Please see below for my response to the recent planning appplication 2017/4141 Atheldene Road and Garratt Lane Regeneration. The application is due to be reviewed by the Council’s Planning Applications Committee in November.
I am submitting this response in my capacity as a local ward councillor (Earlsfield). It is informed by feedback from residents from Atheldene, Farlton, Oakshaw and Wilna Roads, as well as the planning report submitted by the GLA (D&P/4152/02).
I have previously provided feedback as part of the pre-consultation phase and met with the developers directly to share residents concerns.
Overall I support the proposed development in principle. The area is in need of regeneration and could benefit greatly from new health facilities, retail facilities and much needed housing.
However, I cannot support the current plans for the following reasons:
– The affordable housing offer is substantially lower than the requirements set out in the London Plan. As the site includes public land, the proposal should deliver at least 50% affordable housing, compared to the current offer of 20%. Furthermore, the current affordable offer does not meet the recommended tenure split, which should include 30% low cost rent and 30% London living rent or shared ownership.
– The proposed plans do not meet all of the stated aims in the original brief for the regeneration, specifically, to “repair Atheldene Road as a coherent residential street, echoing the traditional terraced housing typical of the area.” The current designs show little sympathy to the existing housing on Atheldene road, both in terms of design features and in terms of height. The proposed buildings on Atheldene road will be twice the height of the existing housing, and also taller than the recently built Floreat School, which was required to maintain height equal to neighbouring buildings. The brickwork, balconies, square windows and copper surrounds do not echo the traditional Victorian housing of the area.
– Impact on the public realm. The current plans offers little to residents in the form of new public spaces. The proposed play areas will be closed to existing residents. Residents will lose the current pedestrian and cycle access to Swaffield road. Thirty one trees will be removed, including mature cherry and plane trees. Ninety per cent of proposed new tree planting will be in private gardens. Overall, it seems that public space will be diminished, with the development being more reflective of a house building programme than a Regeneration initiative.
I therefore request that the scheme be referred back to the applicants to address the issues outlined above, including consideration of the following:
– Explore opportunities to retain overall housing density by having additional storeys to the residential building on Garratt Lane, and removing the additional storey that was added to the blocks on Atheldene and Oakshaw roads at the pre-application stage.
– Revisit parking and traffic management so that vehicular access is not solely via Atheldene and Farlton Roads;
– Revisit the tree plan to maximise ways to retain existing mature trees as far as possible and include more tree planting in public spaces, including on Garratt Lane
– New paving to be introduced, particularly along Garratt Lane south of the Floreat School.
– Change the choice of bricks to be more aligned to existing housing stock.