In one of the largest developments on Lavender Hill for some time, Wandsworth Council is planning to start work on the building of 26 flats and 4 large houses, spread across seven different buildings mostly on “spare” bits of land in the Gideon Road Estate. These are all set to be Council-owned, and are mainly designed to accommodate residents who are being moved out of the Winstanley Estate ahead of its partial demolition and redevelopment.
The biggest of them all is to be built on a set of garages and parking spaces at the western end of Gideon Road – creating 15 flats and three large houses (going up to six bedrooms!). Our future new neighbours will do quite well out of this move, as the proposed buildings are rather better quality than most on the part of the Winstanley estate that’s being redeveloped, and several of the flats and houses have decent sized gardens.Here’s a ‘before and after’ of the entrance to the large area of garages and car parking at the back of the Gideon Road estate – the balcony visible on the right in the first photo is part of the privately owned set of flats and houses that were built a few years ago (Westmoreland Apartments).
The development aims to recreate the surface car parking spaces used by residents of Gideon Road, but the garages will not be replaced.
The second biggest is a set of eight flats in a pair of similar-looking buildings essentially filling in the ’empty corners’ of the Tyneham Close block of flats which are currently a small paved area sometimes used for a kickabout, and an empty space – here’s a ‘before and after’ of one of these buildings:
The third, and smallest, is a three-bed house and three flats, replacing a row of garages in the sunken car park area behind The Crown. The house, and one of the flats, have small gardens.This map shows roughly where all the new buildings are set to be built – they essentially fill in all the empty spaces in the Gideon Road estate. We understand there was some thought of also ‘filling in the gaps’ directly facing Lavender Hill as well, but this was discarded (just as well, as the large trees would have been cut down, and the three parallel blocks of flats would have lost a great deal of daylight if the area had been built on).This map, drawn from the planning application, shows the original plan for the Gideon Road estate. It’s surprising to learn that it was, apparently, designed in the early 1970s as a single coordinated plan for around 200 houses and flats (as a partial redevelopment of the Victorian-era L’Anson and Townsend estates that were previously on the site), as walking around it it often feels as though it’s really several separate and unrelated developments that are loosely combined, with strange dead ends and some rather confusing footpath routes. Original plan of the Gideon Road Estate, (c) Wandsworth Borough Council
All of these developments already have full planning permission – approved back in early 2017). It wasn’t particularly controversial at the time, maybe thanks to the proposed buildings generally being reasonably scaled, and the widely recognised need for decent quality affordable housing. There was concern at the loss of car parking (even though the garages were privately let, and a fair few were out of use, the cars in those that are being rented still have to go somewhere after the garages are knocked down).
Other issues raised at the time included reduced light to some areas, and also concerns that a small minority of the tenants from the (somewhat troubled) part of the Winstanley that’s being redeveloped might not be too welcome on the calm and neighbourly Gideon Road estate.
This development looks set to start in the not-too-distant future, as ground surveys and the like are already taking place – typically suggesting build may be underway within a year or less. Some public rights of way have also already been eliminated in the Gideon Road garages section of the development (as they’re set to be covered by buildings) – the picture to the right shows the application to change some of the areas open to public access.
Planning / design images (c) Wandsworth Borough Council, aerial view extract (c) Google