Author: Cyril Richert
The Architect’s Journal exclusively revealed yesterday that AHMM has been appointed by Metro Shopping Fund (MSF) to work on the multi-million redevelopment of Clapham Junction station.
The AJ wrote:
“The five practices shortlisted by site owner Metro Shopping Fund to look at resurrecting the large scale regeneration project back in May.
The appointment by the Land Securities and Delancey-owned joint venture comes more than three years after it was forced to withdraw a controversial £400 million twin towers scheme designed by ColladoCollins for the 3.36 hectare site.
The project, featuring two 42-storey skyscrapers, 556 residential units and 20,557m² of retail, commercial and community floor space, met local opposition and was abandoned after Wandsworth Council planners recommended refusal.
Opened in 1838, Clapham Junction is the busiest rail interchange in Europe, with 2,000 trains passing through daily.
The Metro Shopping Fund development plot covers a large area of land to the south of the station redeveloped in the late 1970s with a mall, booking hall, car park and offices.“
The company has beaten Hawkins\Brown (the architect who designed the controversial Peabody’s redevelopment), BDP, Terry Farrell and Wilkinson Eyre to win the high-profile feasibility study job.
The Clapham Junction Action Group already received the previous information about the resurrection of the multi-million pound redevelopment project thanks to the Architect’s Journal. At first we thought that the appointment of several architects in a competition type project could be a good idea. However at no point we were contacted or received any information from the developer or the Council. We are not aware of the chosen scheme nor of any of the other proposals that were not selected.
As we wrote in a previous article, MSF should be well aware of our view as we published a full study with ideas and proposals on this website last year. And they should also remember the overwhelming reaction caused by their previous proposal and the way it ended.
On the Council side, as usual the decision will be taken behind closed doors and we won’t be invited to any discussion. Wandsworth Council, and particularly some members of the planning application committee, have already given an indication on the consideration they give to hundreds of arguments and letters of objections from local residents: none! Cllr John Hallmark wrote to CJAG’s supporters: “Councillors are elected to make decisions for the whole Borough of 303,000 people – not just 300 or so objectors. It is your right not to support us at the ballot box in the 2014 local elections“.
So as more than 300 local individual letters of objection are worth nothing in the borough of Wandsworth, how does consultation work? Is there any need for consultation? Please feel free to leave your views in comments.