The Planning Committee of the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames (LBRuT) resolved to grant planning consent for the revised major mixed-use scheme on the former 22-acre Stag Brewery site in Mortlake, Southwest London, designed by award-winning architects Squire & Partners, incorporating the new fire safety rules announced by Housing Secretary Michael Gove last Summer.
Eight blocks out of 21 residential apartment buildings in the scheme taller than 18 metres will now incorporate second staircases, requiring changes to the layout in some flats, waste stores, and ground-floor fire escape routes.
The development includes 7.5 per cent of affordable housing, even though the agreed viability test with Richmond Council provides only four per cent. Still, to accommodate this and to incorporate the fire regulation changes, the developer has dispensed with offices above the proposed cinema, replacing them with additional housing accommodation.
The development, amongst the largest mixed-use schemes in South West London, is undertaken by Dartmouth Capital Advisors on behalf of Reselton Properties, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed City Developments Limited (CDL).
Guy Duckworth, the Dartmouth director responsible for the Stag Brewery site, said, “We are delighted that the London Borough of Richmond has backed our development proposals again, and we will immediately refer them to GLA Mayor Khan for his review.”
The revised application follows from an earlier scheme that LBRuT approved in January 2020, but following referral to the Greater London Authority (GLA), was turned down by Mayor Sadiq Khan in July 2021 despite his own planning officer’s recommendation to approve.
The scheme approved by the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames last year includes:
•A new secondary school Academy for 1,200 pupils, a full-sized football pitch (also available for community use), and an indoor multi-use gym, play and sports space, to be constructed by the Central Government.
•1068 new homes to be built across the site. These are a mix of private and affordable 1, 2, 3 and 4-bed homes. The affordable housing content is approximately 7.5 per cent of the residential content by area and is 80 per cent social rent tenure optimised for family occupation.
•Over 10 acres of publicly accessible open space providing multiple access routes for pedestrians and cyclists to reach the river bank.
•1068 new homes to be built across the site. These are a mix of private and affordable 1, 2, 3 and 4-bed homes. The affordable housing content is approximately 7.5% of the residential content by area and is 80 per cent social rent tenure and optimised for family occupation.
•A mix of uses creates a traditional commercial high street for the benefit of the surrounding Mortlake community that comprises some 20 to 30 units of shops, bars, and restaurants, together with a hotel, cinema, and rowing club.
•Nine acres of green space with numerous squares, all with public access, provide the focus for the residential accommodation surrounding them. A new green link connects the existing Mortlake Green with the River Thames.
•2500 sq m of offices providing space for existing and new local small businesses.
• Employing 300 people in the commercial spaces
•An extensive package of road junction improvements at Chalkers Corner designed to mitigate the proposed development’s additional trip generation, improve air quality for existing residents, and speed up the busy local road network.
•The scheme has adopted a net gain biodiversity approach, including ecological enhancements such as providing bat and bird nesting boxes and using native tree species and biodiversity roofs.
•This latest approved scheme has a positive Air Quality rating.
Guy Duckworth said: “This is the largest development in the London Borough of Richmond, and we have worked hard to create a scheme that the Borough will be proud of, designing both a multiple range of residential homes from our award-winning architects Squire & Partners and a mix of uses that will bring life to this part of Mortlake that has been cut-off from the Thames riverside for several centuries.”
Duckworth highlights the revisions made to the original scheme that address concerns shown by Richmond Council and the GLA. These include:
The scheme contributes to Richmond’s affordable housing stock, approximately 7.5 per cent of its total residential floor space. This level reflects that the developer has unilaterally offered to double the “maximum reasonable quantum” that the scheme should deliver as assessed formally by the Council’s valuers and viability analysts. Richmond Council’s desire for larger family-sized units and a tenure ratio of 80% social rent units within the residential content has also been met by the developer within this latest approved scheme.
The scheme’s architectural townscape has been reduced from the earlier scheme, which was recommended by GLA officers but turned down by Mayor Khan because it was too tall in parts. That scheme included 1250 residential units, whereas the latest design approved by Richmond has a total residential content of 1068 units. The scheme has been assessed by Townscape design expert Chris Miele of Montagu Evans and is regarded as being of the highest architectural standard in both design terms and in its ability to meet the Richmond Adopted Planning Design Brief.
The latest scheme has been redesigned to prevent the need for fossil fuel consumption to produce hot water or heating. All traditional gas- or oil-burning boiler systems have been replaced within all parts of the proposed development with emission-free air-source electric heat pumps. Photovoltaic roof panels adorn the green rooftops in the whole proposed development. In addition, 40 per cent of the car spaces in the basement carpark are designed for use by rechargeable electric vehicles, and there is a provision to extend this percentage to 100 per cent as future demand dictates.
This latest scheme provides a new flood protection barrier for Mortlake, which meets the Environment Agency forecast water levels. It also provides an elevated public walkway beside the River Thames, which can be used when the existing towpath is flooded at high tide.
The design was developed with input from the adopted 2011 London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames development brief for the site, along with national planning policy guidance.
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