Too Big! Council Rejects British Land High Street Application

56-70 Putney High Street would impact on air quality due to canyon effect


Application Submitted for Major Putney High Street Development

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Plans for 56-70 Putney High Street were rejected at this week's Wandsworth Council Planning Applications Committee.

How Putney high street site looks now
56-70 Putney High Street

The members of the Planning Applications Committee of the Wandsworth Borough Council found a series of faults with what they felt would be an over-developed site. In particular they concluded what was proposed would be out of keeping with the existing High Street in terms of its height and sheer bulk – coupled with effects on air quality by adding to the "canyon" effect, an inadequate public space, concerns over low amounts of affordable housing, and impacts on existing nearby residences in terms of light.

Speaking on behalf of the supporters of Better Putney, Keith Hawkins paid thanks for the support of so many residents, businesses and the Putney Society for the objections submitted and help: “Thank you to everyone who made objections, fed in thoughts on what we should say - or generally gave their time, advice and encouragement. This sort of win doesn’t happen very often. The plans have been discredited – and whilst British Land could appeal – we hope they focus their efforts on engaging with the community to develop a better plan that thinks more about Putney, not maximising profit”.

Amended proposal seen from Putney High Street
And from Fesham Rd looking down Walkers Place

The Planning approvals meeting saw a presentation by the Council's Planning Officers, seeking approval – and then Councillor Jim Maddan spoke on behalf of local residents - putting the key objections across and seeking rejection. Mike Ryder and Rosemary Torrington as the other two Thamesfield Councillors (where the site sits) had made their concerns known ahead of the meeting – and all those on the P.A.C. from both Labour and Conservative then took turns to raise a wide variety of issues.

In the end, the unanimous rejection seemed to be down to the sheer scale (exacerbated by an unsympathetic design) plus concerns on the air quality, uncertainty on affordable housing, high numbers of flats with “single aspect” design, the small size of the public square, the loss of Eddie Catz, even more Putney office space disappearing - plus traffic concerns for delivery vehicles and queuing trucks sitting next to the public square.

Keith Hawkins added: “Now that the Better Putney group is established, we are ready to work with everyone to push for better thinking and joined-up long term plans for Putney”.

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July 17, 2015