Chris Medland's comments
time to report this to the met police, action fraud or the SFO?
How utterly crap the Garden Bridge is has been well documented but it has set an interesting precedent in regard to VAT payments on infrastructure projects and the treasuries involvement.
The treasury have donated £30,000,000 to the garden bridge project and have previously stated that the money would be returned to the treasury by VAT payments on the construction cost, which makes a lot of sense. We wrote to the Chancellor to ask that he grant the diamond jubilee bridge the same courtesy that he did the garden bridge.
We asked the Chancellor simply that the Diamond Jubilee Bridge is treated in the same manner as, it that wouldn’t even involve any money actually changing hands, it’s more a kind of VAT waiver -a simple letter of intent would suffice. The treasuries response, 5 monts later, via Greg Hands MP (chief secretry of the treasury and the MP for Chelsea & Fulham) was not just no - it ignored our question altogether and instead pointed us towards the mayor of London and TfL who despite announcing the bridge as part of their plan last december have also confirmed that they have no money for such a project.
The same rules in the spirit of fairness should apply to all crossings. All things being equal this would and should be the case. We cannot understand why it is not and we believe this difference in treatment needs to be explained, not to us but to the tens of thousands of people here in Battersea and Fulham that will use this bridge should it be constructed.
We do hope that the treasury has a change of heart and will reconsider their opinion on this matter.
depressing stuff all round and clearly the story is not over yet.
In the meantime our efforts to build the diamond jubilee bridge - a real and much needed infrastructure project - continue. The bridge could have been built for what TFL donated to the GBT and we achieved full planning consent for nil fee, nothing, nada, not at least £10,000,000 of fees that the GBT spent; zero fees paid by the tax payer.
The project has cross party support and the new website is now live: http://diamondjubileebridge.london/
Please find below an overview of the history and an update on the progress of the Diamond Jubilee Bridge.
In 1924 Viscount Curzon MP acknowledged in the House of Commons that a bridge for pedestrian access situated between Wandsworth Bridge and Battersea Bridge was needed. As you will be aware the area around Battersea Railway Bridge, on both sides of the river, has seen a renaissance in recent years. Thousands of new apartments as well as many restaurants and bars and two 5* hotels have been constructed in the area, opening up the riverfront to leisure and thoroughfare. Many more developments are planned and under construction in the immediate vicinity. A new pedestrian and cycle bridge alongside the railway bridge will enable greater integration between the north and south of the river both in terms of transport and economic activity whilst also having a positive impact on the environment and creating an extension to the amenity space and linear park of the Thames Path. During the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations the Queen boarded the Flotilla and set sail from this very location. A new pedestrian and cycle link here at this time will be a fitting legacy for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and one which makes financial, business, infrastructure and common sense.
Planning Policy, TfL & Local Authority Support
The bridge is supported both by local authority and GLA planning policy. Planning consent has been granted in Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and by the GLA. The Mayor and TfL announced the diamond jubilee bridge as part of a wider ambition to build several Thames crossings and it was covered widely in the press last December, however TfL’s have made no financial commitment but their positive engagement is of course welcomed. Wandsworth have recently adopted an SPD that will enable the council in future to assign CIL contributions to a bridge and a recent S106 agreement with Barratt London has secured the piling of the bridges foundations on the Battersea side of the river (expected to be complete this July).
Cost & Funding
With an estimated build cost of £26m (plus risk 10%), Wandsworth’s financial appraisal indicates that the scheme has a Benefit/Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.0:1. This indicates that the scheme would provide high value for money, with a BCR above the TfL pass mark of 1.5:1 and at the level representing high value for money in Department for Transport guidance. It has always been our intention to achieve corporate sponsorship for the full amount in exchange for naming rights and we are still working on this by trying hard to keep the scheme alive to local residents, the press and seeking out any contact opportunities with corporations and potential sponsors wherever possible. Unfortunately we have not yet succeeded.
To assist with funding we have written to the Chancellor to ask that he grant the same VAT offset that you have granted on the Garden Bridge and other schemes that provide and support economic growth as this project does. Specifically we have asked that he provide a capital grant of £4.8m which is the equivalent of the 20% vat that will be returned to the exchequer in tax receipts during the construction period. This grant would enable the project to seek potential match funding from TfL and other authorities and most importantly allow us (in partnership with Wandsworth) to seek corporate sponsorship for the remainder with potential sponsors therefore assured of HM Governments’ commitment to the project. We await his response.
Over the past 4 years, during the consultations on the early design, through the design development and planning process the level of public support has been off the chart. Jane Ellison MP received some 480 notes of support during the planning process and the comments to the local authority in favour of the bridge were in the hundreds. Some 2 years after the planning process we are receiving almost daily communications from local residents seeking details of timing and progress.
At the outset, with an initial idea and a model, we met with the elected politicians of the area and explained the idea. Since that very first meeting in 2011 we have had the active support of Jane Ellison MP, Richard Tracey AM and Cllr Govindia along with the ward councillors and would take this opportunity to thank them all again for their continued positivity and efforts.
The role of One-world Design Architects
Our intention from day one has been to highlight the need for the bridge and assist in any way we can to facilitate it. We have led a team that includes world class engineers Beckett Rankine and Expedition Engineering through the design process. Although one-world design architects have been working pro-bono the vital input of the expert design team has been made possible by the kind and forward thinking hotel Rafayel and its proprietor Iqbal Latif along with Palace Investments.
One-world design have no ambitions of being appointed for the next delivery stages. We have been working pro-bono gladly for some 5 years and have been delighted to play our part in getting the project this far and have done simply because we feel strongly that the bridge is needed and to pursue it is the right thing to do. Our view is supported by local planning policy, residents, local businesses, developers, local councillors, MP’s, the local London assembly member, the GLA, TfL, The Mayor of London, Council Leaders and council officers who have all been instrumental in pushing the project to this point.
The Plan for 2016
In short we need to make real progress on 2 fronts, funding and the discharge of planning conditions. If it is clear that construction work will not start by February 2017 then we will submit a new planning application in the summer of 2016. However, there is still a chance that construction could start before 2017 and that is what we are aiming for.
There is an opportunity here for the right corporate sponsor or private benefactor to forever be associated with a much needed and very popular addition to London’s infrastructure. Yes, its great news that Wandsworth are seeking to raise funds through CIL contributions but it is highly likely that this funding source will form part of a funding solution rather than the whole solution. What we need to attract a sponsor and the press coverage required to do this is difficult to come by with a zero PR budget.
More information can be found on the following websites;
Chris Medland RIBA
we had a planning application refused by Woking Council for a modest new 3 bed family CFSH level 5 home because (to quote a member of the planning committee): ''contemporary design is out of character of the area- we want a 1930's bungalow''...... therein lies a problem. It is subject to appeal and was recommended for approval by council officers
its great, hope it gets built.
The Swansea bay tidal scheme is essential for a green energy future and will be vital for the local economy. If the government fail to deliver this flagship then they will have failed altogether.
We are trying to get a smaller project off the ground in North Devon : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIDJd9VLz70
A new tidal power scheme & activity area on the Taw, Barnstaple, Devon
Initial calculations indicate that there is potential for a helical turbine system to be constructed that could generate up to 4MW of electricity. This is enough energy to supply 4000 homes; or the whole of Barnstaple Town Centre.
Of course there are huge environmental considerations. One-world design is at the stage of developing a design brief and testing early feasibility, we am aware that proposed site is outside the SSSI but such an installation is likely to have significant impacts on a wide range of ecological features and processes, e.g. fish and bird movements, drying times of saltmarsh, grazing marshes and mud banks. Due to the large number of environmental constraints on the Taw-Torridge estuary and its surroundings a project of this nature will be subject to a rigorous consultation process. However, there are workable solutions to all these issues and the potential prize is a thriving, forward looking Barnstaple that sets a new benchmark for economically and environmentally sustainable development.
lovely - look forward to crossing it
is this not over yet. there will be people chaining themselves to the 32 beautiful trees to stop them being cut down next.. is Swampy looking for a cause?
Is this really the world we live in? I must be seriously out of touch. Prepare for a minor rant. Is millions of pounds being spent on a slide? Really? Some ideas are fun, its great to add joy and create attractions and on paper what a hoot. Reality is somewhat different at that cost. Imagine the historians in 200 years time looking back at this time on scientific advancement, deadly global climate change adjustment, war, terrorism, religious and political divide and then they find that the best of capitalism, the best of design and much media copy and £3,500,0000 or hard cash was dedicated to what? No, not ending issues that kill Londoners on a daily basis such as homelessness, improving air quality or making cycle or pedestrian route safer - no, none of these; we built a slide. Well done, awards and prestige all round. Or those that want a theme park can just pop to Chessington - I hear its pretty good!
the odds on London having its first female mayor (probably lib-dem rather than green) must be reducing by the minute...
if you include the thousands of hours spent by 100's of architects on the initial competition this must be the most expensive small café in history
they are going to have to sell a lot of t-shirts to pay back a £20,000,000 loan and maintain the bridge at a cost of £3.5m/annum. Clearly they will have to charge for entry.
Caroline Pidgeon must now be front runner for London Mayor... there are no other candidates that have a proven track record of being principled and diligent.
looks great. beautifully detailed
Boris Johnson is not just the mayor, he is also the chair of TfL....
is any of this, or the other suspected actions in terms of funding, illegal?
if you ask a serious question you should allow time to receive a serious answer.
Good points made.
As tweeted by one-world design architects on July 29th 'With new media & immediate detailed info the days of PR machines and possibly contrived polls/ surveys are over'.
I still contest that for at least £64,000,000 of our money we should have a public right of way - if not why not? The GBT simply don't answer.
the way it lands on a straight sided base is really unconfortable
good. beautiful drawings too... not a sketch up man with cap in sight
I have every confidence it will... thanks
Duncan - please see my note above yours.
More info on our facebook page etc but in short the space for the landing of the bridge has been left at the request of wandsworth and the S106 agreement has Barratt installing the piles....
The proposal is to be built immediately adjacent to the new pedestrian and cycle river crossing (on the same site), The Diamond Jubilee Bridge- it will become a gateway building for Battersea. For a full update on the positive steps forward made by this and others developments please refer to our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oneworlddesign/posts/901672479924221:0
Both Ken and the Director from Arup are misunderstanding what some peoples objections are - its not about design - its much more important, its about democracy, openness and who owns the right to privatise a public space.
Why doesn't the bridge have a public right of way? There is no reason to close it at night - lots of public London streets have trees and flower beds that need maintenance and the city is served by the best police force on the planet. Public rights of way can be temporarily closed under licence for 'private' fundraising events. There is no real need to stop cyclist either. The combination of the highway code, law of the land and common sense will do the job it does elsewhere on places like the Thames path that at times are only 2m wide and are shared spaces (with pedestrian priority)
The whole thing is tail wagging dog that's why people don't like it - it has the feeling of an occupation of the space, a private invasion of the river rather than a welcome guest at the party on Thames. Yes you can build a bridge over our river, yes you can put some nice trees on it, and yes you can even have private events on it occasionally - but when we say you can (through normal council applications process) and we can use it all day and all night within the laws of the land.
I have checked my calendar - its not April 1st...
If you repeat the corporate line enough times you are bound to start believing it eventually. There is clearly a bubble of billy bollocks wrapped firmly around the PR machine behind this. If it was the right thing to do it then why is a PR machine employed at all.
well said. completely agree
one world design architects ethos and moto is ‘design that adds value’ – some mistake this as a purely financial endeavour. Not at all. From the outset one-world design architects has been focused on adding ecological, social and environmental value as a priority. This project, along with the Diamond Jubilee Bridge for instance, is an example of where, with the help of a great forward thinking client and design team, we have succeeded - that is the joy for me in this project
Couldn't agree more. However of course we are dependant on the commitment of clients because its their money we spend. We are also dependant on government policy as its within that framework and the parameter they set that the clients operate. We need the RIBA to be a stronger voice in pushing forward greater environmental standards and lobbying for improvements at government and statutory authority level. We also need the industry press to focus more on real sustainability issues, not green wash projects ( urban parsley) and we need to design buildings now for the climate of 20, 40 and 80 years time. I refer you below to our manifesto statement first issued 4 years ago - perhaps time for an update:
1 – The Challenge
Constants and Change
As we face the challenges brought about by the economic, political and social context of today, the effects of climate change will take greater prominence on future design. Global warming is real, its effects estimated and its consequences will be widespread and varied. Approximately 50% of all resources consumed on Earth are used in construction. Construction is reported to be the least sustainable industry in the world. It is about to go
through the most dramatic period of change since the invention of steel framed buildings and the industrial revolution. This is not only because of the political commitments and the increased public acceptance of the need to be sustainable, but the buildings we design now
need to be designed for the foreseeable effects of climate change. A new epoch will be recognisable in years to come, created by the need for architecture to respond to global
warming and prepare our towns and cities for a new environment.
The UK escapes the worst effects of climate change compared to many places; however the UK Met Office predicts that the south of England’s average day time temperature will be 9 degrees higher in the summer of 2080. Our future here will be hotter, we will have less
predictable water supplies, more violent storms and we will have less reliable sources of fossil fuels. The procurement of buildings today needs to take all of these issues into
account. Design solutions need to adapt to the effects of climate change whilst minimizing their contribution to the causes; design solutions need to be embedded within the form, construction and materials of all new buildings. Design now must allow us to maintain a good quality of the life without hindering future generation’s ability to provide the same for themselves. The challenge for the construction industry and Architects today, therefore, is
how can we design for the long term to give people places that will serve them well through many times, changing technologies, and over many years in an earnest, considered and truly sustainable way?
2 – The Response
Sustainable development is defined in the Brundtland Report as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. This definition contains two key concepts, that of needs and limitations. The basic needs of all people, and the limitations reached by contemporary technology, social context and the environments ability to meet future and present needs. All definitions of sustainable development depict the world as an interconnected system: One world that is connected in space and connected in the sequence of time. Architecture, building and development is by its very nature a positive investment in our future. It is the undertaking of work to sustain or improve our future quality of life. Architects
working today for the benefit of people in 25, 50, 80 years time and beyond. The timescales involved mean that our buildings need to be designed not only to ‘meet the needs of the present’, but will need to serve future generations. Given the evidence and predictions of how our environment is changing, a more adequate/appropriate definition of sustainable development might be, ‘development that meets the needs of the present and foreseeable future without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’. This principle calls for designing and building focused not on short-term architectural awards, or
acclamation , or even on building regulations or BREEAM standards, but to the best possible solution that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
This change in mindset is not about using low energy light bulbs, but rather about why electrically powered lighting is required at all. It is about asking difficult questions that
generate a shift in our perception of the things we take for granted and the way in which our homes, offices and all buildings operate, look and are procured. The One-World view is that sustainability recognises the nexus linking the economy, society, and our environment. We have one world and the resources of one world only. Until such a time when resources from other worlds can viably be procured we need to base the design of everything on this brief.
A one-world approach to design stipulates that we consume resources only at a rate at which they can be replenished and produce waste only at a rate at which it can be recycled. It requires that we deal with the relationships between all aspects of building habitation and
use holistically rather than as individual elements in isolation. Architects now must seek out and support sustainable development opportunities and create solutions that offer both an environmentally sound and a high quality product. We will achieve this through understanding how things have been done before, learning the practical lessons of the past, and by staying ahead of the statutory regulations by meeting future standards today. We will use architectural tools to adapt, improve and craft existing
and new buildings in a way that serves people to the best possible effect, without submitting to ego or seeking monument. Through clear thinking, not swayed by fashion or fads, we need to use intuitive approaches to address the challenges of regeneration that are fit for purpose, context and the future in a truly sustainable development.
PS - please AJ will you show the actual views of the bridge from the riverbank also, not from the penthouse of a nearby tower or a helicopter... lets see what it looks like from the queue to get on it and from the southbank where 30 mature trees are being killed to make way for it and the view to the city and st paul's will be obliterated... for the sake of balanced reporting...
‘London has treated the Thames as an obstacle to breach. Why does a bridge have to be barrier and not a place?’
Is this quote out of context? if not, what a weird and utterly arrogant thing to say. London has many fantastic bridges that are places in their own right, featuring in famous scenes of movies, in literature, music, nursery rhymes, TV adverts, plays, in works of art and are often the scenes of memorable moments in peoples lives. The Thames is also home to a thriving river boat service, it is still a commercial shipping lane and a place of work to many. The Thames Path, which stretches all the way through London is arguably London's most used park, public space, cycle route and walking route and has amazing views of the city, granted by the very fact that the Thames is an open space. The Thames itself is a place, and a much loved living and exciting part of London.
The quote demonstrates the sort of wishy washy fluffy language being used to soften and fade the edges of a massive, hugely expensive, piece of civil engineering that will block the best and most famous views of London from its historic centre - the words are truly ridiculous and dumbfounding.
good points well made
Perhaps there needs to be an new, additional, grade or power available to Historic England- a power that enables a type of recording, rather than retaining a building of note? What I mean is that Historic England should be able to insist of some kind of detailed historic record being completed and made available prior to any demolition or modification of buildings worthy of note but not worthy of encapsulating for history like some kind of future museum piece.
under FOI I asked TfL: 'Were TfL’s procurement regulations followed in regard to the garden bridge funding?'
Their formal response on 4th March 2015 was:
'There is no procurement as TfL is not purchasing works or the supply of goods or services. TfL is providing grant funding to the Garden Bridge Trust, the charitable body which will construct, own and operate the Garden Bridge.'
I cant make this add up with what has been said above in the article.
great designs solve problems. Pretty ideas that cost a lot of money and create more problems than they solve are not great designs.
Today our tiny little practice (one-world design architects) will safeguard 60,000 trees by donating 150 acres of Sumatran forest to the rainforest trust for a very small sum- £330 - we would encourage everyone to do the same or more.
The Rain Forest Trust has said that £175,000,000 would buy around 70,000,000 acres of virgin rain forest in places like Sumatra and Brazil- 70 Million Acres! at 400 trees/acre (low estimate) this kind of money is to be shockingly wasted on 270 odd small trees when it could safeguard a staggering 28,000,000,000 trees - that's 28 Billion trees•
A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 22kg./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 people - this would be enough to offset the carbon for London - it could be the first carbon neutral city in the world..... someone needs a good shake and to be encouraged to take a look outside zone 1 for a reality check. Please donate to https://www.rainforesttrust.org/
from the poll results I would hazard a guess that B is the UK entry!
As a river crossing the final decision on permission here is made by the mayor of London. If the review does send the project back to the planning authority then this would mean that the existing decision by the mayor would no longer stand. This in turn would mean that even if Westminster passed a second planning application a further decision by a potentially different mayor would then be required. many of the mayoral candidates would not pass it and some have also stated that they would overturn the existing decision. The main issue with the tideway tunnel 'clash' is simply an increase in river traffic which will be carrying spoil - this is inconvenient but not a show stopper. Elsewhere the complications of political moves is influencing the decision makers. For instance I suspect that those who advocate the bridge are hoping that Boris either fails to become an MP or the conservatives win a good majority, ensuring Cameron remains PM. If Boris becomes an MP in May, and Cameron fails to get a majority, there is the potential of Boris becoming the leader of the conservatives and even PM. A new mayor will be elected this year, before the garden bridge starts on site, and they may overturn the existing decision - there is a real possibility that it will never happen.... Perhaps the rush to start construction is more to do with politics than any technical coordination with the Thames Tideway Tunnel?
The solution is to make the building regulations more stringent, i.e. the equivalent of Code 5, moving to Code 6 by say 2020.
This is a real step backwards. Councils such as Woking require Code 5 for new developments, and rightly so. Statutory regulation compliance is the only tool we have as architects that cannot be value engineered out by developers. If Building Regs are only pushing for the equivalent of Code 4 then the volume developments will be designed to meet just that - hugely disappointing.
very nice, all but 1 are similar in design, i.e. suspension bridges - the exception being AL's which is a tied arch. The Thames is a designated helicopter route, I hope all of those vertical suspenders and suspension cables are well below the minimum flying height - this area of Battersea has an obvious and recent history in that regard
the nine elms redevelopment, a new tube station, potentially 2 new bridges and a housing zone - exciting times for Battersea
PS - the architectural world may love the Heatherwick café at Littlehampton but the locals call it the 'Rusty Poo'....
the point is that the existing public toilets need to be replaced as well as provision for the café users. The council are right I this instance and its not their fault if the developers financial model doesn't stack up. Why don't the council build out the project themselves and lease the café to cover the costs and bring in a revenue...
PII? Design responsibility? Different regulations in different countries etc - floating homes need planning permission too! so many questions...
+vat, +contractor overheads, prelims and profit + consultants fees, +statutory fees,+ land cost etc?