The NDG have been involved in discussions with various developers in Hackbridge. The Wandle Valley Trading Estate, Corbet Close and more recently Felnex. We are concerned that the area is not being looked at as a whole and only as individual re-development potentials and more importantly local views are not being listened too. What many people may not realise is that Hackbridge is situated in the largest area of the unfolding Wandle Valley Regional Park with direct access to the River Wandle. With these two jewels in our neighbourhood, new developments should use this as the major brief for their design, plus it gives them a great marketing opportunity. The areas under development have been industrial, but these are being replaced by mainly residential dwellings meaning the economy within Hackbridge is significantly depleting. This has a knock-on affect that people moving to Hackbridge would need to travel outside to find work on what is already an over crowded railway line (at rush hour) and with over 1000 new dwellings proposed over the various developments, can the current infrastructure cope (roads, healthcare etc)?
What has been agreed in particular for Phase 1 of Felnex (although not commencing at present) and the proposal for the land north of Hackbridge Train Station will dramatically change the look and feel of Hackbridge and not all for the better!
Whilst we welcome the regeneration of Hackbridge, this needs to be considered as a wider picture that will enhance the eclectic character of Hackbridge for the benefit of the existing residents and the new.
If you would like to discuss this further with your local residents, do pop down to The Red Lion Pub on Thursday 17 September from 7.30pm.
We understand this is short notice, so you may like to look through the presentation for the land north of the train station at your leisure and you still have the opportunity to comment on it to the developer by email to email@example.com. We would love your feedback too, so please get in touch with the NDG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. On paper, it appears to be a nice mix of dwelling and green space, and the stepping of heights is attractive. I also like the attention to the Mile Road accessibility.
2. However, 9 floors is much higher than any other building in HB and although there were some concept drawings, I did not see an elevation showing the relative heights and how this development would sit in its landscape. I am concerned that the Felnex development will be going through a reassessment of need and consequent redesign, and that the 9 floors will be used as an excuse to make a high rise development there.
3. In relation to other developments in HB, some of the team did not seem aware of the projected scale of development in HB and the impact. Working on the basis of currently 3500 dwellings with 7000 people (which may be inaccurate now but has been my rule of thumb in the past), the various developments will add 1000 dwellings and 2000-2500 people, over, say 5 years? This is a significant and rapid expansion and we need services and infrastructure to support it.
4. For example: As we know from BedZEDs 100 dwellings, a development of 200 dwellings will have a severe impact on parking pressure etc, and it is no use being idealistic about this. People have cars, especially families, and it is impractical to expect them to walk or bus everywhere! And where do their visitors park?
5. My major concern is the driving out of the established businesses. HB has aspirations to be a sustainable suburb and that means there must be small businesses serving the needs of local people and with employment opportunities. Can we not locate these businesses as a phase one development along the railway line in Felnex? With proper access for vehicles and pedestrians. Relocating them to Willow Lane or wherever will lose connection with HB and lose local trade, and is not accessible to pedestrians.
6. I am also concerned about the affordability and quality of life for new residents. As was said to me, this is not philanthropy. Well, here in HB a lot of people have worked very hard in recent years to develop a sense of community and identity, and to promote wellbeing and improve the quality of the environment. We want to be a sustainable community in which people can live and work and take their leisure. We do not want to become a dormitory for the city.
7. That brings me to the transport issues. We need a dedicated cycleway to Mitcham Junction and elsewhere. We have to have better choice of bus routes with and extension of the S1 (refused a few years ago) and more train services, especially in the early morning, because for those who will have to work in the city to pay the mortgage it is impossible to get a seat on a train at peak times.
8. Finally, all this development process is taking far too long. HB has already been derelict and a building site for a decade and the recent traveller incursions in Corbet Close show how important it is to move quickly.
Meanwhile, I have the feeling Sutton is not being sincerely supportive of the neighbourhood development process, but rather is giving the group ‘busy work’ to keep them distracted while they go ahead with their own agenda. The grounds on which the NDG can have influence seem to be forever shifting. I do hope the neighbourhood planning process can be concluded soon and that Sutton will commit themselves to supporting the aspirations of Hackbridge and a sustainable suburb.
Could not agree more about the need to move quickly!! You will never please all thr people all thr time, but this development looks considerably above average to me. It should be half-finished by now, considering the warehouses came down a good year ago. Who is causing the hold-up? Please can the powers that be start buiding something!
Do you know what’s happening with Felnex? The decontamination work seems to have finished with not much else happening. Would hate to see the site sit empty for years.
Phase 1 of the Felnex development which was the supermarket with flats on top has be stalled due to the supermarket provider pulling out. It is thought the land owner is looking for a residential property developer to bring forward the next phase of the site. There are rumours about who the property developer is, but as of yet, nothing has been signed. Once this happens, there should be consultation on the detailed application for that phase, as that area of the site at present has just outline planning permission.
You should also be aware that the decontamination work has taken considerably longer and cost more than was originally expected.
The “supermarket provider” should not play fast and loose withy people’s neighbourhoods!! Why would they pull out: what has changed? It is absolutely ridiculous that his was allowed to happen! Please explain why they pulled out, and why they werer even able to?
Please remember we are not the Council or developer, just a bunch of local residents trying to write a neighbourhood plan, so we don’t always find out the truth about situations. As far as we understand, the supermarket never officially signed with the developer and when it struck hard times itself, stopped opening any new supermarkets, not just Hackbridge.
Perhaps the developer could build the housing without the supermarket or find an alternative provider. Just an idea you understand…
Peter Lloyd September 23, 2015
Rate of Change – Planning Implications
The ‘proposals’ for the land north of Hackbridge Station were published in Sutton’s Development Plan dated 2009.
The document’s content and rational had clearly been developed within the previous years.
The document no longer represents a plan for the future.
At the time of writing, there is in place:
Outline planning consent for: Felnex – Maximum of 725 residential properties.
Various others 100 residential units and now 203/5 residential units on the ‘Land immediately North of Hackbridge station’ . TOTAL circa 1,000 residential units.
On completion of these developments ‘over a time period of seven to ten years’ Hackbridge will have become a ‘bedtime destination’ for young professionals that will seek the short term benefits of that last Zone 4 access to Victoria, London Bridge, St Albans, Blackfriars, St Pancras. The Tramlink from Mitcham Junction leads to Wimbledon within 15 minutes and east to East Croydon Station giving fast access to London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.
Currently an annual yearly travel card from zone 4 costs £300.00 less than the next station within zone 5.
So totally understandably: Hackbridge draws in commuters that if they travel by car will seek to park within walking distance of Hackbridge Station.
The parking availability of the proposed development on the land North of the Station has been allocated a ‘planning availability of 0.5 parking speces per property . That means 100 parking spaces( allocated) for a development of 12 houses, and a 190 unit mix of, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom flats .
Owners or occupiers of these flats will travel by train from Hackbridge to London Victoria and elsewhere…,however people do not tend to comply with planning expectation. LB Sutton Planning have no powers to prevent an occupier of buying or renting a flat with two or three cars from parking up locally.
Nor is there a plan to formulate a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) that would allow local people to have a local parking space.
Second had cars are cheap and the cost of fuel is falling.
The planning proposal for ‘Land north of Hackbridge Station’ is based on plans formulated some 6/ 7 years ago without knowledge of the traffic and parking demands evident at September 2015.
The opportunity for sensitive regeneration of Hackbridge is being lost.
Those young professionals will buy, stay and then move on to buy a house for family life.
They will not stay in Hackbridge. There will be no positive planning legacy.
Any new development site should incorporate sufficient parking spaces that can be accommodated within the footprint of the development.
Take as an Example – the Hackbridge proposal?
Call it 200 residential units.
LB Sutton has already the highest car/vehicle ownership per property of any London Borough.
One can expect some houses or larger flats to have a ‘works’ van transit vehicle, a family car and perhaps a car owned by a son or daughter that cannot afford to ‘access the property ladder’ .
It is not uncommon for a single property to have a parking demand of three vehicles. This reflects the nature of the London Borough of Sutton, sometimes described as ‘vanilla’ implying that the percentage of wealthy and deprived areas are small compared to the majority of the population that is within the middle ground of earnings.
Planning Guidance can no longer respond to the rate of change and ongoing deregulation by Central Government.
Hackbridge was a blank canvas at 1989 and since then the new planning opportunities, with the exception of the BedZed development have been lost opportunities.
I will comment later on the ‘Station North’ site in terms of height in a later comment.
The car and vehicle parking is a primary element that can influence the reshaping of the site opportunity.
Proposed planning developments should be a benefit to society not a lost opportunity to embrace the future and the consequential realities.
The proposals for the ‘Station North’ site will degrade and devalue the local environment and certainly not assist in creating a ‘destination of choice’ for employment and new residents that would wish to put down long term roots.
Posted by: Peter Lloyd 07974 425120 email@example.com Hackbridge Resident
NDG Planning Member, commuter to Victoria and I am prepared to argue the case.