Case Study: 59 apartments, London Borough of Wandsworth

Background

Our client sought to redevelop an existing run-down 1970s residential building in the London Borough of Wandsworth and replace it with new high-quality flats. The scheme sought to enhance the street by reflecting the character of the surrounding houses in the new design. SP Broadway was instructed in November 2012.

Challenge

  • The redevelopment proposed to increase both the height and size of the building; in an area currently receiving its fair share of applications for new, taller buildings.
  • Residents and councillors needed to be reassured that the new building would be an improvement and would not overshadow neighbouring houses.

Solution

  • SP Broadway sent a comprehensive briefing to councillors and planning officers outlining the plans and the benefits for the area.
  • SP Broadway liaised with key members of the local community and concerned residents to inform them of the proposals and allay fears over the impact of the redevelopment.
  • An invitation letter to the public exhibition was sent to nearby residents and councillors, briefing them on the proposals and inviting further discussion.
  • A public exhibition was held and feedback forms were provided, allowing attendees to comment on the proposals. Feedback from the exhibition was largely positive; however several residents expressed concern over the height of the buildings. SP Broadway provided a detailed analysis of the feedback to the project team, allowing the team to better understand how the plans needed to evolve to gain community support.
  • SP Broadway worked closely with stakeholders, using this close liaison and the feedback gained from the public exhibition to help steer changes to the proposals to better reflect political and community opinion.
  • As a result of consultation with stakeholders and the public exhibition a number of changes to the plans were made, including reduction in the height of the building, additional affordable housing provision, increased parking, greater consideration for right to light, agreed transport initiatives, and substantial CIL payments: all of which reflected concerns raised by stakeholders and residents.
  • SP Broadway sent briefing letters to stakeholders, detailing the changes and highlighting why they should support the scheme. This included a final briefing letter in the week of the committee’s decision.

Result

  • Having gained the planning officers’ recommendation for approval, in June 2013 the scheme was granted planning permission by 6 votes to 2.
  • Following a second round of consultation organised by SP Broadway – including additional meetings with residents and a second public exhibition – an application for a rear extension to the new building was submitted to Wandsworth Council and approved in May 2014.

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