Please STOP the Graphite Square development going ahead as it stands!

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Please STOP the Graphite Square development going ahead as it stands!

The proposed plans for Graphite Square have sent shockwaves across the estate and beyond.

 

The current plans are a hostile addition to our diverse and thriving neighbourhood. The violation of the Vauxhall Gardens conservation area is astonishing.

 

VGERTA members from across the estate and especially from the nearby blocks have expressed their antipathy and discomfort at the new plans.

 

We urge you to reject the plans as they currently stand and urge the developers to revise them and make them friendlier to local people trying to live and thrive in the area.

 

We wrote to the developers in May 2017 urging them to rethink and revise their proposals but unfortunately they have submitted the planning application with only minor changes. The planning application has been submitted during the summer holidays and close to some other planning applications associated to projects nearby (Lambeth bridge changes, Vauxhall Cross and Waterloo) which doesn’t help.

 

The main issues of concerns raised by us and our members are:

·       High density and size of the scheme (sitting right on the boundary on Worgan Street and Jonathan Street, limiting space for greening, public realm and accessibility)

·       The height of the 3 blocks, which will dominate our neighbourhood, change the landscape and set a precedent for similar developments in our village feel neighbourhoods.

·       The aesthetic violation of the conservation area of Vauxhall Gardens estate

·       The shading impact of the proposed development on Arne, Jameson and Kennedy Houses and Hayman Point, the Carmelita Centre and the Carmelita Centre community garden (ref: Right to Light).

·       The gated suggestion. The developers have advised that Lambeth council have insisted that the public realm areas be gated and locked at certain times. This will promote a lack of social cohesion and a "them and us" environment for the residents of the new development and Vauxhall Gardens residents. The planned public realms would remain unused and provide no value to the local community.

·       The boundary of the scheme on Worgan Street i.e. the building should align with Jameson House to allow more public realm improvements on Worgan Street and also explore the possibility of improving the appearance of the Arne House, Jameson and Kennedy Houses public spaces to match the new development.

·       Greening initiatives at street level are nil i.e. Worgan Street and Jonathan Street

·       The echoing effect in Worgan Street due to the close proximity of the development to the existing blocks

·       Lack of clarity regarding the proposed Café and Church (i.e. accessibility, hours of operation etc)

·       Privacy violation for Arne House and Hayman Point - The glass frontage means residents/workers will have a view into our flats.

·       The two existing tower-blocks (Hayman's and Coverley Point) are widely spaced, quite modest and surrounded by greenery - the Northernmost of the proposed blocks would in contrast loom over them rising straight from the street. 

·       Lack of clarity on new jobs in consultation material – how many new jobs? i.e. a range would be useful.

·       Will there be discounted rates for the workspaces for estate residents since the development sits partially within our estate boundary?

·       What are the sustainability/green credentials of this scheme?

·       Will the suggested Jameson/Kennedy & Jonathan Street access points be gated too?

·       The wind impact through the new development and the impact on the nearby buildings and public spaces

·       There is no clarity in the plans about how they will manage the construction traffic in order to minimise the impact on the adjacent buildings and the wider area during construction

·       How are they going to mitigate the dust effect on the adjacent buildings and community spaces i.e. allotments, playgrounds, trees.

·       The development feels/seems like a standalone entity without social housing which will antagonise social cohesion

·       The proposed green roof/gardens will be higher than the existing low rise blocks therefore estate residents will not benefit from them in terms of views

·       Clarity needed on deliveries after the development is complete and in full use. The impact on the already narrow Worgan Street is currently unknown and we feel that this already congested and narrow street will be heavily congested with limited accessibility.

 

VGERTA represent 3,000 residents of Vauxhall Gardes Estate and we have 10 year successful record in delivering community projects, some of them from feasibility stage to construction. We are a very proactive and collaborative voluntary organisation and we have excellent relationships with all local stakeholders. We have worked in collaboration with many stakeholders and developers to deliver community schemes.

 

We already offered to work with the developers to help them revise their plans in order to deliver a scheme that is not intrusive and traumatic for our thriving Vauxhall Gardens diverse and united community.

 

 We passionately and wholeheartedly urging you to reject this planning application as it currently stands. We would like to see this site redeveloped in such way that will complement our area and not distorting the character and feel or our much loved Vauxhall Gardens Estate.

Please STOP the Graphite Square development going ahead as it stands!

www.VGERTA.org.uk

 



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