Analysis of a Survey of Anthology London’s Proposed Redevelopment of Woodlands Site
16 May 2019
Stop the Blocks Community Action Group (STB) undertook a survey to collect feedback on Anthology London’s proposed redevelopment (called “Kennington Stage”) of the former Woodlands nursing home on Dugard Way in Kennington. Anthology London presented proposals in April 2019 to construct 258 units on the small back land site in the form of a 4-storey mansion block and a 29-storey tower block.
188 respondents completed the survey and the main feedback was:
1. 88.8% thought the development on the site was over intensive.
2. 89.9% thought that the proposed scale and landscaping did not enhance the site's history and public space around it.
3. 32% identified other issues that were not adequately addressed by the proposals and 28% thought none of the issues were addressed at all.
You can download a copy of the survey report and findings below.
On Monday 8th April more than 150 local residents joined a public meeting at the Cinema Museum to voice their concerns over a proposed private residential development on the site of the former “Woodlands” nursing home. Plans include a 29 storey tower block and a four storey ‘mansion’ block.
Organised by "Stop the Blocks Community Action Group" and chaired by Harminder Brainch (from Stop the Blocks), the meeting brought residents together with Neil Sams, Development Director for the developer, Anthology; Lambeth Labour councillors Jon Davies and David Amos; and Southwark Liberal Democrat councillor Graham Neale.
Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall and Sarah Lewis, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Vauxhall were also present at the meeting.
Kicking off the meeting, Brainch said: “We absolutely recognise the need for redevelopment, more affordable housing, protection of conservation areas and protection of community assets. But we also want to have a proper consultation and that’s why we’re here today.”
Sams, representing Anthology, commented: “We’re very fortunate in that this is a very pleasant area of Kennington, adjacent to a Zone 1 station. I think the existing development proposals are the right solution for the site.”
Residents then took the floor, asking questions of both the developer and Lambeth Council. Concerns were expressed over the height and density of the development (including likely wind tunnel effects), the extent to which it will comply with the social, economic and environmental parameters laid out in the Lambeth Local Plan, and the rationale for the £21.8m loan received by Anthology from the Greater London Assembly’s Land Fund. Many residents also expressed concern about the development’s absence of social housing.
Councillor Jon Davies, who is also a trustee of the Cinema Museum (whose future security has been cited as a key benefit of the proposed plans) said: “Both councillor David Amos and I are as one on this. We think the development is too big and the massing is too great.”
Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, asked Sams: “How did you come up with your density definitions? You have defined this as a ‘central’ area. The definition of ‘urban’ would be much more this area. Your proposed density should be much much less. You have to be sensitive to the area.”
Sams confirmed that the area had been classified as ‘central’, deeming the proposed development appropriate for the chosen site: “We are 800m from a major town centre at Elephant and Castle. We believe this to be a central site. This site lends itself to a dense development.”
Sarah Lewis, prospective parliamentary candidate for Vauxhall directed her question to Lambeth councillors present: “As of May last year you’d managed to build only nine [new social homes in Lambeth], while perfectly good council housing is destroyed across estates elsewhere in the borough. If you’d your powers to use this Woodlands site to build new council homes, how many net new homes with a secure council tenancy could you have built?” Councillor Davies said 70 council homes had been built at Lollard Street with more planned at Knight’s Walk.
Anthology will submit their application for ‘Kennington Stage’ at the end of April.