[From Cyril Richert: We publish below, with the consent of its author, the presentation sent by Martin Linton, MP for Battersea, to the Planning Committee. Link with original PDF document is here.]
Author: Martin Linton MP
Dear Councillor McDonnell and members of the Committee,
RE: 16-storey hotel at 155 Falcon Road (Application 2009/1291)
I am writing to object to this building on the grounds it is too tall and out of scale with its surroundings.
Although it is shorter than the two 42-storey towers proposed by Metronet, it is still three times the height of Debenham’s and would sominate the entire town centre.
Tall buildings can work when they are next to other tall buildings, as in Canary Wharf, or even Vauxhall, but not in the shopping centre that was built in the late Victorian era and is mainly 4-7 storeys.
I know Wandsworth’s planning policies have long identified the town centres as possible locations for taller buildings, but that does not override the need to make sure buildings fit in with their surroundings.
Both CABE and English Heritage have in the past suggested the the Council needs to elaborate its tall buildings strategy. Given that the great majority of residents are clearly against tall buildings dominating the town centre, I should have thought Wandsworth would want to work out a strategy more in tune with local opinion.
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Martin Linton has correctly identified that the main discussion point on this application is its height. We have given our design rationale in the Design and Access Statement submitted with the application and we hope people have the opportunity to take a look at that.
Martin is of course perfectly entitled to his opinion and to express it.
From the point of view of the applicants it should be pointed out that he was invited to the exhibition on site in April 2008, when the proposed building was taller and broader, when his opinions could have been expressed at that time. However there was no response to the invitation and he attended neither of the dates.