The Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB) Opportunity Area covers an area of 195 hectares on the south bank of the River Thames which runs from Lambeth Bridge in the north to Chelsea Bridge in the south west including Vauxhall Cross and Albert Embankment. The GLA was leading the preparation of a strategic Planning framework for the Opportunity Area to support delivery of 16,000 new homes and over 400,000 sq m retail/commercial space.
There was a recognition that LB Wandsworth needed to play a proactive role to ensure that the project delivered its public policy objectives – regeneration of the Opportunity Area, transport and public realm improvements, community facilities, jobs and training opportunities for local people. BBP was commissioned to to agree and then promote to other partners and stakeholders suitable governance arrangements for Nine Elms, considering options for governance structures and preparing an ‘action plan’.
We reviewed the project’s policy objectives and infrastructure requirements, and undertook a number of semi-structured consultations with the key stakeholders – landowners, developers and senior officers in Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils and the GLA. We also researched and applied best practice of governance arrangements from other successful UK strategic development projects.
Our recommendations, which were adopted in full by the Council, were for a formal Strategy Board to champion the project and lead on the implementation of the strategic activities, a dedicated Delivery Team to act as the board’s secretariat, and Specialist Working Groups to consider specific planning, technical and community issues.