Landmark Tower Approved for Wandsworth Town Centre

Controversial 20 storey building will be on Garratt Lane

CGI view of the tower from Garratt Lane
CGI view of the tower from Garratt Lane. Picture: Wandsworth Council

May 21, 2020

A controversial 20-storey tower on Garratt Lane has been approved by Wandsworth Council, adding another tall building to the town centre landscape.

The new building will contain 27 homes, as well as a ground floor cafe and riverside walk along the Wandle.

It will join a growing skyline in Wandsworth Town Centre, neighbouring the newly constructed 27-storey Mapleton Tower and the 26-storey tower on the South Thames College Site, as well as older towers above Southside Shopping Centre, which measure 21-storeys.

The plans, which were originally submitted in 2017, received 66 objections, including from former MP Justine Greening and the Wandsworth Society.

Most of the objections related to the tall, thin design of the tower, which was described as “uninspiring and ugly.”

It will measure just 12.7m wide and stretch to a maximum of 13.3m deep, and will contain hexagonal and octagonal layered shapes that become narrower and shallower as the building increases in height.

CGI view of the new tower from Mapleton Road Bridge
CGI view of the new tower from Mapleton Road Bridge

There is also a concern for the loss of privacy for nearby residents, and the fact that four homes within the existing buildings at 86-96 Garratt Lane would have to be rearranged to accommodate the tower.

After a lengthy debate during the council’s second virtual planning meeting (May 19), councillors passed an amendment to ensure there would be adequate car parking spaces for the nearby doctor’s surgery.

Many councillors were impressed that 37 per cent of homes would be affordable and that the new walkway would open up the river Wandle to visitors.

An undercroft at the ground level of the tower will form part of the proposed river walk.

The plans were approved by 13 votes to two.


Sian Bayley, Local Democracy reporter