A cluster of residential flats to be built above the new Nine Elms tube station have been approved by Lambeth Council.

The plans are being developed by Connected Living London, a joint venture between Grainger and Transport for London for Build to Rent developments across London. Nine Elms is one of seven sites within CLL’s first phase of developments.

Visual of station entrance at the corner of Wandsworth Road and Pascal Street (c) Assael Architecture

The approved design for 479 flats by Assael Architecture is a modified version of a Grimshaw design that was approved five years ago, swapping out a lot of modern design for more conventional brick cladding, and increasing the number of flats in the development.

Buildings A, B, C comprise mostly apartments with associated services and amenity space. A fourth building beside the station but not above it contains residential, commercial and retail uses with a green residential amenity area on the roof.

The main three buildings are being raised up on a podium, above the station box, with ground-floor retail, and upper levels given over to the ventilation extracts for the station below ground.

That effectively means what would normally be the ground floor flats are actually at least three storeys above the ground.

Schematics of the towers and tube station (c) Grimshaw

The site is car-free, other than some disabled bays, but will come with over 800 cycle bays in the basement, plus a further 117 cycle bays above ground for the tube station.

The affordable housing offer covers 40% of the housing and comprises 21 flats to be offered at the equivalent of Lambeth Tenancy Strategy 2020 rates and 155 flats at the equivalent of London Living Rent 21/22 levels.

It’s very much a design of modern times, tall towers as close together as possible without being intrusive, and lots of balconies to comply with regulations about access to a standard amount of outdoor space.

It now needs a final sign off from the GLA.

Work on the oversite development won’t start until after the Northern Line extension opens, which is due later this year.

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13 comments
  1. Andrew Jarman says:

    Having a balcony is a poor substitute for having access to an “OUT DOOR SPACE” The local parks, what there are around there will be very crowded.

    • ianVisits says:

      This isn’t the Sun newspaper, no need to shout in all-caps.

      However, how would you provide private gardens to nearly 500 properties on the same plot of land?

  2. SteveP says:

    The devil is always in the details, so time will tell. One does wonder about cycle bay security – even in buildings with “secure parking” cycle bays are frequently looted. CCTV is not much use (even if masks not common) so one has to wonder how many will bother to make use of such dedicated space after loosing an expensive bike. Maybe others have experience to share?

    • ianVisits says:

      Can you point me to the report you’ve read that shows cycles in secure locked facilities are being regularly stolen, as I haven’t read about that issue before. Thanks

  3. SteveP says:

    Here’s one news story – I can also offer personal experience (friends’ bikes nicked) in a new development with cycle hoops inside a “secure” parking garage (keyfob entry only – didn’t make the BBC news for some reason 🙂

    https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/thefts-prompt-disbelief-at-design-of-bike-sheds-on-cambridge-9159815/

    …and one this week in Bayswater where someone cut a bike out of one of Westminster’s newish bike hangars

    “Our bike hangar got broken into and bike stolen. Our bike hangar opposite the road from Waitrose and in front of Hallfield estate got broken into and my bf’s bike got stolen. D lock was cut through! Bf is gutted. Warning for people with bikes in the area!”

    https://nextdoor.co.uk/news_feed/?post=17592200023219&init_source=search

    Obviously with the level of bike theft in the UK and especially in cities, the details of exact situations are rarely captured (or even reported)

    IMO, it depends on what “secure” means. It may be that developers put a lot of time and effort into making a cycle store secure (individual lockers?) or it may be just “a place you can lock your bike” – box ticked

    I have also seen a few buildings where the provision of bike hoops is considered an excuse to ban bikes from the lifts. So after spending £500K on a flat and £5K on a bike you have to pray it’s there when you go to get it?

    I’m sure there are both good and bad solutions, so I asked for the experiences of others – perhaps there can be a “best practice” for Councils to follow

    • ianVisits says:

      I think a personal experience and one news item is not evidence of a pandemic of bike thefts from blocks of flats to the level that justifies the concerned comment.

      You’ve got vastly more chance of losing a bike on a street rack, so rather than applauding secure bike racks in blocks of flats, we get complaints that something that’s already good is somehow not good enough. This just puts people off even bothering to try.

      For a counter-argument, I’ve lived in several blocks of flats and never heard of bike thefts, but I don’t then conclude that they never happen, so we should all be wary of taking personal experience as being representative of a wider society issue.

    • william hardon says:

      Maybe they could put the bike hoops right outside your flat – would be a lot safer than x No. of floors down at ground level

  4. SteveP says:

    Oh agreed you have more chance of loss on the street, but that is not the issue. And if you are unaware of what is a pandemic of bike thefts in London and the UK in general then you have definitely not been paying attention.

    I encourage you to do your own research, but I will stand by my comments. What is the point of a developer putting in 100 “bike hoops” and saying “There, job done”? (I tried to find more detail on the development in question but was not successful). So it may be they have a great solution – but it sounds like typical PR at this point. Happy to be proven wrong, and again, for others to chime in with how their building has secure bike storage that actually is secure. That has not been my experience

    https://road.cc/content/news/110000-bikes-stolen-britain-pandemic-began-278855

    • Lionel Ward says:

      SteveP I agree with you from personal experience, and based on recent conversations with police. There is an epidemic of bike thefts from “secure” storage in new build blocks. There are break-ins almost every month now in my block in Limehouse – 2 of my bikes were stolen (the original and the replacement I got from insurance) just over winter. A landlord who is trying to fight the issue says that our fob system offers no protection – there are machines available that can output the required frequencies

      I believe the targeting of secure bike stores is a result of covid though – all the bikes are currently at home.

      In the meantime, I’ve bought a cheapo folding bike, it lives on my balcony

  5. Philip Carter says:

    I hope that the builders are held to the number of affordable flats. I remember reading somewhere, where the agreed number of affordable flats in a development, was decreased because the owners/builders said it was uneconomic and they were allowed to do this.
    Strange how the expensive places are called Apartments, whilst the affordable places are called Flats.

  6. James Miller says:

    I once spent a couple of hours on a train, with a developer, who builds blocks of flats like these. He believed that building over the top of stations are the best value for developers and those, who want to buy or rent. He was in favour of low-levels of car-parking, as his research had found, that if you live over a station, you tended to use public transport for preference. But he did say in one development he had made provision for Zipcars. When I was younger and cycled on business all over London, I tended to use a folding bike, which I could take into clients.

  7. Aivars K says:

    I live in apartment estate which has purposely build bike sheds. No one leaves bikes there as regularly looted. Residents store their bikes in apartments.

  8. Nigel H says:

    Interesting debate. It all sounds very gloomy and Clockwork Orange. The flats look upbeat and should see continuing growth of a once forgotten corner of south bank community. Trump condemned the US embassy move as a dumb deal but I reckon it was a smart move. It’s all coming alive.
    Surely the bikes in lifts protocol is negotiable? There’s years to go to get that sorted out.
    Not sure I get the problems of crowded parks. It’s called city growth. We can’t all live near Wimbledon common. They’ve done lots with balconies and there’s green space above the station. No cladding. Social housing. I’d say lots of boxes ticked here.

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