Boris 'Set to Overrule' Rejection of High Street Development

Campaigner believes Mayor has 'called' in scheme to give it the green light


Boris Johnson's Letter to Wandsworth Planning Officer

Too Big! Council Rejects British Land High Street Application

Application Submitted for Major Putney High Street Development

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Boris Johnson has written to the planning officer overseeing the application for a major development on Putney High Street informing her that he intends to make the decision on the matter himself.

John Horrocks, the former chair and current Open Spaces Panel Convenor of the Putney Society, believes that the wording of the letter gives a strong indication that the Mayor intends to overrule the decision of the Wandsworth Borough Council Planning Applications Committee (PAC) to reject the scheme.

British Land's plans for 56-70 Putney High Street were unanimously rejected last month.

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

The members of the PAC found a series of faults with what they felt would be an over-developed site. In particular they concluded the proposals were out of keeping with the existing High Street in terms of height and bulk. In addition there were concerns about the effects on air quality by adding to the "canyon" effect, an inadequate public space, objections to the low proportion of affordable housing and the impact on existing nearby residences in terms of light.

In his letter to Julia Kelly, the Wandsworth Borough Planning Officer, Boris Johnson states, 'Having now considered a report on this case (D&P/3512/02) I hereby direct (under powers conferred by Section 2A of the 1990 Act) that I will act as the local planning authority for the purposes of determining the above planning application. My reasoning is set out in the above mentioned report.'

The report recommended that the mayor intervened to take over the determination of the application under Article 7 of the Mayor of London Order 2008 because the scheme 'has a significant impact on the implementation of the London Plan; has a significant affect on more than one borough; and, there are sound planning reasons for the Mayor to intervene'.

A British Land spokesman said, 'We welcome the Mayor’s decision to call in the application for his determination. If the Mayor approves the application, we believe that the scheme would bring extensive benefits to Putney High Street.'

John Horrocks said on the Putney forum, 'The councillors on the committee were all agreed that the scheme was wholly inappropriate for this key site in Putney High Street. They gave many reasons for their views - they could be boiled down into "the building would be an ugly monster"!'

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


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August 6, 2015