South London Press, 5 June 2009:
Wandsworth Guardian, 4 June 2009:
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Mr Richert has continued to ignore the considerable evidence that supports the demand for a hotel at this location, and, futhermore, he states that the hotel will be “cheap” and used as a basis for commuting into central London.
There are of course numerous reasons why a hotel at this location would be a good idea.
Firstly reports for the Mayor of London have continually shown an underprovision of hotel bed spaces in the borough. Even taking current hotel projects into account, including this one, the number of rooms being provided is under half that estimated as being required.
Clapham Junction is the outstanding location in the borough as it’s so central to the public transport network. It’s somewhat strange that currently there is no hotel adjacent to the busiest station in Europe.
Despite Mr Richert’s protests there are many reasons to visit the Borough. Apart from family and social visits there are many well known events and destinations in or very near the borough, such as BAC, the Boat Race, Wimbledon, the de Morgan Centre and Wimbledon. Other major and nearby events have traditionally benefitted businesses in the borough, such as the Derby, Royal Ascot and rugby at Twickenham. All these things are ideally accessed by the station. There are also very many businesses in the borough which has I believe the fourth highest number of businesses in all London boroughs.
On price I have noticed that some contributors to this website say it will be cheap, whilst others say it will be expensive. It’s relative. A double room will probably be around £100 per night, which is of course a lot cheaper than west end hotels or “boutique” hotels opening in the borough at at least £250 per night and offering package deals with helicopter rides including champagne breakfast. At least the guests of this hotel are unlikely to be disturbing the peace of people’s gardens.
At the other end of the scale £100 per night is actually quite a large sum for some people to spend. However all guests are likely to visit local restaurants and bars, as well as shops which will assist the local economy. There are no major eating or drinking facilities in the proposed hotel.
Major operators have shown great interest in the location and one supposes that their confidence is based on their experience in the industry over decades, rather than in an ill informed attempt to find reasons to suggest that a project will not benefit the local economy.
architecturerosemont> No doubt you will have noticed that the Wandsworth Guardian article is a short extract of the objection here:
Regrettably you keep on repeating, erroneously and in a manner designed to achieve “cheap” headlines, the incorrect assertion that a hotel will not bring benefits to local businesses or people.
It’s good that on the other hand that the same time you seem to be accepting the principle of a hotel and there are signs of growing support for that.
The withdrawl of the planning application for a hotel at the former garage at the top of East Hill has again accentuated the current shortfall in hotel provision in the borough, and near the junction in particular.
architecturerosemont> You must have noticed that the main discussion has always been on the size of the building and the compact area. But other concerns were expressed on the location and specific functions which question the hotel proposal itself too.
The applicants were aware from inception that the size of the building in this planning application would be an issue for discussion. That’s why we consulted widely from go and why we consulted to policy documents for the area. That’s also why the design went through a period of evolution.
Size and height of buildings is an issue with practically all planning applications wherever they are. Some countries take public consultation less seriously than the UK and one can debate the merits of centrist government and planning policy.
Where objectors make comment it’s of course their right as consultees to do so.However where to embellish their grounds of objection by exaggeration or embellishment objectors add misinformation, they should expect applicants to defend their proposals and to draw all the facts to the attention of the decision takers.
A planning application consists these days of a vast amount of documents and considerations. One of the considerations is use and it seems that there is at least emerging recognition of the need for a hotel at Clapham Junction, on this site.
architecturerosemont> there might be a need for a hotel (although the urgent need may be discussed) somewhere in Clapham Junction. Some might consider a close location to the station is appreciable. A few could argue that the proposed site is a good opportunity for developers. But all of that is highly conditional!