New detailed designs for Streatham Hub
Two planning applications have been submitted to Lambeth Council by Tesco for the final detailed design of the new buildings at the Streatham Hub site currently being cleared between Streatham railway station and Natal Road. They are likely to be considered by Lambeth's planning committee as early as 31 January. The principle of the development is already settled by the existing planning consents given over the last eight years, so please be aware that there is no point raising objections to the idea of a Tesco at this late stage
The first application [reference 11/04200/DET ] is for changes to the materials/appearance of the whole “Streatham Hub” development since the scheme was first approved.
Although the overall size of the buildings remains within the original footprint approved eight years ago, there have been substantial changes to the external appearance of both the Leisure Centre block (containing the new Ice Rink and swimming pool) to the south of United Reformed Church, and the blocks containing the new Tesco with housing above and underground parking below to the north and west of the church.
In particular the internal layout of Tesco has been completely changed to accommodate the additional mezzanine shopping space permitted following last year's renegotiation between Lambeth and Tesco. This means that the lower floors will be much less transparent, with stone cladding replacing several areas where glazing was previously proposed. My personal view is that it looks second rate. It is in sharp contrast to the developer's original claims that this would a usable public spaces with a cafe spilling out onto a "town square".
Does this have consequences for how safe people will feel when waiting for buses?
The second application [reference 11/04198/DET ] is for "details of leisure centre canopy and fin or alternative design arrangements"
The original designs by Michael Aukett Architects included a strange fin on the front of the ice rink, which interrupted views of the church tower, and which very few people liked. The architects have now come back with a less assertive building. However, in my opinion this now seems bland and unambitious. Surely this public building needs some better thought out way of announcing that it is the new home of Streatham Ice Rink?
There are also practical questions on whether white render and high polish white glass are the best finishes for a location with as much traffic pollution as this stretch of the A23, or whether they will create a permanent maintenance headache for Lambeth and their leisure operator.
(To be fair to the design team, the leisure centre site is not helped by the survival of the "Chimes Corner" block at the corner of Natal Road, which Tesco and Lambeth refused to buy out, and which local rumour suggests may be subject to a separate speculative planning application from the owners. The original masterplan would have seen the Chimes Corner block demolished if the Streatham Hub had been the northern terminus for an extension of the Croydon Tramlink - whatever happened to that scheme???)
Let us know your views!