Rough Sleeper Hub: The council communicates with a FAQ leaflet

2 mins read
Location for the Rough Sleeper Hub proposal - Credit: Google Street View

At the beginning of the year, the future of the rough sleeper hub planned for Lavender Hill appeared uncertain, with the planning department lacking information on the application’s status. However, the Council has recently distributed a leaflet containing a series of FAQs to address residents’ concerns, indicating a willingness to proceed.

Although an initial date of 18th January 2024 was set for the Rough Sleeper Hub application to be considered by the Planning Application Committee, planning officers informed CJI that the plan was on hold, awaiting a decision from the housing department.

It appears that progress is being made, as 1600 leaflets were distributed in late February within the Lavender Hill neighborhood (you can download it HERE).

It all began at the end of September when an application for the Rough Sleeper Hub on Lavender Hill surfaced on the Wandsworth Planning Portal (no-one noticed until the ever vigilent website posted an article here). The proposal outlined internal redevelopment and a change of use for a hub designed to accommodate up to 11 residents, featuring various facilities (reception area, staff offices, meeting room, tea/coffee counter, and kitchen).

However, the housing department which was in charge of the application did submit so little details initially that not only Wandsworth planning department responded that further information was needed, but it spiraled into growing concerns within the community, resulting in over 500 objections in just a few weeks.

Residents expressed concerns about accommodating residents with complex needs in a location already populated with children and facing its own unique challenges.

The new leaflet aims to address some of the concerns expressed by local residents in numerous objections and during a public meeting organized by the Council in December.

The leaflet is nothing more than a glossy and colourful presentation of the FAQ papers that were distributed during the public meeting organised on the 6th of December.

The only additional information that was not already displayed in the FAQ papers in December is the last QA, which commits to an idea of a dedicated community engagement lead in the facility which was expressed during the December event.

During that event, approximately 100 people attended, providing an opportunity for the Council to exchange and explain their intentions to the public.

Public Meeting organised at the Battersea Art Centre – Credit: & CJI

Following the meeting, Councillor Aydin Dikerdem, Wandsworth Cabinet’s lead for Housing, said:

“One of the best ideas that came out of the meeting was that if the planning application succeeds, we have a local residents liaison group to monitor how things go and have regular meetings with staff to feedback and make sure everything is going smoothly.”

The leaflet elaborates:

“At the public consultation event on 6th December 2023, the council made a commitment to set up a ‘Local Resident’s Forum’ for the Hub, if the application is successful.

This will present local residents and business owners with the opportunity to have their voices heard and for staff responsible for the running of the Hub to directly respond to many concerns that may arise throughout the project lifespan. Contact details for the Hub manager and a 24/7 ‘hotline’ would also serve as a way for the community to communicate with Hub staff outside of the forum.”

Additionally, the council’s spokesperson explained that, in response to concerns regarding the adjacent nursery operations, staff will now be present on site both before and after the nursery opens and closes, which has been included in the proposal.

Comments are now expected from local residents, businesses and stakeholders to assist the housing department in finalising the proposal. Once comments have been received, which could take more than a month, the proposal may be amended to incorporate some suggestions and changes.

However, they do not intend to withdraw the application to resubmit a fresh one with the revised proposal. Instead, they plan to amend the current planning application with further information and documents. Therefore, further updates should appear at some point on the portal’s page for application 2023/3434.

Following the submission of the revised plans, the Council intends to organise another consultation.

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more?

Your help means we can spend more time researching stories, talking to contacts, sitting through meetings and writing stories. Any money given will support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in area of Clapham Junction. Battersea, Wandsworth and around.

Support us, help us to expand: subscribe to CJI with a monthly donation


Monthly amount needed to make it sustainable:

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.

CJI 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.