Whilst we broadly welcome the regeneration of the Ebury Bridge Estate we have four main objections:
1. The potential use of the area on the ground/basement floor of the new Edgson House for a private Primary School;
2. Concerns that the mixed use of private and social housing tenants in blocks is continued;
3. The siting of a proposed car park ramp and
4. Effect of the Loss of light for residents.
The potential use of the area on the ground/basement floor of the new Edgson House for a private Primary School
We have consulted with residents on the Ebury Bridge Estate and there is widespread opposition to the proposed siting of a private Primary School in the new Edgson House. The view of the residents we spoke to was that this space should be a genuine community space used for the estate and area. One suggested use being retail given the increase in residents the development will bring as well as the new Chelsea Barracks site development immediately opposite.
Over the course of the consultation process there were three separate polls of residents as to what they wanted the space to be used for, the results were published and all show strong opposition to the use of the space by a school. The minutes of the Ebury Bridge Regeneration meeting of Monday 11th November 2013 refers to residents’ feedback on the consultation stating that the “only negative view expressed was the possibility of a school using the non housing space at the base of Edgson House.”
The minutes also record “Residents questioned why the school option was being presented to planning committee when they had expressly stated that they were not in favour of that option. They questioned the concept of consultation if the council was not responding to their views.”
Residents also raised concerns that the school option was not mentioned at the original referendum and that a potential community space could be lost which would benefit the estate. The planning application refers to the possible provider of the Primary School being outside of the borough and that it is “therefore debateable to what extent a private school relocating from outside Westminster would serve the needs of local residents in Ebury Bridge Estate.”
The planning application also refers to concerns by the Highways Planning Manager about the traffic generated by a school which is also shared by ourselves and residents. Ebury Bridge Road is a busy road during peak traffic times and our concern is that the provision of a school will considerably add to this. Traffic would increase at two points in the school day with parents dropping off and picking up their children as well as the increased traffic and parking needed for teaching and support staff at the school. There were also concerns at the resultant noise levels and the effect of traffic of after school clubs which would prolong the impact on the estates’ play facilities, local streets and residents.
Concerns that the mixed use of private and social housing tenants in blocks is continued
We welcome the application’s commitment to retain the current mix of social rent properties and private leaseholders and the increase in number of social rent properties. We were concerned to hear from some residents that comments were apparently made during the consultation process that some blocks would be reserved for private leaseholders only including the proposed tower in the south east of the development. We seek assurances that the continued mixed use is maintained.
The siting of a proposed car park ramp
We share Cheylesmore House Residents’ concerns at the siting of the proposed car park entrance ramp next to the entrance to Cheylesmore House. The planning application states that “the traffic movement to and from the new underground car park would not be substantial and would be negligible in comparison to the traffic carried by Ebury Bridge Road which Cheylesmore House also lies alongside.” We feel that this misses the point that the entrance to Cheylesmore House does not lie on Ebury Bridge Road but opposite the entrance to the Youth Club in Edgson House. The current road into the estate at this point is gated and does not currently allow traffic access. Opening up this route to traffic will therefore cause a great increase in traffic movement from the current position.
The planning application also states that “neither the access into the estate from Ebury Bridge Road nor the new ramp is wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic. Amendments are therefore required to widen the access and ramp or to include a vehicle signally system in order to minimise any waiting or queuing on the highway.” A larger ramp would have an increase impact on the area and residents’ views needs to be taken into account. We are also concerned at the siting of the car park ramp so close to the playground area and seek assurances that consideration be given to securing the playground site so it is safe for children to play in.
You have received two objections about the siting of the car park entrance from Cheylesmore Residents including one from a director of Cheylesmore House Association. One of the objections comes from a 92 year resident whose garden is directly opposite to the proposed entrance ramp; she has lived in the property for twenty years and is greatly concerned about the effect of the ramp on her ability to enjoy her property. The impact of this is increased due to her limited mobility which increases the time she spends at home during the day with her garden being an important space to relax in. When I spoke to the resident she underlined how stressful she found the proposed ramp and how it was already effecting her sleep and general wellbeing. The siting of the entrance there will have an impact with increased noise and traffic outside her property.
Residents have asked for an alternative entrance to be investigated to mitigate the impact and we ask that the committee look at alternative routes into the car park.
Effect of the Loss of light for residents
A resident in Cheylesmore House also raised concerns about the loss of light in their property due to the new Edgson House being larger than the current building. We would like assurances that planning decisions will take this into account given that the footprint of the new Edgson House is closer to the road.
• Lessees were concerned that they might not receive a fair market value for the equity of their property and be moved into a flat of the same size that they currently inhabit
• Clarity on the selection criteria about the order residents are allocated new properties; one lessee had chosen a flat in the south side of the estate and wanted the flexibility to be able to choose to come back to the same location.
• Fairness on the inheritance rights, the current status is that residents believe that they can pass the lease onto two generations before the equity has to be repaid
Councillor Jason Williams
on behalf of the Churchill Councillors