Planning Policy Members

1 min read

Author: Cyril Richert
We urge everyone to attend the Planning Committee meeting on 20 May 2009. All details are here but I copy them below:
So it is very important that you make the most efforts to attend the meeting, especially after the blessing of the Planning Officer on the two 42 storey towers:
Date: Wednesday 20 May 2009 – 7.30pm (we advise you to come earlier, possibly 7-7.15pm).
Venue: Wandsworth Borough Council, The Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PU (more details how to get there on the website).
In order to make things easier, you might want to take the list of the committee members I compiled for you, with photos (*) below (you can print it and bring it with you on the day):

Councillor Leslie McDonnell (Chairman)

Councillor Piers McCausland (Deputy Chairman)

Councillor Tony Belton (Opposition Speaker)

Councillor Ms Dee Church

Councillor Mrs. Vanessa Graham

Councillor John Hallmark

Councillor Ms Susan John-Richards

Councillor Martin D. Johnson

Councillor Andrew Penfold

Councillor Dr. Billi Randall

Councillor Ms Rosemary Torrington

Councillor Mrs. Caroline Usher

(*) I cannot assure you they will wear the same piece of clothing as on photos.

For your information, the list of emails is:
Committee secretary: Martin Newton

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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. In view of the upcoming Committee Decision on the Clapham Junction ‘Twin Towers’ development, this Wednesday, I urge all the councilors to understand
    that objection to the proposed development is not restricted to considerations of affordable housing, benefits to public transport, the relationship with the proposed wider re-development of the CJ area or demolition of existing buildings.
    I write because I am concerned that we, the objectors, are being told that ‘insufficient reasons’ have been given for objection to the Towers and that the bulk of the objections are from those who simply don’t like tall buildings.
    I find this conclusion patronizing, insensitive, unreasonable and bullying. The towers are totally unsympathetic to the existing landscape. If this development was to take place in New York then it is very likely that no one would be concerned, unless of course it was on a plot currently providing valuable recreational space for inner city dwellers. We do not think it reasonable that Wandsworth Council in collusion with a firm of property developers should be providing an eyesore, a provider of unwanted shadow and a wind tunnel, as well as a massive increase in population. There are other far more imaginative schemes of providing housing. They might, of course, be less readily lucrative for the councilors and developers, but they could provide homes for people without ruining the resident population’s lives. I ask how many of our councilors would enjoy living within sight of these buildings , which they claim will ‘deliver a legible urban environment’ and could ‘re-enforce and define the town centre’. Thank you, but I think we find it quite easy to understand the nature of the Junction, we don’t need preaching to by self-appointed guardians of the urban aesthetic.

  2. I totally agree with the comments made byRosemary Haworth-Booth!

  3. If I could have said it any better, I would have done. But I can only state that I would echo Rosemary Haworth-Booth’s comments to the letter.

  4. This is the first time that I have actively participated in the debate concerning the “Twin Towers” proposal. Our councilors need to bear in mind that they are elected to reflect the views of the residents of the wards most closely affected by what is a completely disproportionate planning proposal. Any walk down the Northcote Road will indicate the strength of feeling there is against the erection of two 42 feet towers. It should also be borne in mind that once two monsters have arrived, others are sure to follow.

  5. I agree with all the above. Why not have an architecture competition and let the local people have a say. I do not feel the council is fully representing our views.

  6. I also echo Rachel Haworth-Booth’s comments. I am delighted that the proposal has been withdrawn and I look forward to viewing a proposal that is sympathetic to the Clapham Junction/Battersea area.

  7. I am interested to know how many of the councillors have their primary dwelling in Wandsworth?
    If the councillors listened to the residence of the area, then the height of these buildings should have been the first reason for application refusal! Clapham Junction’s beauty is in its town like architecture with fantastic commons, it’s un-concrete like feel, if you will. Sticking two sky scrapers in its centre will destroy it, like the way that high rise has destroyed Wandsworth town centre! I am delight about the decision and welcome a more intelligent proposal for the long awaited development of Clapham Junction.

  8. Mr King>Unfortunately we did not have a chance to hear what Councillors had to say, because the application was withdrawn before to reach the Planning Committee today.
    All I know is that Cllr Peter Dawson (Northcote ward) issued a public letter (available on this website) last week echoing the concern of the residents. Cllr Tony Belton (Latchmere ward) and Cllr Martin Johnson (Northcote ward) , both members of the Planning Committee, had the duty of not showing pre-determination. However they both showed concern (along with Cllr Paul Beddow – Northcote ward) at our Public Meeting back in January. They were both going to oppose on the ground of the height (amongst other reasons maybe), raising the issue of tall buildings. Shaftesbury Councillors refused to talk and address the residents publicly, with Cllr Guy Senior being totally absent of the debate.
    However, you must have noted that it is clear from the Planning Officer report that the developers were encouraged to go high by the Council Officers, applying the Council’s core strategy.
    I questioned the leader of the Council back in January and he replied:
    Tall buildings […] can, if well designed, create attractive landmarks underlining aspects of the borough’s character and act as a catalyst for regeneration, providing they are located in appropriate locations and acceptable in terms of design and impact on their surroundings. […] In my view, the Planning Applications Committee and the Council has been entirely consistent in its interpretation of the tall buildings policy: a policy which, I consider, is robust and allows the promotion of appropriate development.
    You can read the exchange here:
    This is why, if we want to preserve our current environment, we need to ask the Council to review their policy. As long as it stays as it is, town planners will always welcome skyscrapers in town centres, following Council’s guidelines.

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