As usual when I attend the Clapham Junction Town Centre Partnership (business associations) meeting, I give a quick feedback on some specific points that were discussed.
Most of the meeting was focused on the progress of the Business Improvement District for Clapham Junction.
Local Plan: Senior planner Sarah Dixey gave an updated on Wandsworth Local Plan review. The initial stage (until this October) is to review the current policies in respect to all London and National planning rules and guidelines. They are particularly concentrating on Town Centre resilience and the expectation to develop high density developments in order to achieve more housing. Following a question of the Battersea Society regarding the review of Town Centre boundaries, it was responded that it was “too early for that” item.
Sarah Dixey is welcoming contributions and contacts at sdixey@wandsworth. gov.uk.
- 3rd December 2018: Consultation stage (8 weeks = 6 + 2 extension due to the Christmas period).
- Spring 2019: options presented at Council meeting.
Clapham Junction BID development: The Town Centre Partnership has decided to move towards the structure of a Business Improvement District (business lead organisation funded by businesses) – see article HERE. Lorinda Freint, Town Centre manager, reminded first that in the present situation, the boundaries of the BID should be: Lavender Hill up to the Battersea Art Centre + St John’s Road + Northcote Road up to the end + St John’s Hill + Falcon Road up to the bridge (with the question to exclude or include Lidl). There is no decision currently regarding Battersea Rise and all businesses but 4 in Webbs Road refuse to be part of the BID (and affiliation could be considered for those 4). As previously, the biggest question remains in ASDA’s position.
The following decisions have been agreed:
- Levy rate: 1.5% (UK average is 1.4%; Wandsworth Town decided a levy at 1.25% and Richmond went for 1.5% with a bigger threshold at £35,000 where businesses re exempted).
- Threshold: £17,000 (it seems to be the level where the levy amount/number of businesses included does not decline too sharply).
- Length of BID: 5 years.
- Exemptions: no exemptions for empty units.
- Shopping centre discount: it was decided to not give any discount for shopping centre who also pay for cleansing. However it was said that it might be a motive of rejection for the 19 tenants of Shopstop). For Charity businesses, it was decided to follow Council’s policy (80% where applicable).
The ballot is planned for January 2019.
- The Northcote Road festival on Sunday 1st of July was the best organised event with 270 stales and more than 10,000 people attended. No incident were recorded. The cost of the event (security, stewards, …50 staff + parking suspension and screen £3.5k) was £35,000.
- St John’s Hill festival will be organised on Sunday 9th September. It will be located on one side of the road, with a Kids zone in Brussels Road.
- Battersea Art Centre‘s Grand Hall will reopen at the end of August, with a co-worker space available at the BAC.
- Battersea Power Station town centre is raising but is unlikely to be ready as a definitive town centre within the next 10 years.
- Pavements are in a shameful state, as everyone noticed (the absence of rain is to be blamed says the Council). Cleaning started from July 19th.