Tag Archives: Falcon Road

Clapham Junction roadworks

I’d totally forgotten about the Clapham Junction exemplar scheme work starting until I got stuck in traffic today.

The roadworks have created a contraflow on Lavender Hill outside Asda (I think this is in Battersea, but you may want to check with their store manager) so it might be best avoided for a while.

The Clapham Junction scheme, overall, is intended to make the area better for pedestrians and traffic. Frankly Clapham Junction is a bit of a mess at the moment and sorely in need of improvement. The first phase will allow a right turn from Lavender Hill into Falcon Lane, relieving some of the congestion and the Lavender Hill/Falcon Road turn.

Revolution licensing application


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Shaftesbury seems to be attracting licensing applications on a weekly basis at the moment. The latest is from Revolution who sit right in the town centre on the corner of Lavender Hill and Falcon Road.

They are seeking what seems a fairly minimal application, basically an extra hour on Thursday night, extending alcohol sales from midnight to 0100, and extending ‘late night refreshment’ from 1230 to 0130.

You can make representations until 24 September. They need to relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

Councillor points at pothole shocker

Back in 2003 we were delighted the overgrowth had been cut back to reveal mud for everyone to enjoy

Back in 2003 we were delighted the overgrowth had been cut back to reveal mud for everyone to enjoy

It is not without hypocrisy that I point you towards Glum Councillors – a collection of hard-working councillors working hard at pointing out potholes. I confess I was impressed by the care taken by some in donning high-visibility clothing before venturing onto the road.

The ‘councillors points at pothole’ is a classic, and seems to be something of a Lib Dem favourite. Some cynically suggest they even get lists of work programmes from their local councils to take photos just before they are repaired. But however it’s done, you can’t deny it presents a, um, memorable image.

I don’t think I’ve ever pointed at a pothole, but I’m sure I’ve committed other councillor photography sins (I’ve certainly watched a phone box being removed, and recently stood on the side of a road before a new safety scheme was installed). My favourite, however, is the one featured here…

We’d managed to get a fairly grubby patch of land on Falcon Lane (the road that runs between Lavender Hill and Falcon Road past Asda) cleaned up. And what better way to celebrate this than have three men stand on the now clear patch of mud. In front of an ‘Out of Service’ bus.

Man in nappyOh, and what’s the in the background. That ad on the side of the bus passing on Lavender Hill. Yes, a man in a nappy, that will really sum up the joy we feel about the cleanup.

(Incidentally, I recall the ad on the bus was for a TV channel or show, the concept being that you wouldn’t want to miss a second, so you’d wear a nappy.  I did try and find out and did a Google for ‘man in nappy advert’.  I wouldn’t recommend you try it.)

Boris rejects Clapham Junction hotel appeal

One of the applicant's drawings of the proposed hotel on Falcon Road

One of the applicant's drawings of the proposed hotel on Falcon Road

As I reported in June the developers had requested the Mayor take responsibility for deciding their application to build a hotel on Falcon Road.

The Mayor has decided that he is content with Wandsworth Council taking the decision, meaning the council’s refusal of the application stands.

Legally, the Mayor has powers to determine applications if they are strategically important enough.  When the council’s planning department recommended refusal of the application to councillors the developers turned to the Mayor, claiming their hotel was of such importance he should be the decision maker.

There is a three step test the Mayor must apply: first, that the application has a significant impact on the implementation of the London plan; second, that there are significant effects on more than one borough; and third, that there are sound planning reasons for intervening.

His decision was that the hotel failed on all three tests!

The developer can still appeal to the Planning Inspectorate – which is the last option remaining to them.  If they do, all objections made to the council will be carried forward.

Battersea’s neighbourhoods – a renaissance?

At last week’s Northcote Road Carnival I was having a chat with Essential Local magazine about the event. One of the things they asked for was a quote about the day. And it was virtually impossible to give, because pretty much anything you could say was put on the bottom of a list of other (far more important) people saying much the same thing: fantastic day, congratulations to organisers, excellent atmosphere, etc.

So I tried to take a broader view and pointed to how it illustrated the unique offer and character of Northcote Road, which in turn illustrates the unique offers and characters of Battersea.

If you consider Clapham Junction as a hub, whatever direction you walk you are in Battersea, but each is a very different bit of Battersea. To the north, you go up Falcon Road, Battersea High Street and Battersea Square. To the east, my own favourite bit (obviously) Lavender Hill. To the south is St John’s Road and Northcote Road. And finally to the west St John’s Hill. While each share similarities, accidents of history, architecture and even traffic management means each has it’s own character and style. They attract different types of resident, different types of shop and different types of shopper – even though they are just minutes walk from each other.

While I’ve found it fascinating watching each of these evolve over the 12 years I’ve lived in the area, what has been most exciting is the past few when, it seems, there’s been a much stronger sense of community developing – and the resurgence in street-party style events has been one of the most visible aspects of this.

Last year saw just Lavender Hill hosting an event. This year they were joined by Northcote Road and St John’s Hill are planning an event in September. This isn’t limited to Battersea, only slightly further afield Old York Road will be having their third street party later this year and Southfields are looking at their first event this year.

I’m not quite sure what has prompted these events. Clearly there will be an element of seeing the success of one event and wishing to emulate it – but that is slightly simplistic, since a huge amount of work is required to organise one of these days, along with a significant investment in time and money.

But whatever the reason I’m glad that it is happening. One of the real shames of London (and I know I’m as guilty of this as anyone) is that we’ve lost our neighbourhoods – and anything that helps restore that community spirit can only be a good thing.

Clapham Junction hotel recommended for rejection

One of the applicant's drawings of the proposed hotel on Falcon Road

One of the applicant's drawings of the proposed hotel on Falcon Road

Planning officers have recommended that the Planning Applications Committee reject the application for a 16 storey hotel at the site of the old Job Centre on Falcon Road.

Following the Clapham Junction ‘towers’ application this had been another controversial scheme, especially as it backed onto residential properties in Mossbury Road.

Local residents’ objections mainly concentrated on the height, but also included complaints ranging from the quality of the design to the perceived lack of quality of the proposed hotel!

The full report can be read on the council’s website (see pages 45-55).  The conclusion is to recommend rejection because:

  1. The proposed building by reason of its height would be an unduly prominent and incongruous development and together with its poor detailed design would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the Clapham Junction Conservation Area and the setting of nearby listed buildings…
  2. The proposal does not comply with sustainable design and climate change policies in terms of renewable energy and low carbon development…
  3. The proposal does not ensure an accessible environment for people with disabilities and fails to include any wheelchair accessible bedrooms contrary…

Woburn House, 155 Falcon Road, planning application

One of the applicant's drawings of the proposed hotel on Falcon Road

One of the applicant's drawings of the proposed hotel on Falcon Road

Residents living near Falcon Road might be interested in the current consultation the council has received for the Woburn House site on Falcon Road.  The site was the old job centre and is currently a solicitors.  The application is for a 16 storey, 132 bedroom, hotel.

I know many who objected to the Clapham Junction application will have similar reservations about this scheme, but also know many who feel that the area desperately needs some hotel provision.

If you wish to see more details, you find them on the council website’s planning section.  The application reference is 2009/1291.  If you wish to make a representation, in support or opposing the application, you can do so by emailing planningapplications@wandsworth.gov.uk or on the council’s website.

It is worth noting that your comment will be publicly available – so you might want to send your comment as an attachment if you do not want your email address publicised.

As with the Clapham Junction application I do not wish this to be seen as pre-determining my views in any way, this post is merely to provide information.