Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Consultation re. Nine Elms Parkside (Royal Mail Sorting Office)

I didn't actually go to the Nine Elms Parkside (Royal Mail sorting office) consultation as I opted to have non-planning fun at the weekend.  I have, however, emailed the chaps who were running the exhibition to check whether they displayed any additional material than what is already available on the Nine Elms Parkside website.  Other than a 3D model, which could be viewed at the event, all of the other material is available online.  My main complaint is that the website eg. interesting map detail is just too small to view properly (however, some of it is probably available in public documents and viewable elsewhere) and the website is simply not particularly informative (and is full of general VNEB and "other landowner" info. that is already in the public domain).
I wrote a previous post with some background on the unhappy Royal Mail workers and their potential job losses, as I want this blog to form a kind of history for the area, so feel free to read that.  Additionally, we now know...

The Nine Elms Parkside development will be located at the centre of the new development, split either side of the linear park, with a landscaped public square, "Tideway Green" at the centre of both the Parkside development and the linear park itself.  Tideway Green will be linked to Nine Elms Square (another public square) on Nine Elms Lane.  The Nine Elms Parkside buildings will range in height from 7 to 13 storeys (it sounds more pleasant than some of what Vauxhall might end up with) and car parking and cycle parking will likely be located underground underneath the park/green land.  The masterplan shows that the east of the development appears to link up with the new US embassy and Ballymore land

As you'll know, I'm always a huge fan of pictures of faceless people that don't really tell us anything useful eg. how much of the development will be affordable or given over to local housing associations?  Will there be playgrounds for children built anywhere?  Will the housing be for families or "young professionals" eg. is it studios or 3 bedroom flats?  What are the transport options if the Northern line tube extension isn't put in?  How will Royal Mail use the site for its "retained" operations in a way that allows for quiet living for the eventual residents?  What will Section 106 money be spent on?  All we have are a few key facts... 2000 units, 600 parking spaces, 2000 bike parking spaces (that sounds positive), over 2.5ha of public space and the fact that it will be sustainable. 

I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of architectural information available compared with the excellent detail provided by Kylun's Vauxhall Island Site PR team where it's clear from the plan exactly how the buildings will be laid out.  To be fair, I didn't go to the consultation, so feel free to leave comments if you did attend and have more information about what size the flats are likely to be, how they'll be laid out, how Royal Mail operations with co-exist on the site, and how much affordable housing will be provided.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Thanks for the summary :)

I didn't make it to the exhibition either, but in defence of the developers of NE Parkside, the Kylun application was at a far later design stage at the time of consultation.

Do we know if they are going to do another public exhibition before the planning app is submitted?

My thoughts from the scant info on the planning website:

- The Greenway is a nice idea, but actually seems quite narrow in places. I'd be quite worried for future residents as to whether or not they would get much direct sunlight into their properties, especially at the proposed heights.

- I'm always a bit skeptical of 'public space' on private land. You see issues time and time again with the 'public space' at Canary Wharf and Westfield where the use of 'public space' is restricted by the property owner. Are there any rights of way on this Greenway?

- As you pick out, the plan doesn't show the 'retained' RM function. I think based on the sketches, it is clear that it would not be a distribution hub on the same scale as now - there is simply nowhere on the plan which could manage the volume and circulation of HGV traffic requiried. It could well end up being scaled back to nothing more than a local sorting office.

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