Ram Brewery development stopped by Government

2 mins read

According to an article published in the Evening Standard tonight, Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, called for an inquiry into the Ram Brewery redevelopment voted by the Council in December. As we presented the consequences in a previous article, the main brewery site will be marked  by a pair of 32 and 42-storey residential tower blocks (up to 145m  or 475ft). The Planning Application committee voted by 9 votes to 2 in favour of the scheme.
The Evening Standard wrote:

When outlining her latest decision, Ms Blears said “she ought to decide herself because she considers the proposals may conflict with national policies on important matters”.
These include building heights, landscaping, hazardous installations (the site contains gas holders) and affordable housing.
The Wandsworth application submitted by developer Minerva will now have to be considered at a public inquiry, with the final decision resting with her.
The plans, which include 11 towers, including one of 42 and another of 32 storeys, had been nodded through by Wandsworth council in December.
The letter in which Ms Blears spells out her reasons for calling in the development says her intervention was attacked by Wandsworth council leader Edward Lister. He said: “It’s unbelievable that in the depths of a recession we have a Government that would put at risk £1billion of investment in a suburban town centre.
“The Ram Brewery development would have been the catalyst for the wider regeneration of Wandsworth town centre. It would have created 1,000 new homes, 400 new jobs and helped solve the traffic problems in a problematic one-way system.”
Wandsworth’s planning applications chair Leslie McDonnell said: “This is an ambitious scheme that has the potential to transform the town centre.”
Mr Johnson supported the tower which, he said, met his requirements for the highest-quality design, and the traffic improvements.
But Ms Blears said the application raised issues that went beyond the locality and had to be debated on the basis of national planning policies. Mr Lister said this was a waste of time and put the entire enterprise at risk.
“The council set three main tests for the development, and the answer was yes on all counts”, he said. “The scheme is backed by the Wandsworth Town Centre Partnership, which described it ‘pivotal’ to their vision for the area.
“It was also backed by the Mayor who said the tall buildings met his requirements for the highest quality design and confirmed that were no another means of funding the transport improvements needed.” Deputy mayor for policy and planning, Simon Milton, said: “The Mayor supports the Wandsworth proposal because of the major improvements it would bring. This decision by Ms Blears will delay crucial development in this period of downturn that will be damaging for London’s future prosperity.” However, he did not want to comment on the wider issue.
Other proposals which could also be called in include the Victoria transport interchange and the Heart of Battersea development.

You can also read our article about what the Mayor Office said on the Clapham Junction redevelopment proposal and his claim against tall building during his campaign.

Did you like reading this article? Help us writing more!

Clapham Junction Insider (formerly called CJAG website) has been publishing local news for more than 14 years and remains committed to providing local community information and public interest journalism.

We aim to feature as much as possible on community campaigns and initiatives, local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents and helping residents.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

Until recently, all stories, analysis and reports published have been made with the great help of many volunteers. However, at the end of the day it cost time and efforts and we are frustrated that we cannot do more: there are many subjects that we would like to cover but we need financial resources to help us providing regular information.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

2 ways of supporting our project

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more? We have set up two ways of supporting our project:

  1. Paypal: For one-off contributions, you can just use your bank card. However if you wish to encourage and support us regularly with a small amount, you will need a Paypal account to set up a monthly subscription. Click here to donate.
  2. Patreon: this is a well-known membership platform that connects content creators with supporters. Mainly, it offers financial tools that let supporters subscribe to projects that give creators a predictable income stream as they continue to create content. Click here to subscribe and support us regularly.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.


  1. I wish people would stop trying to justify every sort of “improvement” which invariably involves over-development or an environmentally unsound scheme, with that old chestnut: it will create thousands of jobs…
    Jobs and, I’m afraid to say people’s livlihoods will come and go, but ruinous architecture once built, is unfortunately more permanent.

  2. This application was called in because local MP Martin Linton wrote to the Minister to ask her to look into the decision. Martin is asking local residents to let him know if they disagree with the Ram Brewery decision for his submission to the planning enquiry.

  3. I have read the planning applications, and the Health & Safety Executive were not invited to comment on the plans before planning permission was granted by the council and the Mayor. The gas holder nearby does pose a significant risk, and, given the current risk regulations that the HSE enforce (which are more stringent now than they were in the past), I believe there is a very high probability that the HSE would urge the relevant Minister not to allow the development to go through. You simply cannot situate highly populated buildings right next to a gas holder anymore – look at the problems with the Kennington Oval, or the Greenwich site just south of the Millennium Dome.

Comments are closed.