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Boris Johnson calls in GRID's refused Putney plans

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London mayor Boris Johnson has called in GRID Architects’ plans for a mixed use scheme in Putney town centre after councillors refused it - against the advice of planning officers

The GRID scheme, which proposes 97 flats, ground floor shops or restaurants and a gym, received 211 objections when it was considered by Wandsworth Council last month.

Johnson had originally raised concerns about the proposals, prompting revisions to the designs including a reduction in height and the addition of more active frontages at ground floor level.

In his decision letter calling in the scheme, Johnson said: ‘The application would contribute to Wandsworth’s higher borough housing target and its draft target for Putney.

‘The intensification of town centre sites such as this are a strategic source of supply, necessary to avoid development on protected land.’

Craig Casci, director at the AJ120 practice, told AJ: ‘We welcome this decision as we were disappointed that councillors turned down the scheme when we had a recommendation for approval from officers.’

The council said that it had turned down the scheme ‘by reason of its height, bulk and design would be an incongruous addition to the streetscape and of insufficient quality to justify the proposed height.’

This was despite GRID dropping the number of storeys from seven to six.

The scheme is set to provide 20 per cent of housing units as ‘affordable’ – either through shared ownership or below market rate rents.

Johnson’s letter also said that concerns over the quality of homes had been resolved by the architects by the addition of a third vertical circulation core, reducing the number of units sharing each landing.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: ‘As London’s population continues to grow, the Mayor believes it is crucial we build the homes the city needs as quickly as possible.’

Call-in from Boris Johnson - explanation

‘The Mayor wants to assess this development, which would increase housing supply in the town centre, and will consider all of the planning issues as well as addressing the concerns expressed by the borough and local residents before taking a decision on the planning application.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • an odd comment from Craig Casci implying that councillors should not reject a scheme officers recommend for approval. If this must be so why have planning committee at all.

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  • As a Putney councillor I am disappointed that the developer has not taken the Council's SSAD policy into account. This states that the scheme must incorporate a "substantial new public square where pedestrians have priority over vehicles". The scheme only offers a much reduced space based on the existing yard which will be compromised by dual use by delivery lorries and refuse trucks. The scheme pictures the road providing access to the local supermarket car park as part of that pedestrian space which clearly does not offer pedestrians priority over vehicles.

    The scheme could have provided for deliveries and servicing underground as in the adjoining scheme. Private parking could have been removed from the scheme to make this a car free scheme in a town centre site well served by public transport.

    It's disappointing to see this important policy and universal local concern disregarded by the Mayor. A better design could still meet the Council's policy as well as offering the regeneration and housing and this is something local people would support.

    Cllr Rosemary Torrington
    Thamesfield ward

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