Concern has been raised that Pimlico could lose one of its last pieces of green space as part of the traffic-free river crossing at Battersea.
Though the exact location of the bridge has yet to be decided, the Pimlico Grid Residents’ Association (PGRA) is fearful that the chosen landing space for it will be St George’s Square.
They also feel the views of everyday people living north of the river are being ignored as part of the consultation process being undertaken by Wandsworth Council.
The group is now calling for a full investigation its handling of the affair.
Wandsworth has moved to allay fears, saying it is early days for the whole process. It said it has been in discussions with various groups and organisations, is working with Westminster Council, and hopes have a bridge which will please all.
PGRA believes the likely location of the bridge will see it cross at Nine Elms, in Battersea, to St George’s Square, a popular green space used by different facets of the community.
A competition is currently taking place to help decide the design of the pedestrian and cycle crossing.
The residents’ group co-chairman, Virginia Forbes, said: “To our knowledge there has been no public consultation of the concept or desirability of a bridge itself, only for the design.
“It has become evident that the chosen landing place for this bridge is likely to be St George’s Square. Are we thus to lose one of the last green, public spaces in Pimlico, used by residents, schools and churches alike?”
A private meeting between Pimlico residents and Wandsworth Council was due to be held on June 3 but was cancelled. But the PGRA was not among those asked to attend.
Fellow co-chairman Martha Gott-Sankey said: “It seems that a small, unrepresentative group of residents were invited to this meeting and provided they agreed to certain terms would be allowed to reflect their views on bridge options.”
Among the questions the PGRA wants answered are:
- What rights do local residents of St George’s Square and the wider community have when their communal green space is being threatened by Wandsworth Council?
- What kind of consultation is required by law in Westminster?
A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said: “No final design has been chosen, nor has it been determined where it might land on either side of the river.
“We have had lots of discussions with residents’ groups and other local organisations, plus of course Westminster Council, and our aim will be to come up with an attractive final design proposal that can win support from everyone concerned.
“We are fully committed to listening to what local people say and will consult with them fully as the project moves forward.”
Both Westminster and Wandsworth councils will have to give approval of the £40m final design after basic plans were given the green-light by Wandsworth last July.
Transport for London (TfL) found the crossing would be able to carry 9,000 walkers and the same amount of cyclists each day, taking pressure off the busy Vauxhall gyratory and from the new development being built at Nine Elms.
The exact position for the bridge has not yet been decided but TfL and the council have two preferred options near the new US embassy in Nine Elms going into either Pimlico Gardens at the bottom of St George’s Square or into the tennis courts in Dolphin Square.
Residents in the area objected to both as they said it would encourage a massive influx of people into the residential area. They said they are worried TfL is only looking at the viewpoint of those connected to the Nine Elms development.