Southwark Metals – Our Opposition

There is an application for planning permission to build a scrap metal yard on Windsor Grove, just off Norwood High Street. This is in Gipsy Hill ward not Thurlow Park ward but the nature of the application affects Thurlow residents greatly as the business plan for the site involves up to 200 HGV’s carry scrap metal driving from North-South. This will involve a significant increase of traffic on Croxted, Rosendale and Norwood Road as well as an escalation of pollution, congestion and danger to pedestrians and cyclists.

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We would encourage residents to oppose this development. Many have written to us about this development and we want to make clear that along with other Norwood Cllrs we oppose this development. The planning process is not subject to direct political control by us as Cllrs and there is a formal legal process we have to go through. But the consultation will take all opposition into account in weighing up the relative amenity to the area. Whilst investment into the area is important this would be detrimental to the existing local economy  and would cause a whole host of additional problems. You can object until the 5 of June by clicking here. 

Below is the copy of the objection all three Thurlow Park Cllrs have sent to the planning authority.

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Windsor Grove Planning Application 20/01066/FUL

This submission is made jointly by the Thurlow Park Councillors Anna Birley, Fred Cowell and Peter Ely. We object to the proposed development of a metal recycling and Management facility in Windsor Grove. Windsor Grove is not in Thurlow Park Ward so our response is limited to the implications this development will have for Thurlow Park Ward and we are not commenting on any other issues. We are very concerned about the likely increase in lorry and HGV traffic and associated noise and pollution that will be caused by this development.

The Transport Assessment submitted with the application indicates that there will be an additional 220 vehicle movements per day between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 1:30pm on Saturday. This represents an additional 1,200 movements per week or 63,000 in a year. The applicant estimates that 34% of these (21,500) will be heavy goods vehicles over 10m long. This is a substantial addition to existing volumes. The submitted Transport Assessment only considers the implications for Windsor Grove and part of Norwood High Street, there is no consideration of the impact on the wider local area.

The transport Assessment also states ‘A route management strategy will be implemented as part of the proposals. This will encourage HGVs to enter and exit the site to and from the south. The route that drivers will be encouraged to take is illustrated at Appendix O’. Appendix O shows the route going south along the B232 to the junction with the A214 where traffic would disperse East or West.

We believe that the route management strategy can only be advisory and is likely to be ignored because there is no way it can be enforced. There is no information in the Transport Assessment indicating where vehicles using the proposed facilities at Windsor Grove will originate from but it is reasonable to assume that a significant proportion is likely to originate from central London and so will be approaching Windsor Grove from the north. The reality of life is that drivers will use Sat Nav systems to take the most direct route to their destination and will only follow the route recommended by the route management strategy if it happens to be the most direct. This is likely to result in a significant proportion of the additional vehicle arrivals and departures being along Norwood Road and the roads that feed into it. Norwood Road an important local shopping centre with high pedestrian foot fall, is already very busy with vehicle traffic, congested for most of the day and affected by high levels of pollution and noise. Recent developments have made the pavements wider and the carriageway less suitable for HGVs. Many of the roads feeding directly or indirectly into Norwood Road such as the residential roads of Lancaster Avenue, Chatsworth Way, Chestnut Road, Robson Road and Rosendale Road already have high levels of rat running and speeding traffic and any increase in HGV, lorry or van volumes will make this worse.

The Air Quality Annual Status Report for 2018 includes diffusion tube monitoring of Nitrogen Dioxide for a number of locations in Thurlow Park. The annual mean should not exceed 40, however the annual bias adjusted mean in 2018 substantially exceeded this at the locations monitored;

  • DT42 380 Norwood Road – 55.19
  • DT41 Norwood Road/York Hill – 51.6
  • DT39 South Circular Tulse Hill/Norwood Road – 52.59
  • DT40 South Circular Lords Close – 53.95

More recent measurements taken in May 2019 by the Norwood Planning Assembly as part of the Green Town Plan: Air Quality Citizens Science Experiment were comparable. The proposed development will make Nitrogen Dioxide and other forms of pollution worse.

Lancaster Avenue is the designated diversion route for over-height vehicles on the South Circular. This means Lancaster Avenue a purely residential road is already subject to high levels of HGV traffic. This is made up of over-height vehicles but also includes HGVs which are not over-height using the diversion incorrectly and others using Lancaster Avenue as a short cut to Norwood Road. It is not acceptable for any development to take place which will increase the number of lorries using Lancaster Avenue.

We have considered the proposed development against the ten Healthy Streets Approach indicators detailed in The London Plan in terms of the likely impact on Norwood road. The indicators are based on evidence of what is needed to create a healthy inclusive environment in which people choose to walk, cycle and use public transport. In our opinion this development would have a negative impact on six of the indicators;

  • Clean air
  • People feel relaxed
  • People feel safe
  • People choose to walk, cycle and use public transport
  • Not too noisy
  • Easy to cross

In summary we believe that the proposed development will have a significant adverse impact on the residents of Thurlow Park ward due to the likely increase in HGV, lorry and van traffic. Much of the additional traffic will use Norwood Road which is already very busy, congested and polluted. The applicant has taken a very narrow approach to producing the transport assessment and has not considered the impact on the wider area. We recommend this application is rejected.

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