Battersea snubbed by Clapham-friendly hotel company
5:12pm Monday 1st October 2012 in News
A new Travelodge has been named the London Clapham Hotel to the annoyance of Battersea residents battling to get recognition for their neighbourhood.
The chain has opened a hotel in Falcon Road which is in the heart of Battersea.
The error was spotted by local councillor James Cousins who also noticed that the information for the hotel wrongly showed a Tube station at Clapham Junction.
He wrote to the company asking them to correct the listings and change the name.
But it said the hotel was named after the railway station not the area.
It said it might make the changes but would not inform him if it did.
Although this may seem to some to be a minor issue Coun Cousins says that it is a far wider issue with roots that date back to the 19th century.
The problem first arose back when Clapham Junction was built in 1838, as the railway companies chose to name the station after the wealthier area of Clapham, a mile east, rather than its actual location of Battersea.
This postcode snobbery has continued in the present day, with many Battersea businesses keen to associate themselves with affluent Clapham rather than Battersea.
In Coun Cousin’s role as council cabinet member for business, he has become aware that a local identity and sense of place is "vitally important" for the area to thrive socially and economically.
He believes that the transformation of Wandsworth into "an amorphous blob of Clapham" harms the area and prevents Battersea from being able to capitalise on its name.
He said it causes other issues such as the fire brigade being called to the wrong area by people who had confused Battersea and Clapham.
Philip Beddows, founder of the Love Battersea group, said there has been no response from the company to the repeated calls for it to be renamed.
He said that the issue has even been brought up directly in meetings with the Town Centre Planning Board, on which Mr Bellows used to sit, with no effect.
Mr Bellows is calling for a change in the council planning process to ensure that large developments such as this respect their geographic heritage. He also wants the tackle the problem by erecting a sign saying "Welcome to the heart of Battersea" directly outside the station.
Travelodge were twice contacted, in their office in Sleepy Hollow, Oxfordshire, on Friday and Monday to provide a response however the company have yet to comment.