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.

Brockwell Park Latest – June 2020

Brockwell Park continues to be busier than ever as the government’s new regulations permit socialising in parks and the park continues to be enjoyed by the whole community.  The vast majority of park users continue to use the park safely and considerately, keeping to social distancing guidelines and helping reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Increased park use is causing a lot of litter to build up in the park and whilst we are providing more bins, in line with the general policy when the weather improves we would strongly recommend tat people take their litter with them where possible.  Park officials have met with local fast food teams about providing messages on the wrappers and containers to reinforce this message and we hope to get some more signage up to support this.

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Toilets by the hall and then later by the BMX track are set to reopen soon. Lambeth parks staff are working out the safest way to do this in order to minimise the risk of transmitting Covid-19. This will include examining a rigorous cleaning schedule and having guidance by the toilets on appropriate use. This is an important step as with so many private facilities remaining closed and so much socialising taking place in parks there is an increased demand for the facilities.

There have been a lot of concerns  raised about the possible use of BBQs in the park. All BBQs and fires are strictly prohibited. Public Protection teams from Lambeth are monitoring the park and the police do monitor park use and can and will fine people for such behaviour. If you see any unlawful BBQs please report them here  as this enables the authorities to target enforcement onto problem hotspots (no pun intended!)

The Lambeth Country Show and the Mighty Hoopla/Across the Tracks festival, along with other commercial events, are cancelled this year. This will mean a drop in revenue to the park. The impact of this on the parks investment programme going forward will need to be assessed and more details will be released about the implications of that in due course. However, I am very pleased to announce that there will be no change to all of the standard operations and maintenance in the park for the rest year. We will try and make things carry on as normal in spite of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Finally work on plans for the refurbishment of Brockwell Hall are still going on. Current designs preserve current attractions such as the cafe in place. Work is underway about how further rounds of public engagement can be undertaken with exhibition of the plan and consultations done remotely.

 

 

Further Thames Water Works Delays

For the last year Thames Water have been engaged in a process of pipe replacement work on Norwood Road. This has caused significant disruption to traffic, discomfort to local residents and has seen many local businesses suffer a severe loss of footfall. The impact these delays have on local businesses has been compounded by the problems stemming from the lockdown. The project when it began it’s initial phase of work was intended to replace the water main down Norwood Road, which had not been replaced in over 100 years. Thames Water have been keen to emphasise that this is a multi-million pound investment into the local area.

thames water – Thurlow Park News

 

 

Work was scheduled to be completed by the spring but then was delayed until June. We have been informed by Thames Water that there may need to be a further delay until August. Part of the work in replacing the pipe has necessitated reconfiguring existing utilities.  Part of the reason for the delay is that there will now need to be utility works. We have been told that there will be no further alterations to the traffic management programme. This will mean that there should be no additional delays.

What is more worrying are the statements that Thames Water are not fully completing the work replacing the water main because they feel that there are still another 30 years life left in part of the pipe. We have been strongly critical of this position as a major rationale for this work was the full replacement of the pipe down the whole of the road. We are continuing to support businesses in their claims for compensation from Thames Water. However the level of community compensation and investment remains very poor. Both Thurlow Park and Knights Hill Councillors are pushing for better deal from Thames Water.

Brockwell Park and the Coronavirus crisis

On Sunday 5 April Brockwell Park was closed for the day. It was becoming impossible to enforce social distancing was the weather improved the day before, leading people to flock to the park. Lambeth Council does not have any legal authority to enforce the regulations concerning the restrictions on movement and gatherings, but is required assist in the enforcement of them by the police and to ensure that people are safe when using the park. Along with other Councillors we requested that the park be reopened as soon as possible, but this temporary closure was necessary.

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We want to keep the park open this weekend. Brockwell Park is a lifeline for those living in the area who need outdoor space. Going to the park is useful for encouraging physical and mental health and the Government’s advice permits going for exercise as one of the reasons for leaving home.

There are now social distancing signs around the park encouraging behaviour that will aid social distancing this includes

  • Not sunbathing, or sitting on the grass
  • No large gatherings, BBQs and picnics or playing of sports.
  • Keeping Dogs on leads
  • Staying 2 meters away from others at all times
  • We recognise that parks are used for health and fitness purposes, but joggers and others must exercise responsibly, making sure of social distancing, refraining from spitting and any other actions which could pose a health risk.

Social distance

On social media many objected that given the size of Brockwell Park it was theoretically possible to do an activity such as sunbathe whilst engaging in socially distancing. Others pointed out that Brockwell Park has a large area and can absorb a lot of people.

This is besides the point. What an individual does may in insolation be within the rules but the cumulative impact of their behaviour makes it difficult for others to socially distance. If someone is sunbathing, and a jogger needs to leave a path in order to allow a family out for a walk to pass, it is not realistic to expect the jogger to jump over the sunbather and socially distance at the same time. Equally, people don’t enjoy the park with a calculator and tape measure in their hand. On warm busy days there tends to be a clustering around particular areas, such as the Herne Hill gate. In normal times this is delightful, during a pandemic this is potentially dangerous.

BBQs

The Covid-19 crisis is unlike anything that has been experienced in modern Britain. There has not been a social upheaval on this scale since the beginning of World War One and the steps being undertaken now would have been regarded as the stuff of science fiction a few months ago.

Yet to meet this challenge we do need people to act responsibly. Normally when rules are imposed people are encouraged to view them as sets of prohibitions and to conclude that that which is not expressly forbidden is permitted. To combat transmission of this virus we need to view rules in a very different way, asking ourselves would our conduct put ourselves or others at risk of catching Covid-19 and acting in accordance with that Grundnorm.

We will do what we can to keep the park open during the Covid-19 crisis. Please do enjoy the park this weekend and stay safe doing so.

 

 

Extension of Croxted Road Parking Zone

Following an extensive consultation the Controlled Parking Zone is going to be extended further south. The existing parking zone the Tulse Hill (Zone H) Controlled Parking Zone will be extended along both the Lambeth and Southwark sides of Croxted Road to its junction with Turney Road. This is a joint project between the highways team in Lambeth and Southwark creating a unified parking zone.

This follows a petition by the 70 residents in 2018 calling for an extension to the road and a meeting between the residents and Cllr Cowell in April 2018. In 2019 a public consultation was launched and residents in neighbouring roads were notified. The results were overwhelmingly positive. We are trying to control parking in the area to limit the overall pressure this places on the local environment. There are numerous problems of railhead parking and long term storage of large vehicles in the area that this, in tandem with the Rosendale Road Health Route, will hopefully contribute to resolving. The scheme is set to be implemented in April.

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Lambeth Country Show This Weekend!

Country Show

 

 

It is Lambeth Country Show is this weekend! We encourage all Thurlow residents to go and enjoy some Chuklehead Cider and Jerk Chicken along with the amazing vegetable sculptures. But, please enjoy responsibly and be considerate to the residents of the roads adjacent to the park.

As last year there will be security checks and a security fence. The police have informed us that the additional security measures were successful at reducing the number of serous incidents. We did feed back on the policy extensively and some changes have been made you can find out more here. Some of the back is already being harris fenced this is to contain the support activities for the show and the to preserve items – such as the memorial benches – from damage. Thousands of extra visitors are expected over the course of the weekend.

In terms of parking and traffic controls affecting residents in Thurlow Park ward;

  1. a) There will be residents access only signage at the entrance points to the estate on Rosendale Road (as per Mighty Hoopla)
  2. b)      Suspension of waiting on single yellow lines in Rosendale Road in the lead up and just past the first railway bridge (as per Mighty Hoopla)
  3. c)       Dedicated staff monitoring the area and documenting traffic and parking issues
  4. d)      Dedicated traffic enforcement also monitoring Rosendale Road and Croxted Road
  5. e) There are no reported additional changes to the parking area around Trinity Rise and Brockwell Park Gardens we will write to the affected residents with updates if anything changes

The Country show ends at 8 and all attendees will be encouraged to leave through the Herne Hill gate although as the park will still be open at that time there may be egress through all of the other gates as well.

There will be public protection officers also working in the area throughout the weekend and they are able to respond to any antisocial behaviour / incidents.

If any residents have event related issues over the weekend then they can call through to the event control and log the issue and there will be response following all complaints made.

The number people can call is the Events out of Hours number which is 0207 926 9793.

Following the country show there will be a site survey to agree the scope of damage from the show and what are the necessary reinstatement measures. This will be taken with the parks team and operate independently of the restatement works running from Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks.

Brockwell Park Events Q&A

 

This summer there are two events taking place in Brockwell Park, which will cause some disruption to Thurlow Park residents and park users. This is a short Question and Answer as to what is happening regarding the private event Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks which will be taking place on the 8th and 9th of June this year. We will be releasing a further information post about the Lambeth Country show – the only other major event in the park to be held this summer – nearer the time.

What is happening and when? 

The Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks is taking place on 8th and 9th of June. Mighty Hoopla is an 18+ LGBTQ-friendly pop music festival. The festival has taken place previously in Victoria Park in 2017 and in Brockwell Park in 2018 – it will be held on Saturday the 8th of June from midday to 10:30 pm. Cross The Tracks is described by the organisers as a “family-friendly music festival” which will involve “a day of music, food, workshops, talks and more; celebrating the world of soul, funk, Motown, R&B and jazz.” It is new and has not been held before it will be held on Sunday 9th of June from midday till 10 pm.

How much of the park will be taken up

In 2017 after a public consultation we lobbied for festivals to be significantly reduced in size. The festivals that were held in 2018 – Field Day and Mighty Hoopla – were, we felt, far too big for the park. On the back of community consultation we called for events of around 20,000-25,000 people unlike the 37,500 that Field Day applied for in 2018.

We are happy to say that this year the events are considerably smaller in size and far less of the park will be disrupted. There will be 19,999 on Saturday and 15,000 on Sunday. The amount of the park in use has also shrunk in size – here is a diagram illustrating the difference (the orange line represents 2018 and the blue line 2019).

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There will be five stages (three of which are small low capacity stages) which is an improvement on 2018 in terms of reducing the overall impact to the park. We broadly welcome the reduction in size of these events as we have been calling for this since 2017.

How much disruption will there be in set up

In total there will be 18 days of work in the park to set up and take down the festival. Again this is down from last year and although still disruptive we have managed to secure access across the site at all times bar the 7-10th of June which include the festival days and the maximum period of set up and take down. We lobbied for the construction to not take place during half term at all because of the importance of the park to the local residents during that time but were told that some construction would need to happen during this period.

All vehicle inflow will be through the Herne Hill gate. Brockwell Park Gardens gate will not be used for either festival set up traffic or as a point of access or egress during the entire weekend. All of the vehicles will be operating on a time controlled basis so as to avoid park users, be accompanied by a banksman and be controlled at all times. At all times the Herne Hill slip road will be open significantly minimising the amount of disruption to traffic along Norwood Road.

Any damage caused by the vehicles to the park will be compensated by the festival organisers. There should be less work than last year although it is still likely to be disruptive at times.

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Who will be managing things during the festival?

Whilst the event is going on in the park there will be a community help desk and, a dedicated Residents Hotline will be set up for local residents and businesses. The Organiser’s Community Liaison Manager can be contacted at community@mightyhoopla.com and can deal with enquiries relating to both event days (Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks).

The residents Hotline number will be communicated via a residents letter that will be distributed mid-May, and displayed on the Lambeth Events, Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks websites. This number is 0800 043 0305 but please note it is not operational until Thursday 30thMay. If you need to contact the Lambeth Events team during the event days or during the build and break aspects of the festival you can access them on 0207 926 9793 which is the out of hours office number (17:00 – 20:00 build and break & 08:00 – 23:30 event days). Otherwise their normal phone number is 0207 926 6207 – which is available 8:00 – 17:00.

How loud is it going to get?

The noise limits are in line with the noise policy adopted by Lambeth Events and approved by the Council. We have argued along with residents for two years now to have these reduced due to the proximity of park events to residential properties – unlike other large parks in London. However, we were unsuccessful in this although that said last year only a handful of noise complaints came from residents in Thurlow Park Ward, considerably less than for festivals that had taken place in 2016 and 2017.

This year the soundstages have been redesigned to be even more self contained. This should mean even less noise escapes from the festival site. Last year we were made aware of a particular noise cluster around the junction of Turney Road and Croxted Road. We have raised this with the organisers and sound engineers and this has been incorporated into the design of the festival in order to minimise the risk of this happening again.

All reports of anti-social behaviour and noise complaints are independently recorded and will be investigated by the events team. Last year Cllrs independently took noise surveys throughout the day and there are official noise monitoring points at various locations in the park. If there is anything that you would like us to look into regarding the managing of noise please let us know.

What about people coming to and leaving the event?

On the Saturday the park will be clear by 11 and on the Sunday by 10:30. Exit is through the Herne Hill and Brixton Water Lane entrances to the park with people being funnelled towards both stations. Tulse Hill station will not be designated a major transport hub for the festival but we have requested that rubbish points be made available, as they were last year to minimise the impact of egress on the community at large.

The conditions that were in place on the organisers last year are in place this year regarding security and egress. Similar levels of professional security staff to 2018 will be present throughout the weekend and to guide people out of the park. We have also asked for the presence of security to be targeted to deal with the few incidents that happened last year on egress. The organisers of the festival will be coordinating with the police extensively throughout both event days and to get approved in the first place had to go through a rigorous scrutiny process from the fire brigade and police service.

What will happen if there’s damage to the park?

All events big and small, taking place in the park run the risk of damage and this event is no exception. Separate to any money paid to the council and the park for hosting the event the organizer’s have to pay a bond to cover damage and are contractually obliged to cover any and all damage. In 2018 for example a lorry damaged the Herne Hill entrance gate leading into the park and this was repaired in full. No expense is borne by the Council for any of this work and an independent company carries out the work.

How does it benefit the park ?

The revenue from commercial events comes in two forms. Firstly Park Infrastructure Levy (PIL) which is money, that goes directly into the park. Last year Field Day and Mighty Hoopla generated over £36,000 for this budget, which is used to develop the park and provide vital upgrades to the physical space in the park. Secondly there is income from hosting the event which now, following a judgment in the High Court about all London Boroughs which manage their open spaces, goes straight to funding the parks service. Last year this money was in the excess of £250, 000 – we asked for the full figures to be released but were told by the legal team that this is subject to commercial confidentiality in cotracts with the organizers – so absent that we can give the ball park revenue figure. As the event is smaller this year those figures will be lower but we will make it clear how much income is being generated for the event.

Last year Field Day ran a community fund that raised several thousand pounds for local causes. Most of this was paid out but a few thousand pounds was outstanding as of a few weeks ago. We were very disappointed about this and have been in touch with the organisers and the parent company for the event. As we understand this, the funds will be paid out and this was due to administrative errors beyond certain individual’s control. We have made it clear that this cannot be a feature of the festivals in 2019. 

Why do events happen in the park?

It costs £400, 000 a year just to keep Brockwell Park open the grass cut, the trees pruned and the bins emptied. Due to ongoing austerity the parks budget has shrunk by over £2 million in the last decade. Festivals therefore are a necessary way of providing income and investment to the park. We have made it clear since 2018 that Festivals are not a sustainable funding solution for the park. We also as your Cllrs have sought to change the way that events are managed in the park. To this end we have done the following three things

  1. Worked to help the redevelopment of Brockwell Hall as a space for weddings and events. This is now underway and we will be posting more about that later on in the summer about how to get involved.
  2. Fought for and got revisions to the Events Strategy, which include reducing the number of event days in the park each year and put environmental assessments into the process of event approval. These will be published shortly. This should mean that music events in the park are subject to further limitations.
  3. Pursued the development of alternatives, such as looking at the redevelopment of sites that would bring more money into the park making it financially secure and safe from austerity.