CJAG ignored in planning consultation

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>> Your chance to contribute: tell us what your think on Clapham Junction station redevelopment
Author: Cyril Richert
Decision for the planning application of a 8-storey hotel in Falcon Road will be made this Thursday, 24th June. However, in view of the planning report available on the Council’s website, we have decided to make a complaint to the members of the Planning Application Committee. I made all clickable links for relevant documents in this letter

Planning Application Committee

Planning Application 2010/1455 – Woburn House (155 Flacon Road SW11)

20th June 2010

Dear Councillors,
I read with interest, but also with surprise the report concerning the planning application 2010/1455 – Woburn House (Hotel)[1] that is on the agenda of your next meeting on the 24th June. In its current form, this report is not only formally ignoring the presentation made by the Clapham Junction Action Group, but also does not address its purpose.
The consultation refers to 5 objections, 1 support and 2 general comments and in addition make reference to named responses of CABE, English Heritage, Network Rail, Engineering Services, Economic Development Officer, Environmental Services, WCAAC, Battersea Society and Wandsworth Access Association.
On the Planning page of the council’s website[2] we count 5 individual objections, 1 support and 1 comment + 1 comment made by the CJAG but wrongly a) attributed to Richert[3], and b) put as an objection. In addition, none of the other presentations quoted in the officer’s report are listed, except CABE and NR saying that they do not have time to respond or no comment to make. The CJAG contribution does not appear formally in the report but its arguments are blended into a general category. This does not give any credit to the group which has written 4 articles on its website[4], including a report after meeting with the developer, and together with the presentation of a 4 page comment with images[5] to the consultation.
I wish to bring to your attention that this is the second time in a few months that the CJAG (an organisation which represents many local people) is specifically discriminated against. On May 25th 2010, the Putney Society wrote a formal complaint to the Chief Executive of Wandsworth Borough Council regarding the conduct of consultation concerning DMPD and SSAD Planning Documents[6]. It specifically stated that the Council ignored a set of submissions, especially a contribution from the Clapham Junction Action Group. Both those contributions have been made on behalf of the group after consultation, and should be treated as such.
Last but not least, the report produced by the planning officer, albeit echoing our contribution on the changes made by the developer in addressing past criticism, is simply ignoring our concerns regarding the parking issue, that even the developers acknowledged. In our submissions we however made some proposals that you should be discussing during your meeting, and consider in your decision the list of conditions subject to planning permission. For your attention, you might wish to read the full extend of our comment that I append to this letter.
Yours sincerely
Cyril Richert
Clapham Junction Action Group

PS: Regarding the size of the building, you will note the fact that the report says: “The scale of the development reflects emerging policy”. Eight storeys is the maximum allowed for the area in the Site Specific Allocation Document submitted to consultation in April. This is also the size for this application.
You will certainly appreciate the fact that the government inspector in charge of reviewing the Core Strategy commented in February 2010 that the danger of putting formal limits is that developers will always apply for that number.
You will also appreciate that a 21 storey towers in Osiers Estate was approved by the Committee on 7 January 2010, while the emerging policy is limiting the number to 18 storey, advocating that new documents are subject to modifications after the consultation phase and therefore cannot be used in current planning applications.
One way or the other, the Council should decide!

[1] Page 44 of the report for the 24th June meeting and extract attached.
[2] http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/apply/showCaseFile.do?appNumber=2010/1455
[3] It is noticeable that, although we did not sent anything for application 2010/1620 (residential beside hotel). The planning department took a copy of our website article and labelled it as Additional Information: New Hotel Falcon Road – round 2 – Clapham Junction Action Group [19 April 2010]
[4] A few comments on Woburn House proposal: http://cjag.org/2010/06/02/a-few-comments-on-woburn-house-proposal/
Hotel proposal for Falcon road: issues raised and responses from the developer: http://cjag.org/2010/05/18/hotel-proposal-for-falcon-road-issues-raised-and-responses-from-the-developer/
Meeting Report – Hotel Developer Tim Glass from Oak Trading Company Ltd: http://cjag.org/2010/05/12/meeting-report-%E2%80%93-hotel-developer-tim-glass-from-oak-trading-company-ltd/
New Hotel Falcon Road – round 2: http://cjag.org/2010/04/11/new-hotel-falcon-road-round-2/
[5] Attached to this letter
[6] Formal letter of complaint from the Putney Society – 25th May 2010. Attached. Contrary to the response made by the Borough Planner, we followed the process recommended as Martin Howell in charge said that presentations could be sent to him directly.

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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.