Author: Cyril Richert
The Draft New London Plan (read our article on Battersea, Putney And Wandsworth Society comments) is currently under review. It is noticeable that at least in one part, the London plan chose to focus specifically on Clapham Junction.
Proposed Policy H1 aims at increasing housing supply. It follows the dominate view of housing shortage and gives unrealistic targets for net housing completions within the next 10 years (and even acknowledged in the draft plan that London won’t be able to meet targets – read our article).
The policy specifies that London boroughs must include these targets (non achievable!) in their Development Plan documents. In order to do so, it provides strong directions for large development within 800m of transport hubs:
“boroughs should optimise the potential for housing delivery on all suitable and available brownfield sites through their Development Plans and planning decisions, especially the following sources of capacity:sites with existing or planned public transport access levels (PTALs) 3-6 or which are located within 800m of a Tube station, rail station or town centre boundary“
The London plans targets specifically Clapham Junction which is specifically named as an Opportunity Area.
“Clapham Junction is Europe’s busiest interchange station, and a designated Major town centre. The proposal for a Crossrail 2 station represents a unique opportunity to make more efficient use of land surrounding the station for residential and commercial development, including new offices. The station suffers from over-crowding at peak times, and requires significant investment to allow it to accommodate future growth in passenger numbers. The Planning Framework will need to fully explore and evaluate options for comprehensive over-station development, which would be reliant on a reconfiguration of the station layout. This will include the consideration of complex technical issues related to the operation of the railway and the integration with other transport infrastructure and services, including Crossrail 2. Careful
consideration will need to be given to the urban design and placemaking of the development and its integration into the existing streets and functions surrounding the station. It will be important to consider integration of any development with surrounding residential areas, and the Housing Zone.”
It states some of the major issues of the current station that we have raised numerous times for the past 9 years, such as “over-crowding”, “future growth in passenger numbers”, “complex technical issues”, “careful consideration will need to be given to the urban design”, “consider integration of any development with surrounding residential areas”.
However, we fear that it is also an open door for any sort of development that could provide the necessary funding to redevelop the station, disregarding the potential impact of the scheme (as seen in the Mayor’s decision for Homebase, Swandon Way).
The Battersea Society (in its submission to the London Plan consultation) makes a comment that we share:
“The inclusion of Clapham Junction as an opportunity area linked to Crossrail2 makes sense. However without any timescale and no justification for the proposed scale of employment and housing growth, the proposals in the draft plan are likely to act as further uncertainty in the area. The station needs urgent attention to deal with current safety and congestion issues, not to mention longer trains on mainline routes, heavier traffic on London Overground and the uncertainty about the timing and precise nature of Crossrail 2.
The weak reference at the end of para 2.1.26 to the need to integrate with the Housing Zone (and although not stated) the redevelopment of the Winstanley estate, renders this section defective in failing to provide any practical strategic framework for the Borough, for local business or for residents affected by the estate redevelopment.”