and waste management.
  • ASSA would like to see
    • A clear commitment to invest in schools, healthcare and other social infrastructure facilities.
    • An investment in sports facilities, green spaces, allotments and other facilities that contribute to the social value of the opportunity area and the well being of all those living in it and near it.
    • A great reduction in the height and number of tall buildings around Vauxhall with great sensitivity in design and scale being given to any buildings built around our parks.
    • Lower density housing with a greater focus on the quality of design and surrounding environment and amenities. This has the potential to make the Opportunity Area and attractive asset for our community rather than ghettoized dormitory for commuters.
    • Greater emphasis on a diversified mix of businesses. There is a reason New Covent Garden must, by law, be situated at Nine Elms – because of its proximity to central London. The plan should include areas for business that can service the homes, shops and offices of central London. This would also create a greater diversity of jobs and skills for local residents.
    • Measures to encourage the maximum level of energy efficiency and decentralized, low carbon energy generation (ideally carbon neutral as will be required by 2016) for residential and commercial buildings.
    • Measures to minimize the amounts of waste being exported to landfill, maximizing the amount of waste recycled.




The Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB) Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF!) covers the triangular area from Vauxhall station to Battersea Power Station bounded at the bottom by Wandsworth Road. See map below.

All documents can be found here http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/mayor/publications/planning/vauxhall-nine-elms-battersea-opportunity-area-planning-framework

  • The VNEB area has been designated an opportunity area in the GLA’s London Plan. This means it will be treated as a single area and a planning framework will be developed for it. This is positive as it means considerations like social infrastructure (parks, schools, surgeries) will be included as part of the plan rather than the alternative which is putting strain on the existing infrastructure.
  • The aim of the OAPF is to increase land values in the area thereby increasing investment.
  • There are a small number of landlords: Treasury Holdings (Battersea Power Station), Covent Garden Market Authority, US Embassy and some others.
  • There will be two focal ‘growth poles’ Battersea Power Station and Vauxhall station which will be residential and office space plus retail.
  • A cluster of tall buildings at Vauxhall of 150m in height or less (the St Georges Tower already consented is 180m list of tall towers for comparison here: http://www.skyscrapernews.com/britains1.htm) Views from Albert Square and South Lamb eth Road are given below

  • 16,000 new homes mostly in 8-10 storey blocks or the towers. 40,000 people including up to 10,000 kids. No family houses to speak of – mostly 1-2 bed flats. Limited social housing.
  • 15-20 year development period
  • New Northern Line extension from Kennington to Nine Elms and Battersea at a cost of £600m privately funded (the reality of this number is questionable as is the likelihood of it being build in a timeframe consistent with the development or being built at all. There is very limited transport development planned apart from the tube extension.
  • Public space will consist of a Thames walkway, a ‘linear park’ (a 50m wide strip of land with 8-10 story blocks either side) and three walkways from Wandsworth Road to the river.
  • District Heating Network planned for the area.
  • Up to £405m of S106 funds.
  • New Covent Garden Market to be completely redeveloped. Funded by selling the flower market plot plus another plot near cringle street Work commencing 2013. This actually looks pretty good. Redevelopment will modernise the existing market area. It will also increase public access and have cafes and restaurants showing off the great food of our land Downside is flower market will be sold as a high rise hotel to fund it all

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At a Planning meeting at Brixton Town Hall on Wednesday 24th March  the Council agreed that they would not recommend that planning permission should be granted for the tower in its present form.
Permission had been sought for a 149 Metre tower.  Many locals  effected by this development do not have seem to have been aware of the nature of the development.
About 20+ locals attended the meeting to protest and  about 10 of those whom had  applied to speak were given the opportunity to do so. Some who spoke were passionately opposed. Vauxhall Park representatives were extremely concerned about the shadow that would be cast over the park after 4 pm when  summer peak time use  happens. Children after school and residents relaxing would have their light obstructed.
Michael Ball, Director  of Waterloo Community Development Group and David Boardman of the Kennington Association  had considerable knowledge and had  put in immense research and thought to their representations which concentrated on the areas where the proposed development deviated from planning policy.
This  all was no doubt highly influential on the final decision  and the Councillors’ decided NOT to follow the  recommendation  that  the Council should  grant permission (subject to conditions and Section 106 Agreement.).

Some of the reasons for refusing  were:

  • That the building was too wide and too tall and detrimental to the Public Realm
  • That there is insufficent floor space for employment. The intention is that  1/3 of floor space within the Major Development Opportunity area should  be given over whereas Octave Tower is  probably less than 10%
  • That the Development is too dense-  ( By probably around X3) This density breaches good quality building policies
  • That there is insufficient amenity space and a lack of public space.

Additionally the adverse effect on local conservation areas was noted. In particular St Marks, Landsdowne Gardens, Vauxhall Conservation Area and our own in  Albert  Square.

The developers of the Octave Tower had actually have actually appealed against Lambeth for non determination prior to the planning meeting in any event. This matter will therefore be decided upon at appeal and there is still much to play for.

ASSA will make representations and if you would like to discuss the issues over this then please contact Rosemary Ellis ( 0207 793 9538)

The pictures above is from a collection available on our Flickr page – all photos are accessible by clicking on the ‘Neighbourhood Photos’ box on the right hand menu (you might need to scroll down a bit to find it).

The photos show the Bondway development from different angles and perspectives. It should be noted that they are the developers computer generated images and that the trees are generally in full leaf and therefore do cover up considerable amounts of the Building that will be visible through the Winter. In some cases the outlines of Bondway and other skyscrapers are all shown.  Ssme of the images seem to be slightly “overexposed” so that the upper outlines are  perhaps not as dominant as the Building  would be in reality.

The images  should be viewed and assessed for information or illustrative purposes only and not to form part of any future formal application submitted by a third party without the consent of consultant who was commissioned by the applicant for this Bondway application.

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The winning design has been announced in the architectural competition for the new US embassy to be built at Nine Elms.  It’s a dramatic and eye catching design which should be a vast improvement on the current scattering of anonymous warehouses. There is a long and well illustrated description on the site of the winning architects, KieranTimberlake.

The design places the embassy building at the center of the Nine Elms site and develops the surrounding area into an urban park. The new embassy meets all the required security standards while honoring the English tradition of urban parks and gardens as the context for many civic buildings. The new embassy, with its gardens, will establish a strong framework for the urbanization of the Nine Elms redevelopment zone.

There are two major east-west pedestrian and vehicular paths, one existing and one to be improved, and the other proposed as part of the enabling infrastructure for the Nine Elms development. The existing infrastructure is along the south Thames embankment and is composed of a river walk paralleled by Nine Elms Lane. The proposed new infrastructure to the south of the embassy site is a pedestrian greenway that will connect the embassy site to Vauxhall Station, the nearest tube stop to the east, and on to the proposed new Battersea developments to the west. Poised strategically midway between these parallel paths, the embassy becomes part of an urban park that connects the Thames embankment to the new pedestrian way to the south.

The paving about and within the embassy site utilizes the familiar limestone used in many London walks and parks. London Plane trees provide shade and form at the perimeter and along Nine Elms Lane as well as the proposed new walk to the south that connects the site to Vauxhall Station.

Seen from the north along the Thames embankment and Nine Elms Lane, the new Embassy Park contains a pond with walks, places to sit and landscape along its edges, all open to the citizens of London.

Trees near the pond are to be North American species, such as the Weeping Willow and the Bald Cypress. Others, while native to North America, were long ago brought to England and are now common to the English landscape.

There is a lot more about the building itself, but it is the exterior and the landscape in which it is set which are much more important for most of us who are unlikely to have much occasion to go – or be allowed – inside.

The original outline plan included proposals for opening more routes through the Nine Elms site to the river, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.  It’s not clear from this description whether all that has survived – but it’s one to keep an eye on, as it is potentially a significant benefit to our area.  The other direct effect is likely to be increased pressure on transport.  The proposed Northern Line extension to Battersea is still in the Mayor’s Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework, but the US Embassy is probably not big enough by itself to provide any assurance that it will ever materialise.  Increased pressure on Vauxhall, further exacerbated by the policy of encouraging new tall buildings there, risks crowding out existing transport users.

According to the Washington Post, construction is due to start in 2013 and be completed by 2017.

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Another public meeting has been arranged about the Vauxhall area planning framework (earlier coverage here and here).  The additional meeting has been arranged by the Kennington Oval and Vauxhall Forum and will take place on at 7pm Wednesday 10 February at St Peter’s Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall.

The deadline for comments on the draft planning framework has now been extended to 28 February – details are on the Mayor’s website.

From now on, updates on the Kennington Oval and Vauxhall Forum website news page will be picked up in the News From Other Stockwell Sites area of this site.

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