Registered charity 276264

Skyscraper proposal

There is a proposal to build a 38-storey skyscraper at the south end of Battersea Bridge.

The Chairman of the Society’s Planning Committee has objected as follows:

“The Chelsea Society exists in order to safeguard the unique heritage of our part of London. We have over a thousand members.

We strongly object to this proposed development and urge the Council of the London Borough of Wandsworth to reject it.

Although located in Battersea the building would be visible from all over Chelsea. It would dominate the whole of the riverside and would be destructive to the appearance of one of the iconic vistas of London. It would overwhelm the long established RBKC Conservation Area and the Thames Conservation Area with their numerous listed buildings such as the Grade 1 listed Chelsea Old Church, the Grade 1 listed Royal Hospital Chelsea, the Grade 2* Lindsey House, the Grade 2* Crosby Hall, the Grade 2* Albert Bridge and many other Grade 2 buildings in Chelsea. It would be completely out of character with the existing skyline and would set a precedent for further high rise development on the Wandsworth side of the river which would destroy the whole nature
of the area.

The proposed skyscraper is vastly too tall for the space and location envisaged. It breaches Wandsworth Council’s Planning Policy set out in July 2023 where the height restriction is 12 storeys and where regeneration is favoured over demolition in order to meet Zero Carbon policy goals. It is also completely out of keeping with the heights of the immediately surrounding buildings.

A development on this scale would involve a significant increase in the requirement for supporting amenities and services, but there is no indication of how these would be met.

Finally it would generate traffic chaos, Traffic flows across Chelsea, Albert and Battersea Bridges are already at unsustainable levels and for much of the day Cheyne Walk/ Chelsea Embankment are gridlocked. A new skyscraper next to Battersea Bridge would make this even worse and would further overload the whole of the Chelsea and Battersea traffic system.

The proposed Environmental Impact Assessment is inadequate and disingenuous. It ignores the building’s damaging impact on the heritage and appearance of an iconic part of London. It fails to acknowledge its incompatibility with the Council’s planning policies. And it ignores the harm which would be done to the visual aspect of some of London’s most historic buildings. We urge the Council to reject it and to require the developers to submit a different proposal for the Glassmills site which is more respectful of its surroundings.


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