Picturesque views in Wandsworth to be granted extra protection during planning process
Views across the Wandsworth skyscape considered so picturesque they cannot be altered through high-rise developments could be set to receive an extra level of protection.
Views of Putney Bridge, Battersea Bridge, Albert Bridge, Chelsea Bridge, Battersea Power Station from Queenstown Road and Albert Bridge from Riverside Walk are all considered to be important heritage assets.
Wandsworth councillors are expected to make a final decision during a full council meeting on Wednesday as to whether the views should be included in a planning guidance document, known as the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
If granted protection developers would have to assess the impact their proposals could have on a particular view.
The whole process, however, has been deemed a farce by amenity groups who claim several views of historical importance have been neglected.
Views of specific buildings, panoramas including a broad vista and views which give a 180 degree visibility were used as the criteria for defining an important view.
Initially 50 views across the borough were considered for protection, but the list was drastically chopped to include only six.
The council claim some of the views are already protected under conservation area status and it would be costly for developers to consider all 50 views.
But 24 views on the document will have no protection at all, including Tibbet’s Corner, Putney, Wandsworth Town Hall, Wandsworth and the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, in Trinity Road, Wandsworth.
Views of the River Wandle were also deemed not worthy of protection because developments already encroach.
In a letter the Putney Society claim plans were changed to enable developers to construct high-rise blocks in Putney.
Cyril Richert, of the Clapham Junction Action Group, said most of the views will drastically change under developments in Nine Elms.
He said: "Most of them are just views from the river showing the Power Station which is already planned to be changed with new buildings in front and things like that.
"There is no point of protecting those views because the document will be irrelevant in five years time."
Councillors are also expected to discuss the selection criteria they will adopt for considering buildings for special protection.
On Monday a list of 12 buildings and monuments of historic importance in and around Battersea Park were considered for locally listed status, providing extra protection against development.
These plans were also set to be discussed at last nights meeting.
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