Campaigners fight ‘monstrous, Soviet-style’ tower development with caged rooftop playground

More than 500 residents have launched a last-ditch campaign to halt plans for a “monstrous, Soviet-style” 14-storey tower block.

Developers want to bulldoze a Homebase store in Woodgate Drive, Streatham Vale, and replace it with five blocks containing 237 flats, 35 per cent of which will be “affordable”.

More than 1,000 Lambeth residents have lodged objections with Lambeth council, whose planning committee will discuss the  development on Tuesday.

Campaigner holds a placard at a meeting opposing the development which reads: “Site does meet criteria for tall buildings” (Picture: Emily Smith)

Emily Smith, 45, of Ellison Road, Streatham – heading the Woodgate Tower Protest Group – said: “It’s massive – I couldn’t believe the council would consider it. 

“We understand the need for housing but this scale and density feels out of proportion with what our community can handle.

“It’s not just the community, the residents moving into the tower itself will have a poor quality of life – the planning even says they won’t be able to open their windows because it’s over the railway.”

Letter to Lambeth council from the Woodgate Tower Protest Group (Picture: Woodgate Tower Protest Group)

The developers, Hadley Property Group – controlled by Chinese and US investors – proposed a children’s playground to be built on the concrete roof, hundreds of feet up in the air and surrounded by cage-like safety fencing.

The proposals also include just two car parking spaces for the whole development, according to a planning application lodged with Lambeth council.

Ms Smith said: “Since residents will still be able to own their own cars, surrounding streets will face a parking disaster zone.

“There is just not enough space. We already have really bad crossings with horrific traffic in the area.”

An artist’s impression of planned development (Picture: Lambeth council planning documents)

Ms Smith said the tower block would dominate the “protected view” from Streatham Common, a much-loved green space half a mile from the site, and “undermine views” of Immanuel Church, a heritage site.

She said: “Blocking these views and building so high goes directly against the Mayor’s London Plan. What’s the point in having these frameworks if they are just going to be bulldozed by the council?

“So many people have objected to the application – it just continues the narrative of Lambeth council not listening to residents, just pushing everything through without thinking about the community.”

A mock-up of how the 14-storey tower would appear (Picture: Lambeth council planning documents)

A spokesman for Hadley and Clarion Housing Group said: “Lambeth, like so many other parts of London, has both a climate and housing emergency.

“That’s why we are committed to delivering a new car-free, sustainable and mixed-tenure residential scheme less than a minute’s walk from Streatham Common Station.

“Our plans propose a new and improved GP surgery to increase the capacity in the area by around 3,500 patients.”

A Lambeth council spokesman said: “A planning application has been submitted for the development.
“It has been the subject of a statutory consultation and a detailed assessment by planning officers, which included consideration for the representations received.”
Pictured top: Campaigners opposing the development at a meeting last week, from left, Melita Watt, Emily Smith, Tim Stonecliffe and Becky Myers (Picture: Emily Smith)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.