Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge [Summary]

Info and links about the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge Competition: Design exhibition July 2015, petitions and press.

Info and links about the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge Competition. Please give us your news and views. Also see: Pimlico FREDA Backs Council Opposition to Nine Elms Bridge


Pimlico Residents Excluded from Nine Elms Bridge Panel

Although a strong community consultation programme was supposed to be integral to the competition there has been no evidence of community involvement and the much touted Residents’ Review Panel meetings have been cancelled or postponed.

The competition organisers, Wandsworth Council and Colander, have demanded that residents on the panel sign a gagging order to prevent them from sharing with anyone any part of the public consultation process. It is believed that at least two of them have been kicked off the Panel after querying the appropriateness of the gagging orders.

If true it would dramatically undermine the public involvement in this competition. It is thought that Wandsworth’s use of gagging orders and secrecy, masked by invoking ‘commercial confidentiality’, are being used to cover up the bridge’s likely impact on Pimlico. We urge Ravi Govindia and Wandsworth to find a meaningful way to include Pimlico residents in the process.

We believe that London’s best interest would be served by opening the consultation process to public view (with confidential info redacted where appropriate) and we call upon The Mayor of London to ensure that our community isn’t denied the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.


Petitions

9Elms-Bridge-Petition-Change-ssPimlico Grid Residents Association (PGRA) started an online petition to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Lambeth Planning Development, Wandsworth 9 Elms, and a host of others.

Stop the planning and construction of the proposed Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge and the unnecessary expenditure of £43 million pounds on this project. This money can be put to better use.

 

Decision Maker Response to the PGRA petition, 9 Sep 2015:

From: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Dear Petitioner,

Thank you for the petition submitted on the change.org website about the Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge.

In his 2012 Manifesto, the Mayor pledged to examine the case for a new pedestrian and cycle river crossing as part of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea development. Work subsequently undertaken by Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that a new bridge is feasible.

The bridge proposal is being developed by the London Borough of Wandsworth and the competition to identify possible designs will conclude this autumn. The relevant London Boroughs – Wandsworth, Westminster and Lambeth – with support from TfL and the Greater London Authority, are keen to ensure the backing of the local communities on both sides of the river. This will remain an important factor in the future direction of this project.

Yours sincerely

Public Liaison Officer
Greater London Authority


Flyers

9Elms-Bridge-Flyer-150714-Spread

The Federation of Pimlico Residents’ Associations (FREDA) is producing flyers to raise awareness of the issues (view the artwork).

Please help to distribute the flyers to your local residents – get in touch! FREDA Association representatives are urged to distribute to their members.

Printed flyers will be made available to you upon request and there is also a PDF you can download for email distribution >9Elms Bridge Flyer (PDF 120kb).

 


Press Coverage

A roundup of press and online articles about the bridge, and the Nine Elms development area, can be found on the Pimlico Planning Forum. Please send us items that we may have missed!

Here’s a flavour of the latest from FT.com – Speculative investors head for the exit in Nine Elms development

Ed Mead, a director of estate agent Douglas and Gordon, said the Nine Elms area was “getting a bit silly”. Prices were “wildly out of kilter with what homes in the surrounding areas are selling for”.

The Nine Elms area is particularly prone to speculative buyers, he added: “It’s a dog-basket of developers all whacking stuff up, all jam-packed against each other, and walking out of the door and trying to find a pint of milk is really hard. Looking at what’s coming out of the ground, I wouldn’t want to live there and not many people we talk to want to buy down there.”

Henry Pryor, an agent who acts on behalf of wealthy buyers, said that some foreign investors treated apartment pre-sales as “currency trades” and “currency speculation”.

“A lot of these buyers are effectively taking a financial position rather than buying a property,” he said, warning that “investing for capital appreciation rather than yield is gambling” and predicting that the future for house prices in Nine Elms was “down”.

“If you can find some other patsy then my advice would be absolutely to [sell],” Mr Pryor said. “As long as themusic keeps on playing, everyone is happy but at some point the music stops.”


Social


There is a wide spectrum of opinion about the bridge and while many of the views expressed North of the Thames seem to be unfavourable, we’d like to hear from people who think otherwise. Please tell us your views on the Forums or via the contact page.

Why not join 5Fields.org and get involved? Also gets you email updates every now and then.

Background reading:

Nine Elms Development Links:


Exhibition 21-24 July 2015

Nine Elms Pimlico bridge competition: Stage 2 exhibition

The exhibition showcased additional information on the four shortlisted schemes.

21st & 22nd July – 9.30am – 7.30pm: The Gallery on the Corner, 155 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BU (map)

23rd & 24th July – 9.30am – 6.00pm: Hyde Park Room, Regus Building, 8th Floor, 50 Broadway, SW1H 0RG (map)

The four finalists were:
021 : Buro Happold Ltd with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald.
025 : Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting.
047 : Ove Arup & Partners Ltd with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies.
080 : Ove Arup & Partners Ltd with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates.

The exhibition was briefly accompanied by an online survey to rate the four designs, open for a few days, closed 18:30 Fri 24th July. Wandsworth and Colander have very sensibly restricted any public consultation to a minimum and provide no obvious channels for the public to have their say.

Image credit: Ballymore Group

17 Comments

Add Yours
  1. 1
    Clarisa

    The picture really captures what is going on about with the proposed, ill-conceived bridge – just a means to jump and grab the golden pot! and destroy it in the process! We have to fight it.

  2. 2
    pauline ramsey

    This proposed bridge has no sound reason/purpose that i can see, apart from boosting the ego of the chosen architect and the imagined reasons to create more ‘coffee shops’ etc. The beautiful Thames is in danger of becoming a concrete jungle fueled by greed.

    Not that anyone is listening …. residents have been barred from the mainstay meetings for the most part ….. but i would like to say No No please NO.

    PR

  3. 3
    Ken

    Perhaps we should have our own Pimlico Residents’ Review Panel to help evaluate the design and impact of the bridge. Anyone want to join up?

    • 4
      Virginia Forbes

      No, I disagree! this would play right into Wandsworth’s hands. No one should have anything to do with their Residents’ Review Panel, it is utterly bogus and discredited.

  4. 5
    Dave

    To the casual observer, your stance appears to be yet another example of the misguided, self-serving NIMBYism which has been hampering progress in Pimlico.

    By negating the need to traverse the traffic-heavy Vauxhall and Chelsea Bridges, this will improve the quality of life for almost every resident of Pimlico and Nine Elms, there will be a new Waitrose opening on the South bank and Northern Line stations within easy reach, among other retail, sporting and leisure facilities within reach, not to mention the fantastic prospect of a faster and more pleasant journey to newly-created linear park linking Vauxhall Station with Battersea Park. Your attempts to stop this progress from happing in the area via a campaign of scaremongering, leafleting and petitioning is simply wrong; the needs of the many, cannot be hampered by a few misguided individuals who are unable to comprehend the benefits this will bring. You are blinkered by a small-minded local community issues and are totally missing the ‘wider’ issues this excellent scheme will address. I have witnessed sheer stupidity from local groups in the recent past; the opposition to the proposal to turn the old library into a Sainsbury Local – made huge sense, but due to local opposition for the likes or your group, we now have yet another estate agent – thank you for the prime example of local activism backfiring. The same illogicality was present with the resistance to the Pimlico Academy development which, fortunately, was not successful.

    If your Luddite stance had been based on science, facts (for the record Pimlico Gardens is not the only ‘green’ square overlooking the Thames), lessons from history or environmental concerns, I would be campaigning with you, but this, quite simply, is not the case. The history of London’s economic development, and the happiness of its populous has a direct correlation with the building of bridges across the Thames (the same trend has been well documented in countless urban studies across the world).

    I speak as a local resident of Pimlico living opposite the favoured site of the proposed bridge and who has steered clear of the local politics for the past 6 years, but I am so shocked by your ill-informed campaign that I will now use all of my energies to mobilise local support in favour of the bridge.

    Your flawed arguments are destined to ultimate failure. Please save your energies for more rational, egalitarian causes such as improving air quality or the availability of affordable housing in the area, or to encourage another supermarket to open in the area so that the vast majority of Londoners will not have to suffer as a result of this totally flawed campaign of your erroneously named ‘Federation’.

    I have forwarded a copy of your flyer to the Mayor’s Office and Wandsworth Council, who both support this scheme. I really look forward to the planning approval process for this bridge and will be mounting a robust campaign to ensure it is delivered.

    • 6
      Ken

      Dave, I’m so glad to hear from someone who wants the bridge. Bit ranty, but you’ve raised several important issues that should be addressed.

      Transport: The bridge could help some local cyclists as it saves approx 1 minute compared to existing routes and would take them away from traffic for the 200m over the Thames. Some residents might want to walk over to Nine Elms to catch the Tube. So, some positives here but hardly persuasive. I’d like to see a proper transport study so we can all judge if there are any great benefits.

      Retail Therapy: Waitrose, M&S, Sushi, Topshop, Sports Centre, and maybe a Curzon cinema across the River sounds good. Except that we’ve got them all here already, and Jamie Oliver, too. And nobody is going to drag their weekly supermarket shop back across Thames even if a bridge cuts the walk by 6 minutes. Unlikely to be hordes of shoppers using this bridge in either direction.

      Small-minded Localism: Yup, probably a fair point.

      Pimlico Library: Wasn’t much local support for yet another supermarket, but agreed, another estate agent wasn’t great either.

      Science & Facts: A modelling study by Place Logic found that the alignment near St George’s Square was a poor choice. “It does not promote pedestrian movement across the Thames to Pimlico or integration of Nine Elms with Central London.” Instead, they found that a bridge nearer Battersea Power Station, “Improves connectivity to Pimlico indicating potential for future urban growth between the Nine Elms and Victoria opportunity areas. Creates a new urban centre at the Battersea Power Station site with potential for greater commercial activity there.”

      Air quality & affordable housing: Totally agree with you on both counts.

      Impact: I can’t find a proper appraisal of the positive & negative impacts. Anyone help on this?

    • 7
      Dave

      Hi Ken,

      Thank you for the reply. I appreciate having a forum for dialogue about this important local issue. I would like to respond to the your specific points in order.

      Transport: The 1 min reduction you cite is highly questionable. If I cycle from central Pimlico to Nine Elms today, it would take me between 10-15 mins, through heavy traffic with a choice of cycling black spots at either Vauxhall Junction, or Queens Circus/A3205. With the bridge this will be cut by at least 5 mins, but the real ‘transport’ benefit here is gained from having a far safer journey, with much less traffic and pollution. For pedestrians, the time savings would be greater still. For the staff working in the new US and Dutch embassies the prospect of a walk/cycle over the traffic-heavy Vauxhall or Chelsea Bridge in order to cross the Thames would be most unfortunate – especially if they learn that the footbridge proposal had been scuppered by a small group of residents on the foreshore.

      Retail: You say ‘nobody’ is going to drag a weekly shop across the Thames? I really think you need to speak to some young professionals about their shopping habits: most urbanites don’t do a ‘weekly shop’ anymore. But more to the point; by opposing the bridge you are preventing a pleasant and pollution-free crossing to the largest riverside redevelopment project to happen in a generation in the biggest city in Western Europe. It is absurd to stop a landmark infrastructure project like this because a residents committee has produced a few flyers and set up a petition. It is equally naive and arrogant to presuppose the people of Pimlico won’t want to use these new facilities.

      Pimlico Library. There was enormous support for the supermarket (you know, the convenient one – which was to be located next to the tube station) among the younger generations and working professionals (perhaps because they don’t do a weekly shop!), but it is widely acknowledged that this demographic don’t have sufficient voice and are rarely participatory in local politics.

      Science & Facts: This is the area where your campaign really falls apart. It is an unquestionable fact that a foot and cycle crossing at this location would be benefit the economy and improve the quality of life for vast majority of residents on both sides for the river. Also, as must be noted – Pimlico Gardens is not ‘the only green public square in London to overlook the Thames’. There are over 50 miles of Thames riverbank in London, lined with many squares, parks and gardens which qualify as green public squares. Ironically whoever wrote the flyers accompanying this website has themselves overlooked the Thames!

      Impact: ‘I can’t find a proper appraisal of the positive & negative impacts. Anyone help on this?’. Surely this would have been the starting point for this campaign, well before junk-mailing an entire postal district with flyers? As it happens I recall seeing a number of studies in 2013 before the major feasibility study was published (see link: Wandsworth Nine Elms Pimlico Bridge Feasibility Study), which covers this matter in some detail.
      There will obviously be further studies of this nature as part of the planning approval process. If the preferred crossing site happens to upset some members of FREDA, then I am sorry, but making sacrifices for the greater good is virtue, putting your interests ahead of those of the wider public is not. Just take one for team GB.

      There have been some great articles in the national press today about the bridge: it is really encouraging to see it gathering momentum and gaining a critical mass of public support.

    • 8
      Ken

      Feasibility Summary was looked at, obviously. It’s not a very detailed report, as it admits, and also warns that its projected figures and benefit will probably not happen in practice.

      It starts with an assumption of 2/3 of expected traffic to be trip diversion from Vauxhall & Chelsea Bridges. That’s a terribly optimistic figure to base the rest of the study on, especially with Superhighway CS5 now coming on-stream. The section on transport integration for its projected thousands of cyclists suggests an upgraded pelican crossing across Grosvenor Road might do the trick. Really?

      It’s tedious, but a closer reading of the study, including an eye for what’s left out, doesn’t inspire confidence, and the gagging orders for the small handful of residents who were initially invited to comment shows how paranoid Wandsworth and the developers are about the reality of the proposed bridge.

      By contrast, the NEP Bridge Competition has been a spectacular success. It’s generated shed-loads of valuable marketing around the World for peanuts, and we are the monkeys.

      Who needs a real bridge when you can make so much money from an imaginary one?

    • 9
      Michael

      I am with Dave on this one. We live in the middle of Europe’s largest city that is changing around us and I think we should all embrace this change and make sure that the modern needs blend in with the history.

      I recently received the flyer saying Pimlico Residents Associations rejected the bridge. I didn’t even know I was represented by a Residents Association never mind a Federation! This is the first time in over a year I have received any communication from any Pimlico association whatsoever, so I would question how many residents were actually consulted or contributed to this stance, rather than the few that form these Committees and Associations.

      Having now searched for Pimlico associations I only saw Warwick Sq website which appears not to have recently been updated. I did chuckle when I read the article opposing Sainsbury’s application for the former library. “We object to any supermarket unless it is a Waitrose, of course”. Why would, of course, another Waitrose be better than Sainsbury’s? Warwick Way Waitrose is much closer to the former library than the Wilton Rd Sainsbury’s, so why would the brand be better. Instead we have an estate agent training centre, no use nor ornament to local residents, except for some employment… Incidentally I didn’t even know there was a proposal for a Sainsbury’s there and would have definitely supported it because it would have been so useful on my walk home from the Tube. But then again I don’t search the WCC Planning website every day and received no communication from the Residents Associations that were opposing it.

      Also as Dave mentions, the flyer has such hyperbolic language and unsupported assertions it is bordering on hysterical. “Pimlico Underground station will become *even more* congested during peak hours”. I use Pimlico station daily and I believe it to be the least congested of any Zone 1 station. “There is no ‘destination’ in Pimlico.” Maybe not technically in Pimlico, but the Tate Britain is a destination accessed by Pimlico Underground. “St George’s Gardens will become even *more congested* and access dangerous…” Why will it be dangerous to access it? And why will everyone all of a sudden flood to these gardens instead of to Embassy Gardens or the garden bridge? And like Dave said it isn’t “the only green public square in London to overlook the Thames”–just walk between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the South Bank and you will find a green space many times bigger than Pimlico Gardens.

      Maybe it would have been better to have sent out a flyer inviting everyone to a resident’s meeting to discuss the proposals or consulting through a web forum before going ahead and taking an opposing stance in the name of Pimlico residents.

    • 10
      Ken

      Michael, there must be many Pimlico residents who, like you, aren’t connected to their local residents’ association and who may not hear about local issues until it’s too late to do anything about it.

      Your residents’ association is tasked with reflecting the views of it’s members but can only do so if you get involved with them.

      Only you can do that; they just don’t have the resources to come looking for you. Use the Contact page to send me your info and I’ll try to get you connected to the right people.

  5. 11
    Marilyn

    Hello,

    * I understand that a company called Thamesview (holding company for Dexters) is using the former library as a Training Centre, therefore it has not become an estate agent’s office. The premises have a planning use of D1. An estate agent requires an A2 use, which Thanesview do not have.

    May I sing Pimlico praises?

    For theatres, we have St. James’s Theatre; Apollo Theatre; Victoria Theatre.

    For sports, we have Queen Mother Sports Centre, Dolphin Square Fitness Club, LA Fitness Victoria etc.

    For food shopping, we have Sainsbury’s Market, 2 Tesco Express, many chain and independent retailers in Warwick Way, Tachbrook Market and lupus Street. Furthermore we also have a multitude of shops in Victoria Street and Victoria Station.

    * All the above are within a few minutes walk from anywhere in Pimlico.

    * Social housing? I could not agree more. It is interesting to note, though, that many Nine Elms new luxury flats will be managed by five stars hotels and other luxury companies (just take a stroll one evening, you will be amazed by the amount of advertising billboards that state the word ‘luxury flats’!).

    Have a good day.
    Oh! Not to forget that we also have a Waitrose in Warwick Way …

  6. 12
    Clarisa

    I think it is a bit strong to say that the anti-bridge campaign is Luddite etc. I am opposed to a bridge from Nine Elms landing on Pimlico Gardens, and the reason is a simple one: why destroy something which is rather unique in our area, i.e. a green, open cul-de-sac of a garden, melancholy and beautiful, yet used by loads of children, readers, walkers… which is quiet (the traffic becomes like a water murmur), next to a boating base also unique, and where an open prospect enhances its use and its beauty? Why jeopardise this?

    If a further pedestrian-cycling bridge is needed (I am BOTH a pedestrian and a cyclist, neither I nor my husband own or use a car in London, and given improvements to Vauxhall do not see real need) there are more logical places, namely one going from Nine Elms Pier (more or less in the middle of the south curve of the Nine Elms development) to just West of Claverton Street where there is precisely a large Santander Cycling Station (also quite equidistant to both Chelsea and Vauxhall Bridges).

    A bridge there could be said to enhance communication without impinging and destroying something which works and has character. In that position you could create something out of nothing, not destroy, which seems to me a better approach. That site would also have advantages for cycles and pedestrians (24 stop, and easier to connect to not only Pimlico but Belgravia and Chelsea.)

    I went today to the exhibition of the four selected bridges (an exercise in hubris given the lack of publicity given about it or the non existent information on the windows – 135 Battersea Pk Rd) and the impact of these proposed constructions (the bulkiness of approaches) need a breathing, open area, not the destruction and felling of mature trees. A modern-looking bridge would look far better against the modernist aesthetics of Churchill Gardens. It could enhance that particular area. IF NEEDED. A lady from Battersea that I met in the exhibition today was not very happy thinking of the money that project would cost when her council was cutting budgets in so many areas. She did not see any benefits for her or her neighbours!

    I do think that to build a bridge landing in the only open green by the river in this area of the city seems shortsighted not ludite. Progress, yes, but not at any cost.

  7. 14
    Marilyn

    Hello,
    The so called public consultation makes it difficult for the public to attend.
    Access is lift to 5thfloor then you have to be card accessed to 8th floor by a doorman who has to ensure that not too many people get in for safety reasons…..

  8. 15
    Harry DN

    I am certainly in favour of this bridge and a bit surprised by the leaflet that I received saying many of the residents of Pimlico are against it. Firstly, so many of the shops/restaurants are closing down in Pimlico that bringing more people into the area is only a good thing. More passing trade will only be a benefit and hopefully enable more cafes and shops to open up. Especially with Victoria bus station potentially moving in the future. It also enables us to connect to, what hopefully, will be an exciting development across the water.

    The rest of the leaflet I feel is just scaremongering. Pimlico tube station is hardly congested at peak times, and one might even suggest that having the bridge over to the south will in fact take people out of Pimlico sometimes to the new areas of development and enable people to walk over from Vauxhall rather than having to get the tube when they catch the train.

    Cycling and walking over a pedestrian bridge is completely different from Vauxhall Bridge and Chelsea bridge. Having an area without traffic is safer and more pleasant for all involved and certainly will cut journey times.

    Finally Pimlico Gardens, so perhaps there are arguments for the other locations – as mentioned the public consultations seem very limited although it appears this is the case in all public consultations and it might have been more helpful to receive the leaflet before the consultations so we could have a proper view, but as an area I’ve never found it great – the traffic noise takes away any peace and quiet and I do feel the benefits outweigh the cost however sad it is to lose a green area.

    Reading the comments above it would be interesting to know the demographic of people who are for/against the bridge. It’s interesting to hear about the feelings on the Sainsbury’s. Personally I was against it (I am of the younger generation) as I feel we have enough super markets in the area and would like to push for a more diverse set of shops/places to eat etc. but understand the reasons for.

    Overall though, I do hope this bridge gets built – with the house prices in Pimlico as they are it really is pushing out the younger generations many of whom bring income to the area and enable places to thrive here.

  9. 16
    Marilyn

    Hello,

    Many residents in Pimlico are not young upwardly mobile professionals who want to have plenty of cafes, restaurants, etc. They just cannot afford it.

    There are older people and many families who live in Churchill Gardens, Tachbrook and other parts of Pimlico who might not relish the thought of taking babies, children, dogs, scooters, buggies etc. to the ‘Green Space’ between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. This also applies to carers of old people who live in care homes dotted around Pimlico.

    On the subject of younger generations, it looks like that they, too, might also be pushed away from Wandsworth.

    Ravi Govindia (Wandsworth Council) was asked about the small proportion of affordable housing in the Nine Elms plans and the likelihood that, as in Chelsea Bridge Wharf, many residents will be wealthy foreign nationals with minimal commitment to the local community. He appeared relaxed about this.

    “There will be 16,000 homes in Nine Elms of which 15 % -that’s 2,500 – will be affordable. Proportionately it’s small but in reality it’s a sizeable number which will generate its own needs for schooling, shops and so on.”

    Source: http://www.batterseasociety.org.uk/newsletters/summer2011.pdf

    I, from Pimico, am against the bridge alongside some Wandsworth residents who consider it a waste of public money and part of social cleansing. Some Battersea residents are also very upset with Wandsworth Council who destroyed part of the play ground in Battersea Park to replace it with a payable park called Go Ape.

    Thank you

  10. 17
    Chris

    I cannot understand the reasons for wanting this bridge. Yes, we live in the centre of a vibrant bustling city, but Pimlico is relatively quiet and peaceful compared to Victoria, Chelsea, Westminster or Knightsbridge, and I for one would prefer to keep it that way.
    This bridge could change all that, making Pimlico part of the commuter rat-run. 18,000 people per day passing through, will ruin St Georges Square.
    Thankfully, the majority agree with me by voting at the ‘Open meeting’ last week by 200 / 2 (against!!)
    Conservatives and Labour counsellors also have cross party agreement in opposition to the bridge, as well as residents from Lambeth and Wandsworth.
    So Dave, maybe it’s you that is out of touch with public opinion, because Pimlico is precious to us and we don’t want to see these greedy developers ruining it. Please think again about your wishes because we cannot see any benefits for us this side of the river.

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