Traffic congestion - Increased traffic congestion with the
introduction of an additional of at least 250 cars (1 car per flat),
adding to the already excessive traffic load, resulting in gridlock
in the area and compounded by the Olympia lorries, which would now
be pushed onto the surrounding streets.
Parking - Insufficient off-street
car parking provision. Increase on existing high parking stress
levels in surrounding streets. This will be further amplified
by the demand of the existing Olympia car park users decanted
onto the surrounding streets.
Road safety - Reduction
in road safety through increased incidents of double parking and
a narrow 400m+ long unsafe estate road cul-de-sac, without provision
of a pedestrian walkway. Increased danger to pedestrians and cyclists
in the area.
Public transport - Shuttle
tube service from Olympia is infrequent and usually overcrowded.
Increased traffic in the area would cause delays in local bus
Scale of development - Proposal
excessively large, with high density, resulting in overcrowding
and crammed streets. It would be an over development of a backland
site, covering almost the entirety of the site with buildings
and hard surfacing.
Design - No respect for
architectural integrity of locality and harming the visual quality
of the residents' environment. It would affect Sinclair Road and
Blythe Road Conservation areas.
Nature conservation - The
proposal would destroy 90% of the existing woodland and diverse
flora and fauna, comprising mature trees, plants, flowers, birds
and animals, including a number of protected species.
Residential amenity - The
proposal would cause unacceptable overlooking and loss of existing
high levels of privacy. The proposed building would be too tall
and too big, resulting in increased sense of enclosure and oppressiveness,
night-time light pollution, overshadowing of rear gardens and
overlooking, as well as loss of outlook, openness, skyline, daylight
and sunlight and private rights to light.
Local services - Nurseries,
schools and GP practices are overloaded and the proposal would
put a pressure on these and other local facilities and services,
including supply of water, gas and refuse collection.
- Building would create a noise tunnel effect on both sides resulting
in increased noise disturbance. With regard to the Sinclair Road
residents it would threaten their environment, as the car park
is closed at night and despite the occasional transitory train
noise, replacing it by the constant noise of the residents and
their comings and goings at close proximity.
Air pollution - This densely
populated area already suffers low standard air quality. The proposal
would remove the existing woodland, a green lung in the area,
while the car fumes would be experienced within a more enclosed
area, resulting in increased incidence of asthma, especially in
Open space - Proposal would
provide no gardens, no green space, no play area, no leisure /
recreational facilities for new residents, their children and
their pets in this area of open space and play areas deficiency.
Security - The proposed
use and site layout would pose an increased security/crime risk
to Sinclair Road residents.
Local community - Overall
the proposal would harm and not benefit the local community, resulting
in a reduced quality of life for local residents.
Read also: Woodland under threat
Habitat of a number of protected species menaced by St George
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The redevelopment of the site includes
a total of 251 residential units, comprising studios, 1, 2 and 3-bed
units and a row of 172 car-parking spaces, covered by a series of
carports, sited against the rear boundary wall of the Sinclair Road
properties. A 430m long access road cul-de-sac would run down the
middle. The proposal would introduce hundreds of windows, and balconies
or terraces, which would overlook the Sinclair Road properties'
windows at close proximity.
It means that Lynda would be facing
the new neighbours windows in a "monolithic nasty piece of
architecture", as she calls the St George's building plans.
No wonder why she quite concerned about her privacy at her own
home. All flats from nos. 2 to 150 Sinclair Road, from basement
to top floor flats would be severely affected. "At present
we look out onto woodlands. If the development were to take place
we would look out onto other flats and be overlooked by them,
affecting light and privacy", says Monica Aroma, resident
at the no. 128.
According to the report by Case
Officer Niko Grigoropoulos to LBHF Planning Committee, "the
separating distance between Sinclair Road flats and the new development
would range between 17m and 20m. In addition they would overlook
all the rear gardens at a distance of about 11m. A large proportion
of the windows would be full height, exacerbating further the
adverse effects on residents' privacy."
A building of such height and scale
will also have adverse effects on light. "The proposed building
would be too tall and too big, resulting in increased sense of
enclosure and oppressiveness, night-time light pollution, overshadowing
of rear gardens and overlooking, as well as loss of outlook, openness,
skyline, daylight and sunlight and private rights to light",
says the document to HF Planning Committee, which unanimously
rejected the application to develop the Olympia Car Park. Kensington
and Chelsea council also rejected the planning application and
now a Public Enquiry will be held. The Olympia Battle, as the
Public Enquiry is called by Sinclair Road residents, will start
on the 3rd September.
In the document "Key reasons:
Why planning permission should be refused" to be presented
at the Public Enquiry, SRRA identified the main consequences to
residents if the development goes ahead. It includes increased
traffic congestion, road safety, reduced parking space, air pollution,
noise, the loss of the woodland and its fauna and flora, overloading
local services, problems with public transport
and security risks.
"I can't see anything good
about it", says Lynda.
"It will be incredibly claustrophobic and very dark and very
depressing. Having a great big building blocking the sky would
be just awful. The whole
idea is so ugly with no thought to the surroundings and certainly
about the effects that it would cause to other people."
"I am absolutely opposed to St George's plans (and indeed
to any development on that land). St George's proposal is for
ugly high-density flats, which in height, volume, appearance and
materials would be utterly out of keeping with the Sinclair Road/Blythe
Road Conservation area", says Alan Jenkins, a literary editor
who lives at 130 Sinclair Road. "I think we are fortunate
in living in an area that retains - just - a sense of neighbourhood
and community rather than a faceless urban thoroughfare and I
believe the St George proposals would be extremely detrimental
to that - from the chaos and nuisance we would have to endure
during the actual building to the presence of what would be, precisely,
a faceless urban thoroughfare driven right into the heart of the
community. 'Top of the market' - St George's words for 'expensive'
- or not, this development would be a very nasty barrack whose
inhabitants will live on top of the railway line, with no green
space and no amenities, and the impact of that on the existing
residents' quality of life would be huge."
Traffic congestion, with an additional
250 cars (assuming 1 car per flat), would affect not only Sinclair
Road but the whole area, including Maclise Road, Blythe Road and
Hazlitt Road, and the development would result in the loss of
in excess of 200 parking spaces. "The current St George plans
do not address this issue and the resulting detrimental impact
on several hundred exhibitor car, vans and lorries without parking
would cause to the Brook Green area", says the document by
Jenkins says: "It would pose traffic and parking problems
of nightmare proportions - all the surrounding streets are already
highly congested and this development would put at least 200 more
cars into the equation, not to mention the lorries of Olympia's
exhibitors who currently use the carpark. For residents in my
house it would mean huge loss of amenity in terms of light, privacy,
and air quality; increased noise from the two-lane approach road
for the flats, both from their putative owners' cars and from
service vehicles; added fuel pollution and a very real problem
vis-a-vis security. At present only trespassers on the railway
line have access to the gardens to the rear of Sinclair Road,
not a frequent scenario. The development would expose the rear
of the houses to anyone who felt like climbing over a low wall."
Lynda is also concerned about security: "We will be far more
open to burglars than we have been in the past. Although I have
an alarm, it makes me very anxious. They will be able to climb
on top of this car park roof and get over our fences. I don't
think it is being neurotic to suspect that at all."
Monica Aroma doesn't consider neither "that it is safe to
build so closed to raillines on such a narrow strip of woodland:
It will allow people to access basement flats and take away the
safety they currently enjoy."
Hammersmith and Fulham Council
received 345 letters against St. George's planning application.
SRRA also submitted a petition with 427 signatures objecting the
proposal. The Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group,
the Hammersmith Society, Brook Green Association, Holland West
Residents Association, WWF and Palace Mansions Residents Association
also have raised strong objections. But the Olympia Battle will
re-start at the Public Enquiry.
For more up-to-date information on how to stop St George development:
SRRA Web site