All change - we launch our Unlocking Wandsworth investigation into regeneration across the borough
Wandsworth is set to embark upon a period of intensive development which will change the skyline, social landscape and economy of the borough, impacting on all who live and work here.
On Monday councillors will decide upon a massive redevelopment plan for Sleaford Street industrial estate and Dairy Crest milk distribution, just one of dozens of large-scale construction projects underway or in the pipeline stretching from Roehampton in the west to Nine Elms in the east.
In response to this unprecedented level of investment the Wandsworth Guardian today is launching Unlocking Wandsworth, a series of investigative articles mapping the major areas of change and how this will affect the residents and businesses involved.
Construction work has already begun transforming former industrial district Nine Elms in the north east corner of the borough.
Millions of pounds will be pumped into projects as diverse as converting the Grade II listed Battersea Power Station into luxury homes, to construction of the new US embassy.
Cranes dominate the skyline, and the proposed construction on 294 homes, as well as offices, retail space and community facilities at the Sleaford Street site provides a perfect example of the challenges involved in such large-scale regeneration.
Included in the plans is the possibility of 44 new affordable homes, riverfront flats and offices aimed at attracting wealth to the area, and a huge £7.5m community infrastructure levy to the council to improve the surrounding road networks, schools and other amenities.
Against this are genuine concerns from local businesses.
New Covent Garden Market, itself the subject of regeneration plans, has submitted concerns about noise while existing traders in the industiral estate fear they will be forced out and historic character in the site will be lost.
Beginning next week The Wandsworth Guardian will examine the detail the impending impact of a number of multi-million pound developments making up the Nine Elms area.
Subsequent investigations will take in the transformation of Wandsworth Town, proposed changes to social housing at the Winstanley and York Road estates off St John's Hill Battersea, regeneration of the Roehampton area, and work in Earlsfield.
Thousands of jobs and homes will be created, but at the same time many will be either temporarily or permanently displaced, and there are fears disadvantaged residents will be marginalised in favour of millionaire investors.
We will be talking to the decision makers, developers and business leaders, but also residents associations, work placement schemes and charities about the future of the brighter borough.
Leader of the council, Councillor Ravi Govindia, is enthusiastic about the possibilities international and UK investment will provide.
He said: "I think the over arching thing for Wandsworth residents to take pride in is the borough is changing and changing for the better.
"It will have a new quarter for the 21st century and an international quarter not looking inward, but looking outward to the rest of London."
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