ISSUE: New planning row - close to Putney Garden Centre!

Some local residents, who fought Putney Garden Centre closure, fight new development battle over Egliston Lawns. The feelings are so high that a new pressure group The West Putney Conservation Group is currently being formed.

Meanwhile across the Upper Richmond Road residents are also outraged over a proposal for mobile phone transmitter.

Guy Monty and his colleagues speak out!

The wishes of residents of West Putney are likely to be squashed yet again by Wandsworth Council at a meeting of its Planning Committee Thursday night.

It appears that two controversial proposals, one involving the erection of a rooftop telecommunication equipment at Richmond Court on the Upper Richmond Road and the other involving a proposal for the erection of a new dwelling on the Landford Road Conservation area of Egliston Lawns, are due to be passed by the committee irrespective of residents' objections.

Residents opposing the erection of the telecommunication equipment have complained that the equipment could cause unknown health risks, particularly to children. The area has a number of nursery schools. In addition, there are concerns over the negative visual impact, its negative impact on house prices, increased traffic problems during the construction period as well as a detrimental effect on the Grade II listed Methodist church on the same road. The council has responded by noting that despite the "significant" number of objections by local residents and despite the fact that these concerns are "understandable", the planning consent would be given.

The case of Egliston Lawns is yet another case of backland development, which Wandsworth Council seems bent on approving, which directly contravenes the Council's own guidelines set out in the Citizen's Charter regarding developments in Conservation Areas. As in the case of Richmond Court, the planning department argues that the new development cannot be seen from the road by the general public, ignoring the fact that opponents to the schemes are themselves part of the general public.

Residents of surrounding houses in the leafy areas of West Putney have noted that according a consent to the application would severely compromise the standards and safeguards that were laid down in the 1990 ACT regarding inappropriate development in conservation areas, as well as the principles laid out in the borough Unitary Development Plan.

Local residents say that the planned new development would adversely affect traffic and security concerns because of the narrow access leading to the site. Egliston Road is used by young children and elderly people. The planning committee report on the question clearly notes that the existing access does "not meet the Council's standards" and yet adds that this does not justify a refusal.

In addition, two trees on the property are the subject of Tree Preservation Orders. In fact, in a letter written in April1998 concerning a previous application on the same site by the same owner, Councillor Edward Lister made reference to the tree and to the fact that he was personally very clear in his own mind that the planning application should be objected to on the following grounds: "policy H17 of the Council's Unitary Development Plan" which "states that backland development will only be permitted where it would be compatible in scale, design and form with adjoining property." He also said that "there must be very real question marks over the access arrangements" and that "there is a large mature poplar tree within the site which is probably going to be affected."

The Planning Committee report also acknowledges that MP Tony Colman would be disappointed to see another development despite strong objections from local residents.

The two cases, due to be reviewed at the Town Hall Thursday night, come on the heels of the council approving the sale of Putney Garden Centre to a developer despite strong objections from residents. The questions arising from such approvals do not only involve those regarding the standards that the council applies when agreeing to new developments, but, more importantly, to the fact that the council has persistently ignored local residents' wishes and needs when agreeing to new developments that are not only seen as detrimental to the character of the area, but also as raising new concerns about health and safety, particularly for children.

Guy Monty

Local residents comment on the Orange Transmitter

13.02.02 - Council meeting delays Orange decision

13.02.02 - Council request further technical reports for Egliston Lawns



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