Author: Cyril Richert
This analysis intends to complement the very poor attention given to the site allocation sections in the draft local plan proposed by the Council. For a full information, read our presentation with the list of site allocations that we are describing.
CJ2 Clapham Junction Station Approach, SW11
No noticeable change on this section in comparison to what was written in the previous plan in 2016. Some work has recently been encouraged to redevelop the whole station, including decking on part of the tracks and high buildings on top. The scale of the redevelopment could be larger than recent developments on London Bridge, and the Battersea Society believes that “Government support for such a development is uncertain“.
However, the lack of near future development should not detract the Council to promote immediate improvements for the area, especially work on Falcon Bridge.
The Battersea Society note:
“The tunnel under (sic) Falcon Road is expected to be made more pedestrian friendly. This is mentioned again under CJ2 and CJ3; but nowhere in the Plan is it stated how this is to be achieved.”
Nobody likes the Falcon Road railway bridge. Dark, dirty, loud and always mysteriously wet, the prospect of running the gauntlet of drips from the leaky bridge structure (or – worse – from the many resident pigeons) discourages non-residents from venturing up the Falcon Road. But like it or not, it’s unavoidable lowlight for those of us who live north of the railway.
This isn’t good for Clapham Junction. There’s long been a north/south divide in Battersea, with a ‘north’ dominated by towers and estate layouts, and a ‘south’ filled with a sea of Victorian terraces – and performing better on just about any socioeconomic indicator. Having little more than this lugubrious underpass linking the two worlds only reinforces and entrenches this split.
The grim and faintly menacing nature of Falcon Bridge also limits the trade for the businesses on the Falcon Road – which don’t see much benefit from being so close to St John’s Road and the otherwise successful wider shopping district.
Therefore, it should be a primarily concern for Wandsworth Council (through CIL funding maybe?) rather that waiting private developers to use this opportunity to balance otherwise undesired proposals.
It is worth mentioning that a concept proposal was published in 2019 for the full redevelopment of Clapham Junction station and wider area. The plans were developed by consultants Mott MacDonald, contractor Laing O’Rourke and architect Hawkins Brown, and is at this early stage more of a concept of how things could look, rather than the final masterplan of what will be built, according to the well informed ianVisits blog.
According to their own statement, their aim is “to encourage in depth debate with other industry experts and stakeholders on how to translate enthusiasm for oversite development into deliverable plans.”
The most important element is the careful approach to tall building on this site (mostly preventing) and the idea of erecting a deck above the tracks with buildings above.
Their plan include a public square at the current location of the PCS building and station car-park. However, in the current context, any change is unlikely in the foreseeable future.