Benefits outweigh harms to justify 26 storey tower

1 min read

Author: Cyril Richert

GarattLane_TowerFollowing our article on the redevelopment of Garatt Lane (South Thames College), including a 26 storey tower, Wandsworth Council has approved the proposal (no surprise, as this is the Council’s own application).

The scheme is described as the demolition of existing buildings and erection of four new buildings ranging in height from 4 to 26 storeys to provide 202 residential units.

You will notice that this is in contradiction to the Council’s planning policies.

The Site Specific Allocations Document (Feb. 2012) states (page 80):

Tall buildings: In accordance with the Stage 2 Urban Design Study – Tall Buildings, the site is sensitive to tall buildings […] Para 2.8 of the S2UDS refers to both the offices in Garratt Lane and Welbeck House as “less successful” and some reduction of existing storey heights will be sought, in part, on both sites. This is to ensure a better relationship to adjoining listed buildings and to enhance the appearance of the Wandsworth Town Conservation Area

As this is now the rule in the Council, those planning documents have been ignored and the officer’s report says:

“26.4 Block B is fully acknowledged to be a tall addition to the Town Centre but the harm that it would cause is considered to be less than substantial in terms of the tests set by the NPPF and outweighed by public benefits. The tall building elements of the development have assessed against policy DMH4 and on balance satisfy the criteria and therefore considered compliant with policies DMH4 and IS3.

26.6 There are a number of listed buildings located near the site; […] where harm may be caused, the benefits to the public are considered to outweigh those harms.

26.7 The site is located within a conservation area. […] on balance the positive aspects of the development are considered to outweigh other aspects of the scheme and overall the proposed is viewed favourably. “

Indeed, with the Council’s catchwords “on balance…” and “where harm may be caused, the benefits to the public are considered to outweigh those harms” everything is now acceptable!

Did you like reading this article? Help us writing more!

CJAG website has been publishing local news for more than 14 years and remains committed to providing local community information and public interest journalism.

We aim to feature as much as possible on community campaigns and initiatives, local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents and helping residents.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

Until recently, all stories, analysis and reports published have been made with the great help of many volunteers. However, at the end of the day it cost time and efforts and we are frustrated that we cannot do more: there are many subjects that we would like to cover but we need financial resources to help us providing regular information.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

2 ways of supporting our project

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more? We have set up two ways of supporting our project:

  1. Paypal: For one-off contributions, you can just use your bank card. However if you wish to encourage and support us regularly with a small amount, you will need a Paypal account to set up a monthly subscription. Click here to donate.
  2. Patreon: this is a well-known membership platform that connects content creators with supporters. Mainly, it offers financial tools that let supporters subscribe to projects that give creators a predictable income stream as they continue to create content. Click here to subscribe and support us regularly.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

CJAG News 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.