Deadline For Responses to Putney Exchange 'Pergola' Plan Extended Again

Councillors encouraging objections on grounds of noise and loss of parking

Incipio's Pergola on the BBC Centre roof in Shepherd's Bush


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Councillors representing the Thamesfield ward are urging residents to make their opinions known on proposals for a ‘pop-up pergola’ on the rooftop carpark at Putney Exchange.

Council planning officers have informed local residents that, although the deadline for comments expired on Thursday 12 April, anyone wishing to express a view on the application can continue to do so until 9 May as it is not due to be considered until the planning committee meeting on 24 May. We have asked Wandsworth Council to confirm this new deadline.

The deadline has already been extended once from 28 March after complaints about the lack of notice.

The plan would see the creation of a restaurant and bar area which would cater for up to 500 people and serve food and alcohol late at night. If it was approved it would also result in the loss of 50 car parking spaces.

It is being proposed by BlackRock, the owners of Putney Exchange, together with Incipio, the operator, who already run a similar venue in Shepherd's Bush. The plan is for this to be in place for 4 years and to start operating in a few months in time for Summer. On the application "Pergola on the Roof", Putney, is described as a food led venue with multiple food operators that change on rotation every 6 months. Operating with one main bar to cater for guests and table service will be provided in peak trading periods for 'circa 550 people as per our current roof top venues that we currently operate'. The pergola will stand at 6.5 metres above the car park floor line – some 4.5 metres above the line of the parapet. It will be open 12 noon through to midnight assuming Putney Exchange is successful in its separate licensing application. In its preplanning notes the Council refers to it as a 'food market'.

Councillor Rosemary Torrington, who has already formally objected to the council's planning department about the proposal, said, "Loud music broadcast until midnight in the open air will be carried into bedroom windows where hard-working residents and children are trying to sleep. 500 people congregating on the roof is likely to generate significant noise.”

Councillor John Locker said, "We urge local residents to register their comments online. The more objections are logged the more chance we have of turning this application down.”

Putney MP Justine Greening said in her letter to the Wandsworth planning department, “I along with a number of local residents do not believe that this is the sort of development that is needed in Putney and that it should not be given the go ahead at all. It seems totally contrary to maintaining quality of life for local residents, and at the moment the Putney Exchange and Waitrose actually have a good relationship with the residents who live immediately behind, in spite of being a busy shopping area, so it seems a real backward step to have this proposal.”

Putney Exchange Car Park. Picture: Putney Exchange

The applicant has presented evidence from noise tests which they claim show there would be little impact from the pergola. However, opponents claim the tests were done in areas and times with existing noise which distorted the results. A group of residents have decided to pay £3,500 to conduct their own noise tests . They say when they are in their gardens the can hear a car radio playing in the rooftop carpark at the moment so they refuse to believe the noise from a busy bar will not carry.

The late closure planned for the bar is also a cause for concern. The shopping centre currently closes at 10pm but a licence until 12am would mean a significant extension of noise disruption which would last until after midnight as customers of the bar disperse.

Attendees at one of the consultation events for the application was told by a representative of the applicant that the removal of parking spaces was not an issue as there were generally 50 or more unused spaces. On the issue of noise it was said that ‘quiet background music’ was all that was planned.

We have asked Anne Partridge the Manager of Putney Exchange and Incipio Group for a comment.

April 13, 2018

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