Friday, 26 March 2010

Bondway - Ongoing pollution, and student accommodation turned down

Whilst there is focus on the topic of Bondway and the Bondway Tower, I should also note three other points of interest for readers in the area:

1.  Back in January 2010, Markvauxhall mentioned on Twitter that an application had been put in for Student accommodation in Vauxhall.  I didn't think it was contentious, since the night time revellers already cause lots of noise and I thought students couldn't make it worse. The proposed building was quite low-rise but it seems to have been rejected on the grounds of:

* It being unknown whether intensification would have an impact on existing residential development
* Failure to provide mixed dwellings
* Failure to provide affordable housing (a bit of a joke for the poor residents who might have to live alongside the students!!)
* The residence not being near to the University it would serve (contrary to Council's UDP)

2.  Air quality results at the Bondway monitoring station seem to be significantly worse than for other parts of London for at least some portions of the day.  That's rather concerning, considering all of the new residential development that is likely to commence in the area and the increase in traffic likely to take place. 

The folks at London air have more details (I obtained the graph from them), and I confess that I've no idea what exactly PM10 Particulate is, but I hope it's not /really/ bad for humans because we seem to have a freak peak of it on the 23rd(ish) of March.

3.  A new Pret-A-Manger has spawned at the bottom of Aquarius House (the affordable section of St George Wharf) and appears to be opening soon in SE11.  That's two new sandwich places in the space of as many weeks (remember Deep Blue is new too).


Mark said...

It's possibly a bit tragic, but my eyes lit up when I saw your comment about Pret. That would be a nice addition to the area.

My personal issue with the student accommodation proposal is that over the past few years there has been a rash of 'premium' student blocks (like the one proposed for Vauxhall) that have gone up in London, charging a minimum of £200 / week rents (some, around Euston / Russell Square charge a staggering £370+ / week). These do nothing to help address the genuine student housing shortage in the city.

In this case the developer made no offer to build affordable homes, or even make a provision for student accommodation that was more affordable. They even had the audactity to suggest that by building the halls, it would free up 'low-cost' private housing in the area, as students move in to the new halls. I can't think of many people who could afford £200 / week who are currently living in 'low cost' accommodation.

To me it reeked of a developer who wanted to build a block of flats, and decided to whack on a 'student' label so as to try and avoid the usual demands to provide affordable housing, thereby increasing their profits.

Personally I'm quite happy to see the application rejected.

To be fair to the developer though, fourth point on the list of objections is a bit rich - the location is 15 minutes' bike ride from many institutions, which in a city with the size and property prices of London, is quite reasonable.

Mark said...

By the way, a lot of PM10 emissions come from diesel engines - so a high level at the bus station is not so surprising...

Boris needs to realise though that he doesn't need to wait for his 'New Routemaster' to introduce hybrid engines on buses - he could actually just retrofit existing ones. In the meantime, it also wouldn't hurt if the bus drivers who take a break on Bondway (the 156?) turn off their engines whilst doing so.

Label Cloud

Blog Archive