About CJ Insider
CJ Insider (Clapham Junction Insider – CJI) has been publishing hundreds of pieces of information on its community website for the past 14 years.
We go to Council meetings, we read the documents, puts in Freedom of Information requests, and talk to people… the many things that established local press used to do but due to staff shortage and other economical reasons, don’t do anymore.
The bulk of CJI concerns Clapham Junction, Battersea and globally Wandsworth borough. However, we may also write about London in general or publish international news when they relate to the local context.
Historically, this was a simple blog to publish about the Clapham Junction Action Group (CJAG) campaigns, focusing a lot on planning matters (one of the main impact on local community that could have brutal consequences!).
For the last few years, it has fully evolved into a local democracy reporting magazine, still looking at planning but also politics, transport, infrastructure and more.
Most stories are written by co-founder and editor Cyril Richert.
We are only founded by our readers. Thanks to the helps of our supporters, we have been able to provide information and analysis on topics that would be often unreported otherwise, debunk some PR exercise and help local communities. If you want to contribute, you can visite our Donate page. We have setup Paypal for one-off contributions, or Patreon for regular contributions.
What is the Clapham Junction Action Group
The Clapham Junction Action Group (CJAG) has been a well-established (informal) community group set up in 2008 with a strong interest in the future of the Clapham Junction area and Wandsworth borough in general.
CJAG formed spontaneously in response to the threat of proposed skyscrapers (two 42-storey towers) for the station in 2008-09. Thanks to the responses of the local community when they were made aware of the need to protest, CJAG succeeded in stopping that development as well as a proposed 16 storey hotel nearby. Our concerns at the time were instrumental in the ultimate demise of the proposal and demonstrate our effectiveness and commitment.
Since then, CJAG has been providing expertise in planning regulation and community involvement. The community group was a regular participant of Council meetings, local plan reviews and related activities of the Council on planning and housing matters. CJAG was involved in multiple Planning Inspector hearings, local and national consultations.
As coordinator of the group, Cyril Richert has a track record of publication of Planning & Housing news, including occasional publishing in newspapers (such as The Architects’ Journal, local newspaper or web news). This includes proposals to reform planning decision and improve community participation.
How can you get involved with CJ Local News?
Please use the Contact Form on this page and ask to join our list of supporters. We will send you regular updates of meetings and leaflet drops, and keep you informed of developments in major planning applications, transport issues, environment and education maters (so far 1 or 2 emails every quarter… you won’t be submerged).
We need volunteers to write articles for the website and to help with leafleting.
We want to properly inform local residents of changes in the neighbourhood and to ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening.
CJAG was founded by Cyril Richert and Kate Williams in November 2008.
Cyril Richert is an IT specialist in banking and Internet solutions. He has lived in Mossbury Road for 20 years and chose to settle in Clapham Junction due to the mix of great transport facilities and “village” atmosphere, with the proximity of the Common and the presence of some great local shops and activities in the vicinity. He is convinced that addressing the need of the community with skyscrapers, and transforming Wandsworth into Canary Wharf, shouldn’t be the chosen way to fund necessary developments.
Nowadays, Cyril Richert is the main editor for CJAG News, dedicating a lot of his time to cover local news, participate to consultations and analyse Council procedures and official papers.
Kate Williams is a dual qualified as a solicitor and barrister, and has 20 years’ experience negotiating contracts and specialising in construction law and disputes. She lived in Clapham Junction area for 10 years and is now based in the UAE. As a single mum with a daughter at school in Battersea, she was seen struggling through the Junction each morning, four year old in tow. Kate was horrified by the prospect of the twin towers looming over her flat and thought that the area needed more affordable housing for families, not more starter flats for execs. “The proposed transport improvements are a con”, she says. “What most people don’t realise is that the majority of the improvements, including lifts and platform straightening, will be carried out by Network Rail. All the developers will be doing is booting the entrance back up St John’s Hill and creating a shopping centre around it.”
Thanks so much for such public-spirited action on this subject. Regarding ideas for the re-development of Clapham Junction station, I agree with Pat Johnson that the most important
improvement would be the enlarging the width of the tunnel, increasing the number of turnstiles,
and opening out the station entrances and the passageways into the station. As a daily commuter, I approach and leave the station with dread at the overcrowding and do worry what would happen in the event of a crisis such as a bomb or fire. I also believe that escalators and better access to platforms for the disabled is important, as I see people struggling with luggage and prams up and down the stairs every day, and I am unable to take my mother, (who is in a wheelchair) into London which is a great shame.
Given that the site of the station is so large, I could see a two-storey development on top of the station if this were feasible from an engineering perspective, providing a department store (John Lewis please), shops, restaurants and maybe even a cinema complex for local residents. I don’t feel strongly as to whether or not it should look modern or traditional (there would be a more compelling case for a traditional low-rise development on Northcote Road which has more of a village atmosphere), but surely it is possible for modern developments not to look ugly these days? Look at the King’s Road development near Sloane Square which has been developed most sympathetically to the area in my view, and is a pleasure to visit. This would also protect commuters from the elements during the winter (most welcome).
I entirely agree with your points. Grey field (building over railway junctions/sidings) is the way to go to use for residential and commercial spaces not at the cost to public open spaces. Take Willesden Junction for instance, upwards of 100 acres, prime building space. Housing for 15,000 families, not people, families. Instead of HS2, if the government wish to borrow to invest, borrow for this and similar schemes including Clapham Junction.
As a local to Clapham Junction I would like to know will you be marking next years 150 Anniversary of the opening of the station?
South west trains and local MP don’t seam to care!
That is a very good point! To be honest we have not thought about it but we will… in the meantime (and that might be the bright/sad celebration, Delancey should reveal its new plan for the shopping centre/station redevelopment next year).
Please would you advise me as to when you will inform members on your website about the upcoming 150th Birthday of Clapham Junction Station?
2nd March 2013 is the big day!
As I said before the council isn’t bothered nor is our fantastic MP, Jane Ellison.
I hope you will be!?
I think the first thing should be to get in touch with the station managers, i.e. South West Trains and raise the subject. WBC should be involved too through probably the Strategic Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee ; John Locker is the Chair and could be contacted directly.
Then of course an article on CJAG.org would be nice and eventually we can all wrap it up into a special newsletter in February.
Maybe we can meet and discuss about this soon? Do get in touch by email to arrange something if you can.
I have done mostly everything you advised above back in November last year. As to the others I feel if they are not bothered about it why should I help them? Thanks for your support as to regards my local MP, to be honest I would be happy for her not to be there! As she has no interest in the station. Hope your not a fan of Jane Ellison? otherwise Oh dear, lol.
I have also contacted cllr Belton- he does seam interested and Yes, it may be possible to meet sometime. I am talking to The Project Orange opposite the station about marking the Birthday, and they seam interested in having a 1863 Victorian night.
I am also seeing if Wandsworh History Library department may be able to put up some photos of the station over the years. Also if you could talk to the local papers about having a group photograph in front of the new station exit. I think if the staff could be dressed in Victorian Railway uniforms for the photo and for it to be taken in b&w as well as colour. A big brass band playing in the new exit on St.John’s Hill.
Let me know if you like my ideas?
This is a fantastic and well written site, that I’ve just been made aware of. I am considering standing for election as a councillor in the Latchmere ward in 2018 but have yet to decide which political party to approach for backing, since the reality is that if I stand as an Independent I won’t get much done for those who have elected me. I’m highly disenfranchised by the poor Labour activity in the ward, and I am not a natural Tory. It’s a dilemma.
Your blog is excellent – I commend you for it.
Sean – The Falcons Estate, since 2005.
You should look at 2 (excellent) blogs on Latchmere ward:
Tooting is not quite in your zone but I’d appreciate any advice/support you can give us in opposing the current proposal to develop the site of former constitutional club 111-113 Tooting high st. There seems to be much in the NPPF and local plan to reject this plan but what is on paper and what is realized is not always the same…. We have support of local councillors.
We will try to have a look, but i can’t promise anything before January and next meeting.
In the meantime you could contact your Councillors who will advise you on things to do. Obviously objecting to the planning is one thing if you disagree with it.
I have received the following by e-mail which is a tad confusing and I was advised to ask you if you could give me a steer in terms of the response. I am a member of CJAG Battersea Society and BRAG and it was a member of BRAG who advised me to ask you. For my part I am not in favour of the tall buildings and overcrowding and the fact that Wandsworth Council seem to give planning permission to anything these days so long as the CIL is right. Anyway, just my views and if ou could advise me on a response that would be appreciated.
On Monday, 28 September 2015, 15:34, PlanningPolicy wrote:
Following the close of the public hearing sessions which form part of the Examination of the Council’s Local Plan documents, the Council is undertaking consultation on its Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications. These include all the main modifications which the Council has proposed during the Examination process, including those required to address issues identified at the Examination Hearing Sessions and referred to in the Inspector’s letter of 31 July 2015.
These main modifications are proposed in order to make the Council’s Local Plan documents ‘sound’ and are published for a six week public consultation period between Friday 18 September and Friday 30 October 2015. All the representations received on the main modifications during this period will be forwarded to the Inspector for his consideration.
A schedule of Additional Modifications which the Council is intending to make has also been prepared. These minor modifications relate to factual updates and corrections to wording, etc. The Inspector will not consider the additional modifications and therefore they do not form part of this consultation.
All representations on the Main Modifications should, if possible, be completed on a representation form. Representations can only relate to the Main Modifications and not to other parts of the local plan documents or to the additional modifications.
All representations must be received by 5pm on Friday 30 October 2015.
The following documents are available on the Council’s website http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/localplanexam:
•Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications
•Schedule of Proposed Additional Modifications (for information only)
•Sustainability Appraisal of the Proposed Main Modifications (Incorporating Equalities Impact Assessment & Habitats Regulations Assessment)
Copies of the schedules and representation forms are also available at Balham, Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth Town libraries (see http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/libraries for opening hours) and at:
Planning and Development Division Reception, 2 Adelaide Road, SW18 1DA
(Opening hours: 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday-Friday.)
Representations must be made by Friday 30 October 2015 (no later than 5pm).
by email to email@example.com
or in writing to:
Housing and Community Services
Wandsworth High Street
London, SW18 2PU
Representation forms can be downloaded from the Council’s website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All responses will be made public following the close of the consultation.
Group Planner – Policy and Information
Wandsworth planning department is already suggesting changes following the hearing, although the inspector said that he has not yet reached any conclusion. You are nevertheless invited to comment on the proposed changes.
CJAG will be submitting also comments, but you can find already our first reaction in an article I’ve published here: http://cjag.org/2015/09/21/wandsworth-policy-document-on-sites-is-ineffective-says-government-inspector/
Many thanks that is helpful, I will wait to see CJAG comments and probably write to say that I am in support of your comments, if you could let me know the comments and when you send them then that would be helpful, thanks for your help, Ray
I live in Wandsworth Malwood Road, off Clapham South. We (the neighbours) are having major issues with a local pub, The Avalon on Balham Hill and are extremely disappointed on how the council has handled the matter.
Would it be possible to discuss the matter with someone from within the action group?
Thank you for your help
Hi, Your articles are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you.
I am trying to find out the number of ‘affordable’ and private (unaffordable) apartments being built per new development in Wandsworth.
I have started compiling statistics of the developments I have seen for shared ownership but wondered if there were any central publicly available statistics? I am keen to get involved in pressuring the council to enforce their own targets on social housing and stop pandering to developers.
I am afraid there is probably no centralised data. The same way as we are doing so often in those cases, I think you will rely on compiling your own data after digging out into the planning portal inside old planning applications.
Myself and a colleague are currently writing a book on how London is being reimagined by developers often with the support of local councils and with the wishes and needs of local people usually being ignored.
I am trying to get an update of where the Winstanley and York Road council estates are at in terms of the ‘regeneration’ plans.
We would be really grateful if you could give us an update and/or contact so we could meet up and discuss.
Dr Roger Green
Visiting Research Fellow, Goldsmiths.
Ah, you are stealing my idea! 😉
As Wandsworth Council has passed to Labour since last May’s elections, many things are still uncertain. Some people are in the opinion that Labour made their mind up a while ago as a fait-accompli and a Tory legacy that they would have to go with. However, it is still far from certain that everything will happen as planned as we’ve seen already many complications, delays and changes for only phase 1.
Happy to discuss more and meet if you want to use the contact box and leave your details.
…and sorry for the late response… all message warning are currently directed to the spams so we missed this important one.