2022 Park Events Q&A

What are the events?

You can find out more about the events and the line-up for individual events here. The dates are

Friday 27- Saturday 28 – Wide Awake (Indie/Alternative over 18s only)

Sunday 29 – City Splash (all ages festival Reggae)

Monday 30th May – Wednesday 1st June Brockwell Bounce (Free Family Festival)

Thursday 2nd June – Jubilee Festival

Friday 3rd – Saturday 4th June – Mighty Hoopla (LGBT Festival)

Sunday 5th June – Cross the Tracks (Jazz festival)  

How is sound being managed?

There were noise complaints coming from the 2021 events particularly on Friday during the daytime. Two independent noise consultants were employed to redesign the sound for this series of events. Monitoring has been set up inside and outside the event site with monitoring stations placed at various strategic points around the area and in the site itself sound data will be monitored continuously, and adjustments made to both volume and frequency through the main PA system. The sound design has also been designed to fit in with the geographic contours of the park. This should reduce the noise considerably from last year, but no system is perfect (see the comment below about reporting noise). The soundcheck for events on Friday and Saturday has been truncated and compressed from the 2021 events, so as to be 90 minutes not three hours with lots of it not directed through the main PA system. This might be a sudden and a bit louder but then should be at background noise levels for the rest of the day.

What are the free family events?

Between Monday 30 May and Wednesday 1 June there will be a three-day, free community festival featuring themed days, family films, a dog show, village fete games, fun creative workshops, fancy dress, kid zones and live music from local musicians including members of the Lambeth Music Network. The Brockwell Park Community Festival has been developed with a Community Partnership collective. Six Lambeth based community group – Bureau of Silly Ideas, Bid Kids Foundation, Brixton Project, Lambeth Youth Council, Elevate and Brixton House. The community partners will help steer engagement and co-curate a pilot programme of activity during Summer Events.

How many people are attending?

The fenced off site is limited to maximum of 25, 000 people. On all of the events days around 20,000 are expected. This is smaller than previous events although there are more days of this event. This is smaller than previously planned for events in the park and in line with the demand that Thurlow Park Councillors made in 2018 for smaller event footprints in the park.

Why is this event longer than previous events?

The framework of park events is normally confined to one weekend. West Dulwich (and previously Thurlow Park) Councillors support this framework, and this had broad agreement among the stakeholders at the Brockwell Park Community Partners in June 2021. This is a departure from that justified, on a strictly trial basis for 2022, and as means of providing a fully funded and free to access community events as part of the jubilee celebrations and for the half term holidays. We would be opposed to making such a long festival a permanent feature of life in the park without further consultation and a steer from the community. There will be a review of this specific event after this and a further review of the whole events policy (revised after the 2018 festival) to bring this in line with the ongoing plans for the park including, and most significantly, the redevelopment of Brockwell Hall.

How long are the events on the park for?

The build time is set to end this Friday 27 May when the event starts. The break time after the festival is completed, will be completed by Monday 13 June. A key pathway that allows a crossing point between the tennis courts and Brockwell Hall will still be accessible during the majority of this time from 8am – 8pm, only closing for safety and security reasons on Friday 27th – Sunday 29th May, and Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June. At other times, not during the festival days. there will be routes through the festival site. For more information, please go to the resident FAQs on the Community page of the events website.

What do I do if things get too loud?

Music will be finishing no later than 10:30 each day there is a music event (this will be before 10 on a Sunday). If you are experiencing any noise at home the most important thing is to make sure to call or send in a report detailing the time and location. Noise levels are being monitored in real time and adjustments are constantly being made. You can do this either by phone – (freephone): 020 80504367 (operational Monday 16th May – Monday 13 June) messages will be acted on and followed up whilst the festival is on. Or by email Email: community@summereventsuk.co.uk . Reports and complaints are also used to shape the sound management day to day and from event to event, so last year’s reports shaped this year’s sound management.

How will people leave the festival site?

There are designated egress routes from the festival directing the majority of attendees towards Brixton Tube station and Herne Hill station. Experience from the 2018 and 2019 event series shows around 70-80% of attendees leave this way. All attendees at the festival will need to have left the site by 11 (10:30 on Sundays). There is a funded litter pick around the festival site and in the park covered by the event organisers. Increased waste disposal capacity and street cleaning, again funded by the event organisers, will be on hand for all event days. This will include having Eurobins and regular collection of street bins along Norwood Road. There will be public protection officers on the main routes along with the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for anti-social behaviour, such as public urination. 

What happens if there is damage to the park?

All damage to the park caused by any commercial event is repaired from a designated fund set up by the event organisers. They are contractually obliged to cover all repairs to the park. This can take time but all damage to paths, vegetation, grass verges and any park equipment is full covered and does not compromise any community funds or income going into the park. All repairs from the 2018 festival, for example, were fully completed in around nine months and paid for by the organisers of the festival. None of this money comes from the income streams for the park (see below) this is a seperate pot of ring fenced funding and covered by separate contractual provisions.

What benefits do these events bring?

The park and the parks service take the income from large commercial events. Separate to this there is fund called park infrastructure levy which delivers funding for specific investments into the parks. These are contracted sums of money that the festival organisers are obliged to pay. There is also a further community fund run by the event organisers which raises money which again goes directly to parks groups. There is an active programme of procurement from local business and suppliers run directly through the Business Improvement Districts in the area. 

West Dulwich Ward – Local Elections 5 May

We are sad at Thurlow Labour to say goodbye to Thurlow Park Ward but on 5 May it turns into West Dulwich Ward. You can find the new ward boundaries which were agreed by the local boundary commission here.

If you live in the new West Dulwich ward you will be represented by two Councillors. Thursday 5 May are the local elections – please check your polling station here as it may have changed from last time.

On Thursday 5 May please vote for your Labour and Cooperative Candidates Judith Cavanagh and Fred Cowell.

In West Dulwich it’s a straight fight between the Tories and Labour and the Tories are fighting hard – send the government a message and elect two hardworking local champions.

Everyday we meet residents worried about the cost of living: increasing bills for food, energy, transport and rent. Unlike the Tories, the Labour Party has a costed plan to tackle the cost of living, starting with a tax on energy companies to take £600 off energy bills. Lambeth Labour will do everything we can to help – for example thousands of low-income households in Lambeth pay no council tax and we’re investing in programmes to tackle holiday hunger locally.

In West Dulwich, we are taking the climate emergency seriously, planting more trees, creating new green spaces, making walking and cycling safer, tackling speeding and congestion, and campaigning for better public transport. We have campaigned for better public transport, will fight for the restoration of bus and train services, we will expand cycle lanes and build more pedestrian crossings.

About Judith
I’ve worked in senior roles for charities campaigning on UK child poverty, climate and economic justice. I have children in local state schools and am passionate about ensuring West Dulwich is a neighbourhood with opportunities for all children, safe for women and young people and a tidier, pleasant environment for all with less pollution, safer cycling and free of flytipping.

About Fred
It’s been the honour of my life to represent Thurlow Park ward as your Councillor since 2014 and to be your candidate for the new West Dulwich ward in 2022. I have been proud to help with the development of West Norwood and to fight for better housing, safer cycling and improvements in Brockwell Park, like the refurbishment of Brockwell Hall. By day I’m a senior lecturer in law, specialising in human rights law, and parent of a child at a local nursery.

Supporting a sustainable school run

The school run is the source of up to 25% of congestion on our roads in West Dulwich. Data gathered by the Sustainable School Run group shows that traffic on all of our roads drops when private schools are on holiday and still further when state schools are on holiday. Out of all of the wards in the Dulwich and West Norwood parliamentary constituency West Dulwich has the most through school traffic.

Part of this is due to West Dulwich’s location, with a lot of private schools in neighbouring Southwark attracting students from a wide catchment area. However, this is not sustainable putting incredible pressure on main roads like Norwood Road and Croxted Road and raising the levels of air pollution across the area. Even with the advent of the timed closures in Dulwich Village putting pressure on Croxted Road and the Herne Hill junction at peak times, the difference between school term time and the holiday time is staggering.

Croxted Road – Photo taken Tuesday 5 April at 8:45 am. When the schools are on holiday congestion is non-existent.

To help address this in Thurlow Park ward we have undertaken a variety of different steps. If your Labour candidates, Cllr Fred Cowell and Judith Cavanagh are elected we are taking the school run pledge – if elected we pledge to use all levers at our disposal to reduce school run traffic and make the school run more sustainable.

To make this happen we will do the following

  • Improve and expand cycling infrastructure

We will expand and upgrade the Rosendale cycle lane, adding more pedestrian crossings to make the junction outside Rosendale school safer. There will be more cycle storage, locking stands and other infrastructure to improve cycle safety, including the Brockwell Park Crossing,  to encourage more of the school run to be done on two wheels rather than four.

  • Support school streets

We are proud to be launching a school street on Elmcourt Road in coming months, we will continue to support the Elmwood School Street on Carnac Street and campaign for better crossings at the junction of it. We will also use the improved crossings outside Rosendale to see if a school street is feasible in the area. We will also put resources into highlighting how school streets link together with improved pedestrian infrastructure to provide safe walking routes

  • Promote Carpooling

We will support the Sustainable School Run campaign in their efforts to promote car-pooling and school mini-buses using app-based technology. We will also work on improving existing waiting restrictions and anti-idling measures around schools. This will ultimately mean fewer cars in the morning rush hours.

  • Better Public Transport

We have already started fighting against any attempt to reduce the 3-bus route and support the instigation of permanent bus lanes on Norwood Road.  We have joined Helen Hayes in campaigning against the reduction in rail services.

Cllr Fred Cowell and Judith Cavanagh are committed to supporting the sustainable school run.

This is alongside our work on improving the flow of traffic at Herne Hill junction to relieve the congestion on Norwood Road and Croxted Road and other ongoing consultations on greening and traffic Thurlow Park Ward Councillors launched.

Making the school run sustainable helps everyone – it helps children get active on their way to school, it helps those who need to drive by lessening the amount of traffic on the road and it helps reduce pollution and improve the environment.

The Future of West Norwood – Site 18

The Draft Lambeth Site Allocations Plan is currently out for consultation and has significant implications for the future of West Norwood. The site allocation plan – known as SADPD for short – is a planning strategy document not a finalised building plan but does significantly affect who kind of developments could get planning policy in the future.

Of particular interest to us is the site at 286-362 Norwood Road, the stretch of Norwood Road which currently has B&Q and Waylett Place Car Park on and is at the centre of the retail area of West Norwood.

The proposals in the SADPD say that the whole area is suitable for development of a tall building in centre of site of around 12 stories which could have around 400 flats. There would also be space for community use and commercial use built into the bottom of the flats. Alongside this there is also a specific aspiration to workspace to support growing creative cluster across the area.

The area from above.

The whole site has been under consideration for some time. Originally designated site 18 by an earlier Lambeth Local Plan, previous aspirations have included the development of a destination store shopping area, the creation of a square for the town centre and the regeneration of the carpark for the town centre. The large section of brownfield site makes it a suitable area for development.

Although it is not in Thurlow Park Ward we have been very concerned about its future. This site is at the heart of West Norwood’s town centre. It is integral to having a functioning retail area and contains the largest hardware store of its size in the vicinity of Central London. It is directly opposite Thurlow Park Ward and where many residents shop, socialise and use services.

There are some strong reasons for not supporting these plans and looking for a more ambitious and appropriate plan for the area. These are;

  • Anything over 7 stories is out of keeping with the area and the various aspects of the skyline made up by the topography of West Norwood. This does not mean that housing cannot (and should) form part of a development here, but the creation of a 12-story or higher building would significantly alter the entire nature of the area.
  • There is no clear direction for the retail space that would have an equivalent replacement for the existing destination stores there and the parking spaces those businesses (such as DIY stores) by their nature require.
  • More ambitious plans on the site would include the production of a square or common space that could directly complement not take from the local area.
  • Although this is only a zoning exercise at the moment there is a real danger that if this approved there could be a development which really undermines the entire fabric of the town centre potentially removing one whole side of the street and altering the town centre feel of the area.
  • There needs to be more community involvement in the creation of what the future of site 18 should be and is used for. This area of Norwood Road could be used to remake the area with a real community focus, including community assets, but the efforts from the masterplan refresh exercise of 2017 and other work done in the construction of a Norwood Local Plan are going to waste.

You can access the draft consultation document here and you must have your say by the 22nd of February.

We would also recommend that you comment on the Knolly’s Yard site whilst you are on this consultation site. This is for a much larger development that is just outside the town centre of up to 22 stories. Again the argument is not that nothing should be built here but that there is a full community led development programme. There can and should be a large development that involves multiple residential units created on this site and one which fits in with the area.

We support the Norwood Forum’s call to take site 18 out of the SADPD and develop it as a project in its own right. This should include buildings more in keeping with the existing framework of the area, containing affordable housing and a revitalised town centre space, to compliment the existing shop fronts.

Windsor Grove – Stop the scrapyard

This is an edited version of the objection Thurlow Park Councillors are making to the current proposals sign the community petition here . We strongly encourage Lambeth residents to formally object to this application – you can do so by clicking here and searching for Windsor Grove.

Thurlow Park Councillors object in the strongest possible terms to the proposed application by Urban & Provincial for Windsor Grove SE27 which has been validated and is currently out for re-consultation. The impact of this development would be considerable, and in our roles as affected ward Councillors have been, liaising with local groups and residents on this issue. The application has not materially altered since the original consultation in 2020 to which we also objected.

Following a briefing session for Councillors on 21 May our previous assessment remains unchanged – there are no grounds for confidence in this application or to believe that this won’t have detrimental effects throughout West Norwood. We would also note the correspondence of 17 May where the GLA concluded that the ‘the application does not fully comply with the London Plan.’

Cllr Fred Cowell with Helen Hayes MP and Cllr Jackie Meldrum of Knights Hill Ward at Windsor Grove.

The grounds for opposing this application are;

  1. Increased use of Heavy Goods Vehicles and Ordinary Good Vehicles throughout West Norwood And West Dulwich

The original application that was submitted showed was a based on a COBA survey which showed a higher number of vehicle movements in and out of the site than there is in the current proposals. According to the applicant’s latest figures there would be 45 HGV movements each day. This contrasts with 120 HGV movements as recorded in their own September 2019 survey. The current figure seems to be around 78 vehicles a day but even then, this is only projected and could well be more, especially as they would be making up capacity for loss of facility at Shakespeare Road in Herne Hill.

2. Lack of any enforceable safeguards on vehicle numbers

The projected numbers of vehicles are by way of a commercial proposal. They are not legally enforceable nor has the applicant come forward with concrete proposals to make them legally enforceable. Planning officers when pressed were very vague on the question suggesting that there might be the scope for restricting the overall net numbers of vehicles with funding paid for by the applicant. Whilst it might be possible to put in place a clear limitation on the size of vehicles to limit HGV’s using the facility, the overall quantity of lorry-sized vehicles will be far harder to control. Furthermore, it is difficult if not impossible to bind the applicants as a matter of law to any such commitment. This will inevitably mean putting a significant burden onto local residents by increasing the number of large lorries on residential streets, posing health hazards, congestion, safety issues and damage to the road all of which would be a direct result of permitting this application to go ahead in any form.

3. Lack of any safeguards about destination

This relates to point 2 there is no means of guaranteeing a route for these vehicles using the site  that will manage the traffic flows in the area. At the moment it is proposed there will be restrictions on turning out of Windsor Grove to encourage vehicles to travel southwards. But, beyond the initial constrictions on turning there is means of controlling how vehicles enter and exit the Windsor Grove facility. To give an indication of what this means; were these vehicles to be using Croxted or Rosendale Road to head southwards to the site (or northwards away from it) this would result in a quadrupling of lorry seized vehicles on these roads.  Residents are already seeking an HGV ban on these roads but given the size of the type of OGV’s that the applicant is proposing on using these would still be adding to traffic, pollution, congestion and safety concerns on these roads. Again, any commitments in this area are not legally binding on the applicant or any drivers that work for them. This means that you need to assume the worst in terms of concentrations of vehicles because quite simply there is no mechanism for stopping them.

There are other grounds for opposing this application based on air quality, overall pollution and the way that this would deleteriously affect West Norwood Town Centre which has undergone a renaissance in the last 10 years, led by Council initiatives, which this application would only set back. These are amply covered in objections from the Norwood Forum, the Norwood Action Group, the NPA and the community at large and provide a strong basis for a refusal.

The pertinent point however is this – whilst it may be possible to control vehicle size in the permission granted to the applicant, it is simply not possible to control vehicle numbers, vehicle emissions and vehicle routes with conditions in grant of permission. The numerous reports that have been commissioned on this – such as the independent EIA assessment – skirt around this fact. This means that even in the very best-case scenario there can be no guarantee that the use of this site will not evolve into a pattern of usage where there is a large and unsustainable increase of traffic.

Traffic in Herne Hill

In the last few months there has been a sharp increase in traffic in the Herne Hill area. This has been particularly felt on the intersection between Croxted Road, Rosendale and Norwood Road with reported queues of traffic down to the South Circular on some mornings.

We have answered dozens of pieces of correspondence about this from residents worried about this alarming rise in congestion at certain times in the day and its ongoing impact on air quality. These are the steps we are taking in response.

1. We are working with Southwark to assess the impact of the Dulwich Low Traffic Neighbourhood’s (LTN) latest stage which involves timed closures on Burbage Road. This is outside of Lambeth but we are looking at this carefully with Southwark colleagues to see what can be done. There have already been modifications made to the scheme which have dealt with issues arising from its earlier phases.

2. The bottle neck that occurs outside Rosendale Road during the school run in the morning is set to be remedied. The Streetscaping work to allow healthy travel, through walking and cycling, requires a series of additional works. These include double yellow lines around the bridge nearest the school opposite the Lairdale Estate and making the entrance to the Peabody Estate safer to improve sight lines for cars turning out of the estate. This should allow two lanes of traffic down the road easing the overall congestion, whilst keeping the protected cycle lane. These works are currently scheduled to begin in the second week of the Easter Holidays – the week commencing 12 April.

Rosendale Road outside the Rosendale School

3. There have been a series of wider pieces of work we have been doing on other sources of delay around the area. These have included the closure of traffic on the Herne Hill bridge works on Coldharbour lane and the South Circular, all of which contribute to congestion. We are working closely with Helen Hayes MP to help coordinate getting these completed as fast as possible to stop them contributing to the rising traffic flow.

4. We are working on a revised school streets plan for Rosendale School with the community groups who lead the delegation to full meeting of Council earlier this year. So many parents from the school have written to us worried about their children’s safety. As well as increasing the number of crossings through Streetscaping we are hoping to see if a revised School Street plan can lower traffic in a targeted manner.

5. We will be looking at further restrictions on Heavy Goods Vehicles in the area. There are further works planned as part of the TFL funded Streetscaping programme for the rest of Rosendale Road which give an opportunity to address this. We will also support community campaigns on this to prioritise local traffic.

6. Air quality in the area is a repeated concern so we have requested air quality monitoring by the Council and are working with Southwark to coordinate data collection.

There is a very worrying wider context to these problems. Traffic on the South Circular has been rising with some measures showing it nearly doubling at peak times compared to 2019. As a result of the pandemic use of public transport has decreased and the overall net number of car journeys in South London appears to be on the rise.

Given the context of the clean air crisis which London was facing along with the wider climate emergency this is deeply concerning. We will continue to work on all of the above and any other available measures to control traffic, improve healthy travel and maintain healthy air quality in the area.

Please do contact us if you want to raise any concerns or share an experience about traffic in the area.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.