Ram Brewery: towers refused by government

1 min read

>> Your chance to contribute: tell us what your think on Clapham Junction station redevelopment
Author: Cyril Richert
We have just received the decision of the Secretary of State regarding the Ram Brewery redevelopment plan Inquiry.
I will just copy below the main decision regarding the scheme with skyscrapers and will develop some analysis later (as soon as I have time this weekend).

Application A:
erection of 8 new buildings comprised of 2 towers at the northern end of the Ram Brewery site up to 32 and 42 storeys in height with retained listed stable block and new 3-storey building fronting Armoury Way; 2-9 storey buildings consisting of 4 residential blocks above first/second floor level… etc
The Inspector recommended that Application A should be refused. For the reasons given below, the Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions, and agrees with his recommendation.

Link to the report of the inspector
Link to the decision of the Secretary of State

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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. The credit for this decision goes to all of the members of the Wandsworth community who campaigned and contributed to the Public Inquiry, and first among equals must surely be then Battersea Labour MP Martin Linton, alongside the indomitable triumvirate from the Wandsworth Society. They showed communities everywhere how concerted local resistance can be brought to bear to protect the places that we value. Great news!

  2. Fantastic News. Great to know that hours one spends being bored by lawyers justifying the unjustifyable have not been wasted. And thank you Cyril for all the work you have done keeping us up to date.

  3. Julia>In the thank you list we must thank all people who reported on the CJAG, including yourself, with an additional thank for the time you spend in correcting the evidence for the CJAG.

  4. Excellent news! Reiterated thanks to former Labour MP Martin Linton for his tireless efforts, and to the Tonsley Residents Association whose representatives put in most credible and effective evidence to the Public Enquiry.

  5. One had anticipated this result in the light of changing views over the acceptability or otherwise of very tall buildings. No doubt those that objected to the application and persisted through the call in and the subsequent inquiry will be pleased and feel vindicated.
    That is however to take a very negative view of the process of over twenty years (yes really!) which in regard to the Young’s site, the riverside walk, better river connections, the diversion of the south circular etc has now apparently made no progess. A wait of another ten years is very possibly on the cards.
    Real progess on partnership working had been made up to about ten years ago, but the period since has seen a huge backwards move brought about by retrenchment and individual agendas. Result- impasse.
    Without wishing to be over repetitive it’s my view that no real progess will be made until some “common purpose” is exposed, and followed.
    The council’s own position on this and other major intiatives must be questioned, and local groups are just as much to blame before they get too self satisfied. Too many major opportunities are falling by the wayside, and the word is getting round just when there is so much intensive competion for funds.
    Youngs, East Putney, Roehampton, Clapham Junction etc etc- one is talking of many millions of investment, many jobs, huge council taxes etc etc all lost. However no doubt somebody at the Council will issue a press release extolling the Council’s role in rejection of the scheme.
    A huge and inclusive improvement in community effort is needed.
    Local groups should not crow, nor should an ex MP voted out for the general and woeful ineffictiveness of his party and the last government. What major investments in Wandsworth did Linton ever foster? Answers on a very small postcard please! Spent lots of time on Palestine though.
    It’s sad to say but the outlook is not good, unless…………

  6. Local groups deserve to crow – much more than they do. And just to be factually accurate, it is explicitly clear from Comment 1 and Comment 4 that the former MP has not said anything, let alone crowed – it is others who have praised his input and related successful outcomes.

  7. It really is very difficult to get a point across to you. Some in the community had been working together for twenty years or more to make Wandsworth Town Centre a better place. Some progress was made then it all came to a grinding halt (not long after Labour came to power- maybe the two are related). Major aspirations, like the redevelopment of the Brewery, the riverside walk, closure of the High St to the South Circular etc were the dreams that a wide variety of people and organisations were working towards. However (like CJ station) that has all now gone on the very back burner.
    I was involved daily at a senior level with the Town Centre over a ten year period and the usual absence of Mr Linton and the Labour Opposition was one constant that one could more or less rely on. Perhaps if they had got more involved THEN things would have been different. Fence sitting and negativity are not desireable attributes.
    My point is that much time, money and goodwill has been lost, when it need not have been. The prospect now is either a new scheme, or maybe, like CJ, they will just pull out. Local residents and others are entitled to a better town centre, but who is going to provide it for them? It certainly won’t be the ex MP or the minority party. There needs to be a serious investor who has sufficient confidence to believe that a scheme can be delivered. That may be difficult.
    Please don’t assume that I personally supported the 42 storey scheme. There is precedent for some 22 storey buildings in the area, and that needs to be seen in the context of all the site constraints.

  8. Wandsworth Town has shown significant positive development and growth over the past 10 years. We must all keep our fingers crossed and that all these advances and achievements will not regress now that the political representation has changed. Perhaps the current MP will at least start to become visible and active and not simply be swayed in the way that local Councillors have been – though no doubt the precedent commentator has direct / inside information on all that.

  9. New Consultation: Ram Brewery
    9.30am – 12.30pm Saturday 19th November 2011
    Ram Street (at the brewery)

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