Boris Johnson says that he is 'fighting for Londoners who need homes'
Boris Johnson has overridden Wandsworth Council's rejection of a major redevelopment on Putney High Street.
He has given the green light ti British Land's application for 97 homes to be built at 56-70 Putney High Street. He tweeted that the Mayor's role was 'to fight for Londoners who need homes' and he described the the plans as a "good scheme".
The Putney Society have tweeted their disappointment questioning what has happened to localism and said that it contradicts the Mayor's commitment to reducing air pollution as they say the scheme will add to the 'canyoning' effect on the High Street.
56-70 Putney High Street
Local resident, John Horrocks, attended the meeting & commented on the PutneySW15.com forum,
'Those making the case against this proposed development all spoke very well and convincingly. The Chairman of the WBC's Planning Applications Committee, Cllr Sarah McDermott, summed up the case when she said that the proposed development would be "a great lump of a building."'.
'When Boris asked British Land's architect to make the case for his design of the proposed building he floundered around and failed to justify the height of the building and its incongruity in this High Street setting. It will stand out like a sore thumb he might have said. But he didn't, of course! '
Mike Ryder, Thamesfield Councillor told PutneySW15.com, 'I went to City Hall on Tuesday and spoke at the Mayor's hearing, to urge him not to overturn Wandsworth Council's rejection of the planned new building at the corner of Lacy Road and the High Street, and told him residents thought it was too bulky and had only a tiny public space. I asked him to respect local democracy, and reminded him that Putney was actually the birthplace of British democracy, when Cromwell's army held the Putney Debates at St Mary's Church in 1647. We are all disappointed at the Mayor's decision, but at least in his ruling he told the developers, British Land, to do everything they can to ensure the Eddie Catz play centre can stay in that location.'
The members of the Planning Applications Committee of the Wandsworth Borough Council had said the application was 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.
On behalf of Better Putney, Keith Hawkins said,
'Boris has ignored residents and trampled on local democracy - despite the best efforts of our GLA member Richard Tracey speaking against the plans alongside Sarah McDermott as chair of the Planning Committee and other speakers from Better Putney, the Putney Society and Wandsworth's Green Party". Justine Greening MP had also written to Boris powerfully pointing out how the development was not good enough - and questioning his authority to intervene.'
Keith continued, 'It would seem the only option we have is to question the validity of the Mayor's right to intervene - and we will be suggesting to the Council they seek a Judicial Review'.
Amended proposal seen from Putney High Street
|And from Fesham Rd looking down Walkers Place
Richard Tracey, Assembly Member for Putney said, 'I was at the hearing and spoke in support of Cllrs Sarah McDermott and Mike Ryder, the Putney Society, and Better Putney. I am dismayed that the Mayor chose to rule against what we said and against a critical letter from Justine Greening MP, as well as letters from leading Putney figures.'
A local business on the existing site is Eddie Catz. Owner Darren Johnson, said about today's decision, 'We are thrilled that Boris sees the value Eddie Catz adds to the local community. We have been touched by the outpour of support from our community, our Councillors and the Better Putney Society. Eddie Catz is now in talks with British Land, over the timings for the commencement of the redevelopment and is also considering options for rehousing the centre whilst the new site is being built. '
Justine Greening MP for Putney says:
"‘It is extremely disappointing that the Mayor has overturned Wandsworth Council’s decision to reject the application, which reflected local opinion. I think we put forward a strong case as to why the current application should not be approved and I want to see British Land nonetheless work with Wandsworth Council and local residents to improve this proposal."
October 28, 2015