Locals living near Northcote Road, the tranquil heart of Nappy Valley in Battersea, South West London, are up in arms about proposals to demolish the much-loved Northcote Road library and Alphabet nursery and build a new library along with 17 flats.
The NL & CH Options Group, a committee of local residents, believes the council should be exploring various ways of developing the two sites in consultation with the community. More than 600 people have already signed a petition against the development. You can add your name here.
“A single mum of disabled twins will be faced with a giant brick wall against her garden, taking away all her light, as well as being looked onto by the windows of one of the penthouse flats,” explains local resident and mother of two, Amelia Milne. “Local houses and flats will have more than 40 per cent of their light taken away.”
Many residents feel that restoring the existing library would be a better use of tax payers’ money.
“All we need is new planters and posters outside, a small coffee kiosk, a nappy changing unit, new PC’s and technology and new furniture,” says Milne.
“The building is an example of the Brutalist Architecture Movement – it could be turned into a very funky and retro building with book signings and talks and late openings. There are many initiatives that the Council have not looked into. In the new library, the council plans to have less staff.”
The new development would also mean the relocation of the Ofsted Outstanding rated Alphabet Nursery, which has a beautiful playground.
It will also put additional strain on what is already a densely populated area.
“The building lorries will access the site via Bollingbroke Grove, past several schools and nurseries and are concerned about road safety with these hefty vehicles and cranes accessing the sites,” Milne continues. “We are worried about putting such a big building site on Northcote Road with children walking past going to school with dust and pollution. Why do they have to build so many flats? Why not just a couple?”