Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Consultation and Thames Tideway Tunnel Consultation

Remember that if the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB) development goes ahead, even in outline form, it's reckoned that over the next 20 years, a town with the population equivalent to that of Welwyn Garden City would spring up between Battersea Power Station and our own beloved Vauxhall (or VoHo, as we're now supposed to call it, darlings).  That's a sizable increase in population that will affect services and infrastructure for those living on the edge of the area.  If you live in SE11, SE1 or SW8 , you might be interested in attending the largest event yet (in Wandsworth), where Wandsworth Economic Development Office will present a number of boards laying out the proposals in more detail.  The poster (above) says that the Embassy Quarter, Battersea Power Station, New Covent Garden Market and others will all be present on the day (which has never happened before).  We might even find out what would happen to the Nine Elms Sainsburys.  I'm told that a 3D model won't be present at the exhibition, but that the boards will include details of the VNEB development at the Lambeth end, in Vauxhall.  (It would be useful to actually have a consultation in Vauxhall, but considering that the development is mostly taking place in Wandsworth, I imagine that's too much to ask).  It's a much needed regeneration for Vauxhall and Nine Elms, but I'd recommend careful scrutiny, and I'm still not convinced that locals are aware of the size of what's to come.

I've spoken to the chaps at the Development Office who've also confirmed that a number of Lambeth Councillors and Lambeth planning officers should be present.  This is a chance to ask questions about whether Vauxhall Underground Station has the capacity to carry all of the extra residents at peak time, and also to ask who would be funding the proposed Northern line extension.  If nobody can be found to fund the extension, you might like to ask whether alternative modes of public transport have been considered.  The organisers have asked for people to register for the event, but I think it's still possible to show up on one of the days.

In my last post, I mentioned the Thames Tideway Tunnel and suggested why I think local residents should not oppose it.  However, I didn't give details of where the consultation will take place.  I really don't know how many readers attend local consultations.  I do, but then I'm a bit strange :). 

One commentator pointed out that the nearest events are in Covent Garden, Bermondsey or Battersea, which is not really useful for Lambeth residents.  To be fair, there are are two preferred sites around Battersea, so I can see a good reason for consulting over there, but I don't see why Bermondsey (which only has one site, the same as Vauxhall) was chosen.  Still, I'm sure there's no conspiracy, is there? :-)

The Battersea public exhibition will take place from Thursday 7th October - Saturday 9th October (10:30 - 20:00 Thurs and Frim and 10:30 - 17:00 on Saturday) at Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, Battersea, SW11 5TN.

The Southwark/Bermondsey public exhibition will take place from Monday 11th October - Tuesday 12th October (10:30 - 20:00) at Berodmund Community Centre (Main Hall), 177 Abbey Street, Bermonsey, SE1 2AN

Feel free to peruse the list of other Thames Tideway consultation events if you can't make these two...  And thank you to the person that pointed out that the Tideway Tunnel would not be necessary if human sewage was trated at point of generation in each household, and everybody dug holes in their gardens and installed the necessary plumbing.  There's a risk that that would take considerably more effort than building the tunnel itself! :-)


Charlie Holland said...

I'm looking forward to finding out when the redrafted VNEB Opportunity Area Planning Framework will be produced and how these plans will relate to it. The consultation on the previous draft closed at the end of February - how long does it take to consider the points raised and redraft?

Mark said...

I've just stuck up a load of photos from the event at http://www.flickr.com/photos/44580780@N05/sets/72157624962395309/

I have to say that I think that it was a fantastic idea to pull all of the developers together under one roof to have a shared consultation session - there were 8 organisations present.

There wasn't anything particularly *new* to report, with the exception of plans for Sainsbury's Nine Elms. Something's been mooted for the site for over ten years, but plans have been revived again. They're expecting to submit a full application early next year, and at the moment there's scant detail. Disapppointingly there was no representation on the day from Sainsbury's, and what the plans don't show is plans to build residential towers on top of the main retail box (according to the Lambeth Planning Officer present).

I wasn't able to get convincing answers as to the relevance of the Vauxhall Area SPD if the council are approving proposals that ignore it (e.g. Vauxhall Sky Gardens, which don't match the council's aspirations to open up an archway there), or why residential towers with only one staircase are considered to be safe in a fire ("They must somehow comply with fire safety regs, otherwise they wouldn't be approved" was the helpful answer from both Lambeth and Wandsworth planning officers.) Also no clear answers as to how we ensure that the developments (predominantly in Wandsworth) pays for the transport infrastructure in Lambeth that will be used by many of the new workers and residents.

Interestingly Lambeth council have an ambition to redevelop Keybridge House (the big ugly BT building on South Lambeth Road, but BT aren't interested in bringing any plans to the table at the moment. Apparently TfL are also doing a study on de-gyratoring Vauxhall Cross, at Lambeth's behest.

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