Wandsworth Council finds Berkeley Homes in breech of planning law at Chelsea Bridge Wharf

Berkeley Homes have been notified by Wandsworth Council that the opening of depots on Sopwith Way is an unauthorised change of use (i.e. it does not have planning permission and so is in breech of planning law). The letter to Berkeley Homes  Enforcement letter – WBC to BERKELEY HOMES dated 2nd August 2016, requires Berkeley Homes to shut down the depots or to submit a planning application within 28 days. Despite numerous residents objections and an online petition,  Berkeley Homes have expressed their intention to submit such a retrospective planning application and so continue the misery for residents in flats facing Sopwith Way, Chelsea Bridge Wharf, London SW8.

However this is great news for residents as it means that we will have the opportunity to formally make our views known to the Council regarding this outrageous development, carried out without resident consultation or planning permission, in April 2016.

Berkeley Homes will no doubt be in touch with residents, using all the PR and spin resources at the disposal of a £500 million profit a year multinational company. They will claim that they must use the Sopwith Way depots to service the new ‘VISTA’ development. This is of course nonsense – the material in the depots in Sopwith Way could be stored off site and brought in as needed but this would simply be less convenient for Berkeley Homes and slightly more expensive, so they expect Chelsea Bridge Wharf residents to suffer in silence so that they can make even larger profits on VISTA by reducing construction time and costs.

Berkeley Homes have not yet submitted their retrospective planning application – but when they do it will be publicly available on the Wandsworth Borough Council planning website and a link will be published here as soon as it is available -so watch this space. Whenever you get the opportunity please make it clear that you are completely opposed to this outrageous level of noise, pollution and disruption which forces residents to keep their windows closed throughout summer in a vain attempt to reduce the noise from engines and reversing sirens and which inevitably reduces the value of our properties.

Mr Richard Daver of Rendall and Rittner, the managing agents, has refused resident requests for an urgent meeting on this matter, mainly because Berkeley Homes is their client, who authorises their fees (which are paid by residents).  A formal complaint about this has been submitted to the ombudsman.

If you do not live in a property facing Sopwith Way please understand that this still affects you. Berkeley Homes have acted in the most cavalier fashion imaginable in opening these depots without resident consultation or planning permission. You might not be affected this time, but unless we send Berkeley Homes a strong message that this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable then it may be your quality of life and property values which is on the line next time. The residents of Chelsea Bridge Wharf need to stand together to protect our common desire of a reasonable quality of life and the protection of our assets.

Feel free to message me or post publicly for further information and please follow this blog. Berkeley Homes must respect the residents of Chelsea Bridge Wharf and stop putting their profits first.