Anger Over Plan To Build On Pocket Park

Upper Richmond Road site has only recently been landscaped by residents

Space on Upper Richmond Road has only recently been landscaped by residents
The 'pocket park' after landscaping


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There has been an angry reaction to what has been described as a ‘surprise Christmas application’ to develop housing on an area residents had worked together to improve.

The ‘pocket park’ on the corner of Upper Richmond Road and Charlwood Road had been neglected for some time until a group of locals worked with site owner JC Decaux to improve it in 2019.

The piece of land opposite Putney Methodist Church was landscaped to provide an open air space for residents. A planting scheme designed by local resident Carolyn Singer aimed to give year round interest with flowers, berries and scent attracting both bees and birds.

It is thought that the buildings on the site were destroyed in June 1944 by a V1 rocket and the vacant plot was often used for flytipping before it was improved.

Now a planning application has been submitted for the plot at 304-312 Upper Richmond Road to build a four storey building containing five flats. The applicant is DF Real Estates which it is believed is an associated company of JC Decaux. The building would incorporate a digital display advertising board even larger than the current freestanding one at the site. There would also be ground floor commercial space.

Visualisation of the scheme from the applicant's submission

The applicant claims that flytipping has continued at the 560sq m site even after the improvements which they provided funding for.

Local resident Tim Mack who organised the makeover of the space with Carolyn Singer said, “As the application was put in just before Christmas and in Covid measures without any of us being told we did not see it until recently. However somehow there are already 30 objections by the initial deadline of January 25th but crucially the Council have said they will properly consider more objections over the next couple of weeks.”

Work taking place to improve the site in 2019
Work taking place to improve the site in 2019

He is suggesting that people object on grounds of the loss of the amenity of the park and concerns about concerns of the detrimental consequences of an even bigger advertising hoarding closer to nearby residential properties. He dismisses the claim that flytipping has recurred since the space was landscaped saying that nobody in nearby Estate House has seen this. It has also been pointed out that the application states incorrectly that there will be no loss of open space if approval is granted.

The application reference is 2020/4989 and you can make comments about it here.

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January 27, 2021