"Council’s Plan Sells Putney Residents Down the River"

Lib Dem candidate slams Councils “Local Development framework”

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James Sandbach, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Putney has slammed Wandsworth Council’s “Local Development framework” as a green light for developers to rip up the Embankment and Upper Richmond Road, whilst ignoring the needs of the rest of the borough. He has branded the Council’s development strategy as high rise gift for high cost buildings and denounced the Council for trying to undermine the borough’s mixed communities, character and diversity.

“Putney does not need Canary Warf-style development, but rather support for improving the existing town centres as well as urban villages such as Southfields which is not mentioned in the plan at all. The plan also fails to recognise other regeneration needs in the borough such as West Hill and kicks key improvement initiatives for public transport (for example working with Transport for London on Cross-rail) into the long grass. And key community sites such as Putney Hospital will remain derelict under this plan!

“The Council have once again shown that they have no real vision for our local townscape and are putting the interests of developers before residents. Their consultation process is meaningless as “preferred options” are already set in stone.”

“If the Council are allowed to push ahead with this plan, Wandsworth and Putney’s distinctive neighbourhoods will be either pulled into a high building frenzy or allowed to slip into deprivation.”

“What we need is a strategy for linking the sustainability of the different town centres supporting the local retail market, community services, and transport infrastructure! For example since the recession we have seen a big increase in the number of empty shops from 7 to 13% of local retail and shop provision, and now we are set to loose the Upper Richmond Road’s Post Office also – it is scandalous that there are so many empty shops in the borough, we need a development plan that addresses these issues.”

February 19, 2010