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.

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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.

Image result for Croxted Road

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.

Infill application rejected on Lancaster Avenue

Last month we submitted an objection to application 19/00092/FUL – a proposed 2-storey infill at 25 Lancaster Avenue.

We’ve had a number of issues with the Longwood Hotel site and were concerned that this was an inappropriate development that may exacerbate these. The two one-bed flats proposed were too tiny, the height, scale, siting, bulk, massing and design were not in keeping with the conservation area, and the design did not meet sustainability or energy standards.

We’re really pleased to learn this weekend that planning officers agreed – the application has been refused!

The decision to refuse sites:

  • The proposed development, by reasons of its height, scale, bulk and massing would close the space between the buildings of 23 and 25 Lancaster Road and result in a dominant development that would be out of keeping with the established pattern of development in the area;
  • The development would result in less than substantial harm the character and appearance of the Lancaster Avenue Conservation Area, and this harm would not be outweighed by the public benefits flowing from the scheme The proposed development, by reasons of its height, scale, bulk and massing would close the space between the buildings of 23 and 25 Lancaster Road and result in a dominant development that would be out of keeping with the established pattern of development in the area;
  • The proposed development would fail to promote sustainable methods of transport;
  • The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the scheme has been designed in accordance with the London Plan energy hierarchy and, in order to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of 35%.

Friends of Norwood Park AGM next month

The Friends of Norwood Park are holding their AGM on 1st July at 7pm (venue tbc) – you can contribute your thoughts on what you would like to see in the park and get involved in making the park a successful community space for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

To take part fully, why not become a member? You can sign up on their website here – http://www.friendsofnorwoodpark.co.uk/

The Friends of Norwood Park are always looking for new members to help support park projects, make decisions about the park, and join their fun volunteering sessions. It’s a £4 annual membership fee to join, which helps support the Friends and allows them to continue our work.