Plans for a new Royal College of Art (RCA) building costing oer £108 million in Battersea have been approved. There is controversy over a ‘extremely concerning’ number of objections from the pubic.
Some people were sitting on the floor inside a packed room as Wandsworth Council’s planning applications committee backed the proposals, subject to conditions, last night (January 25).
The new building, located on Battersea Bridge Road and Parkgate Road, is designed to be a teaching and research facility for postgraduates and entrepreneurs .
Over 190 objection comments were submitted since November last year, out of a total of 226 comments. 540 people have signed a petition started by the ‘Save Parkgate Road’ group demanding for work to be halted until additional revisions are made.
Following comments from councillors Piers McCausland and Tony Belton, councillor and committee chairman Will Sweet said: “I’m also extremely concerned about the number of objections that have come from local residents. It is a high number, we can’t deny that.
“Not only that but we’ve heard from councillor [Tessa] Strickland this evening, and councillor [Melanie] Hampton and councillor [Rory] O’Broin have been in touch outlining their own objections to this scheme and explaining why some residents are very distressed about it.
“What’s clear to me, from both various representations is that a scheme like this needs to work for local residents, it needs to give something back to the community.”
Councillor Richard Field also noted of letters reportedly written by some RCA students expressing concern over the consultation, however he asked they directed their messages to the university’s management.
Mr Sweet added: “I do think this is a finely balanced decision in some respects, which councillor Strickland has communicated, but there are also a huge number of benefits to the borough.
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