Debate or just bait?

1 min read

Author: Cyril Richert
One of the local resident sent us this email below, received on Friday, from the Developers’ Public Relations company (their representative, Brendan Keown commented also several posts on this website). It makes interesting reading (especially the few words I put in bold), as you need to keep in mind that they reiterated several time their refusal for any further consultation:

  • Before the Public Meeting, where they were invited, they refused to participate, replying: “We are happy to talk to answer any further query that were raised but public meeting forums are not the best way to discuss elements of the scheme“.
  • In their more recent letter, responding to the Planning Officer’s request for further consultation, MSF suggested that prior to submission, they already had lengthy discussions with the Council, the GLA and other consultees, along with local societies (it does not look like the Battersea Society was very happy with that) and 4 days public exhibition and they refuse to hold any further consultation now that the application has been submitted.
  • It is also noticeable that they put down the offer made by the South London Press to organise a meeting between the Clapham Junction Action Group and themselves.

Since attending the exhibition on Metro Shopping Fund’s plans to rejuvenate Clapham Junction, you may have seen and heard much debate on the topic. To date, hundreds of people from Wandsworth and across London have already filled in ‘support postcards’, e-mailed Wandsworth planning officers and written letters to Wandsworth Council, urging councillors to back this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

With the planning application due to be considered by Wandsworth Council Planning Committee later this month on Wednesday, 20th May, there is not long to go. The debate still continues, and we are asking you to take a little time to demonstrate your support to the Planning Officer Mark Hunter at or via Wandsworth’s planning portal website

It is also important show councillors how strongly local people feel, by attending the planning meeting itself at Wandsworth Town Hall (on Wandsworth High Street, London, SW18 2PU) 7.30p.m., Wednesday 20th May.

If you have any questions about the scheme or how to get to Wandsworth Town hall, please get in touch by email or call me on 020 7566 7964.

Thank you and I hope to see you there on the night.

Yours sincerely,

Brendan Keown
Senior Account Executive

Public Relations
20-24 Old Street

So, is the debate they are welcoming spelled D.E.B.A.T.E or is it D-BAIT.

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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. Hi Cyril>
    I am not sure exactly what you mean by D-BAIT. previously you have asserted that the Clapham Junction proposals were a sort of blackmail, which we have debunked- are you now suggesting instead that they are a lure for a trap…please elaborate.
    With regard to your concern over Metro Shopping Fund’s consultation programme, we stand by its reach and openess. The evidence is the hundreds of local people who attended, asked questions and commented to us (both for and against). Not to mention regular correspondence and updates to local people, councillors and the press.
    With regard to the involvement of the South London Press and CJAG, it is disingenuous to claim Metro dismissed the offer of a meeting out of hand. We actually offered an inital meeting with the reporter in question quite a while ago, in order to present our case in detail. However, that offer was refused.
    I do not think that any such brokered meeting between CJAG and MSF would have been constructive or led to a change in position.
    Kind regards

  2. Brendan>I think it is already explicit enough. You can draw your own conclusion on it.
    However I noticed that you agree in writing: “I do not think that any such brokered meeting between CJAG and MSF would have been constructive or led to a change in position.”, which is in line with Delancey’s statement on finding Public Meetings not necessary.

  3. Cyril>
    I feel we are talking at cross-purposes here. It is no good saying “I think it is already explicit enough. You draw your own conclusion on it.” Surely the point is to find out what your opponenet thinks, rather than make hasty and ill-judged assumptions based on one’s own interpretation of events. I would have hoped you’d agree on that, at least..

  4. Brendan> Facts is that the vast majority of residents have asked for a better (and fairer) consultation, not even talking about the concern raised by the planning officer.
    However, the developers have made no effort to communicate in a fair and open way with the community. Calling the debate to continue is a bit hasty then.

  5. Cyril>
    Further to the topic of public meetings meeting: I do agree with Delancey’s view that ‘town-hall’ style meetings are not the best forum in which to have measured debate, about what we both agree is a serious matter.
    And I would maintain that an SLP-brokered meeting was not suggested to serve either CJAG’s or MSF’s best interests in this matter.

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