Park events – let the licensing team know your views

Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks have applied to come to Brockwell Park for a festival on the 8th and 9th of June 2019. This will be smaller than last year with fewer festival goers – on present information neither event is set to exceed 20, 000 – and with a considerably smaller amount of the park than was taken up by the Field Day festival last year. We have set out all of the details here – including what the implications will be for the park and more details about how we can move towards more sustainable funding models.

Overall this application represents an improvement on the situation from last year, but there are some concerns about how the festivals will be managed and the clear up afterwards. For full details of the application you can see the official form here.

One of the most important aspects of the approval process is the grant of a license to the festival – this allows them to play live music and sell alcohol and is subject to a very tight legal process, run by the Council’s Licensing Committee. Last year when Field Day and Mighty Hoopla were applying a for a license many residents wrote in commenting on the process and, consequently, a large number of restrictions were placed on the festivals’ operations, relating to noise and security. This had the positive effect of significantly reducing any anti-social behaviour and limiting noise complaints to a handful of cases.

Our view is that the conditions on Field Day’s license last year represent the bare minimum for a festival in Brockwell park and we would ask that any license for Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks should at least match these terms, and go further in some key areas. We want restrictions on closing times in line with the updated licensing policy for the area and enhanced noise restrictions.

It would also be really helpful if residents made their views known to the licensing authority. All it takes is an email to licensing@lambeth.gov.uk with the subject line ‘Mighty Hoopla Representation’. 

For all licensing applications please bear in mind that the committee can only take into account applications dealing with the four objectives under the 2003 Licensing Act:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder;
  • Public safety;
  • The prevention of public nuisance;
  • The protection of children from harm.

Any other matter, such as the repair of the ground or bio-diversity cannot be taken into account by the Licensing Committee.

Cllr Fred Cowell making a representation on behalf of local residents on Field Day and Mighty Hoopla at licensing committee in 2018

Further event consultations are taking place this week run by the organisers, and if you have any questions about licensing policy or process, do get in touch with Cllr Fred Cowell on fcowell@lambeth.gov.uk.

Reminder: meeting this week about Mighty Hoopla in Brockwell Park

As we blogged recently, Mighty Hoopla and a new funk, soul and jazz festival called Cross the Tracks have applied to hold events in Brockwell Park this June.

A reminder that they are holding a community drop-in session this week on Wednesday 27th February. They have two times you can visit, during the day and in the evening:

  • Time: Midday-3pm and 5-8pm
  • Location: The Half Moon pub, 10 Half Moon Lane SE24 9HU

There will be an additional community engagement session on Wednesday 13th March 5-8pm at Jubilee Community Hill, Tulse Hill Estate, London SW2 2LY.

If you can’t make either but would like to ask the organisers a questions, they say residents, businesses and community groups are welcome to email them at community@mightyhoopla.com

Update from our meeting on Thames Water mains replacement works in Tulse Hill and West Norwood

A few days ago, councillors Anna and Peter met with the Lambeth officer leading discussions with Thames Water.

We have had a briefing on proposals – but with a clear caveat that these are still being negotiated so are subject to change. We will update this blog as things change and you can also sign up for email updates from us by clicking here.

Thames meeting

The proposed scope of works is to replace 840m of existing 21” cast iron trunk main in Norwood Road. The extent of this lies between Thurlow Park Road in the north and Robson Road in the south, passing under the Network Rail bridge at Tulse Hill station.

It will be a brand new pipe, which will only plugged into the network once it is installed – the existing pipe will be left in the ground and abandoned. This should mean less road gets dug up and potentially also means the redundant pipe can be used to reduce future disruption if, for example, new internet or electricity wires need to be laid as they can go through the empty pipe rather than requiring a trench to be dug. New monitoring equipment is proposed to be installed in the new pipe and this should make the network easier to monitor for leaks.

The reasons given for this work are to address flooding issues. The existing 21” cast iron trunk main was installed in 1890 and due to age and fatigue has a history – as many of us have experienced with increasing regularity – of bursts.

The work is proposed to be “open cut” which means a trench has to be opened. The reason given for this is that the existing trunk main is too small a diameter to slip line and would not provide sufficient volume for the current population. Thames Water is looking at a £14 million price tag for these works.

Original proposals apparently involved a linear programme of works – starting at one end and working the length of Norwood Road. This would have taken a very long time, and in an effort to reduce the length of time that there are disruptions Lambeth officers have proposed having two “fronts” so that work begins in two places, one at the northern end of the scheme and one halfway along, and then progress southwards simultaneously. This would mean the scheme takes less time.

Trenches would be dug in stages, rather than all at once. Each section would result in one lane of traffic being closed, and temporary traffic lights managing traffic flow past the works. Each section may also result in a side road being closed while that section is being worked on.

There are currently no bus diversions proposed, though temporary lights will clearly cause a lot of congestion and we would expect bus journeys to take longer too. However, we had been concerned about buses being diverted away from West Norwood, so we’re pleased that that’s currently not the proposal.

We raised the concerns raised at the public meeting we held recently about deliveries to businesses, continued water supply for businesses and residents, the ability for the Feast to continue running each month, about public transport and congestion, about parking, about disabled access, about compensation for businesses, and about additional investment and improvement in West Norwood.

We were reassured by many of the answers. Officers are aware of the importance of Feast for example, and have already lobbied Thames Water for changes to ensure Feast is not disrupted – original Thames Water proposals used Chatsworth Way for storage and this would have prevented Feast stalls from being erected. Lambeth officers have persuaded Thames Water to change their storage plans so that the space remains available for Feast.

There should be no interruption to water supply, which reassures us especially for vulnerable customers and for those businesses which can’t function without it like Floral Hall and the many hairdressers.

Lambeth officers are aware of the issues surrounding deliveries, and the importance of ensuring convenient times and locations. We understand that conversations with all businesses will take place so that delivery requirements are fully mapped and can be planned for and enabled.

We remain concerned about the impact on businesses – we haven’t had clarity on compensation but understand that some piecemeal attempts to talk to businesses individually have been taking place. We have strongly put that compensation should be in advance to prevent any businesses closing down, and that rather than risking businesses being picked off individually or played off against each other that Thames Water also work closely with the BID to ensure all businesses are supported.

We’ve also asked about how to ensure a balance between redirecting through traffic that doesn’t stop locally while still communicating that West Norwood and Tulse Hill are open for business, and encouraging shoppers to travel here – particularly by bus, on foot and cycling if able.

We raised concern about the lack of communication to date – with councillors, businesses, community groups and residents. We have suggested regular councillor briefings and to meet Thames Water directly. We’ve asked for communications to local residents, and have been told that current proposals would see a letter from Thames delivered to tens of thousands of residents in the next week or two – the exact geography of this is still being discussed.

Lambeth have also secured agreement for Thames to fund a dedicated officer for this scheme, and that there will be 24-hour on-site presence, so that residents and businesses have an easily accessible point of contact.

We’ve asked for drop in events with information for businesses and residents, as well as a public meeting with Thames Water, Lambeth and TfL all on a panel and able to share information and ask questions. The offer of project officers attending BID meetings or business forums on a regular basis was also offered. Officers have been in touch with cycling groups and are contacting community groups locally. We’re encouraged that these all seem to be in the pipeline (sorry – we couldn’t resist at least one water related pun!) – do sign up for our email updates so that we can make sure you’re invited to the meetings.

We are happy to answer questions on topics we’ve been briefed on, to raise questions with officers that we don’t know the answers to, and to meet with anyone who would like to discuss this further. Our email addresses are:

  • abirley@lambeth.gov.uk
  • fcowell@lambeth.gov.uk
  • pely@lambeth.gov.uk

We share the concerns of residents and businesses that this will be hugely disruptive and could seriously harm our town centre – we are doing all we can to ensure negative impacts are minimised and mitigated. We also want to secure as many positive benefits from the works as possible – for example, full resurfacing of the carriageway rather than simply patching up trenches and STEM training or work experience in local schools.

B&Q site acquired by the council

B&Q recently advertised the freehold of their store on Norwood Road, and this has been acquired by the council.

This forms part of the council’s wider work in West Norwood, especially the aspiration to redevelop Site 18 – which includes the derelict laundry site behind B&Q. Currently, land ownership on Site 18 is very fragmented and the council has been working with local businesses to help assemble the site into a more coherent redevelopment proposition, as per the Local Plan and ‘manual for delivery’ consulted on and published over the last few years.

B&Q as the tenant will continue to operate as they do currently until such a time as all wider redevelopment options have been assessed – and even then any redevelopment would remain contingent on B&Q’s agreement to vary their lease, ensuring they are partners in any local change.

As local councillors, we know that many residents rely on B&Q both as customers and at staff, and we hope that in any future redevelopment B&Q will remain in West Norwood. It’s important to ensure we retain the shops we need as part of a diverse and vibrant high street.

However, we’re excited that progress is being made on Site 18 – it’s so wasteful that, at a time crisis in our local and London housing markets, derelict private land sits there undeveloped. The acquisition of the B&Q freehold is demonstration that as a Labour council we’re taking proactive and positive steps to improve West Norwood and tackle the housing crisis.

Thames Water leak traffic chaos

A big leak on Norwood Road by the railway bridge in Tulse Hill outside Ira Court has caused huge congestion most of this afternoon and evening. Temporary traffic lights are in place and look likely to remain for some time given the size of hole that has opened up in the road.

Thames say they think works will finish on 20th February, so in the meantime we suggest leaving your car at home if you want to get anywhere quickly!

SGN gas leak and evacuation on the Rosendale Gardens Estate

Residents have been in touch about a gas leak on the Rosendale Gardens Estate. As it is a major leak, we’re pleased that SGN have taken safety seriously and responded quickly. Residents in the affected block are being evacuated until it is safe.

Some evacuated residents are concerned that they are being evacuated to hotels which are distant from West Norwood and that tomorrow’s commute or school run will be impossible.

We have spoken to SGN to raise this issue, and they have agreed to help with free taxis from hotels provided to school, work or services. If you are an affected resident and would like to take up this offer, please email Cllr Anna Birley on abirley@lambeth.gov.uk with your name and mobile phone number.

Mighty Hoopla and events in Brockwell Park – an update and opportunities to have your say

Last summer Field Day and Mighty Hoopla held a three day music festival over the first weekend of June.  The license they were granted in April 2018 for a time limited festival and the permission authorised in February were for a festival of 33,000 with an event footprint of around a third of the total area of the park. It was for one year only and at the time of the post event debrief in October we were informed that Field Day would not be making an application to hold the event in the park for 2019.

Mighty Hoopla has however applied to hold a two-day event for 2019. This is for an event of around 25,000 people over two days with a smaller event footprint than last year.  In keeping with last year, this is proposed to be an event focused on the LGBT community on the Saturday and a Jazz festival on the Sunday.  The dates they are applying for are the 8-9th of June and the set-up programme is promised to be more limited than last year.

In December 2017 we held a consultation event with Thurlow Park residents – a write up of which can be found here – where there was significant concern about events in the park. Based on these findings we came to the conclusion that restrictions on the size and scale of events in the park were needed. When the event took place there were significant concerns about the three-week set-up period for Field Day and Mighty Hoopla and the way it blocked access to the park.  Of particular concern was the erection of large security barriers over much of the park, giving the impression that large parts of the park were out-of-bounds for nearly two and half weeks prior to the festival.

Fred at last year’s Herne Hill Forum public meeting on Lovebox and Field Day

Whilst Mighty-Hoopla’s current application is smaller than last year and closer to what we as your councillors argued for in 2018, we understand there will still be considerable concerns about the event that is why there will be a public drop-in session with the event organisers on the 27th February in Herne Hill. Details can be found here:

After this point the applicant will be applying for a license through the statutory licensing process. We will be submitting a representation on noise levels to ensure that the high standards of last year are not only maintained but also extended to tackle the noise problems in the Croxted Road area last year.  We also want all of the conditions, which applied to Field Day’s licence to continue over to this year. In the event that any of these conditions are not met or the festival organisers are unwilling to meet these conditions we would recommend that the event does not go ahead.

Making a representation on Field Day to Lambeth licensing committee

In our work in response to this event application so far, we have also secured conditions that the high level of security that surrounded last year’s event days in terms of stewards and security personnel, will continue and we want to see this as a condition of their license. We are determined that the relatively lax security regime surrounding the festivals in the park in 2016 will never be a feature of any future commercial event in the park. 

During the 2018 Council elections we made a commitment to work towards ending the dependence of the park on music festivals and ensure that a stable financial footing was found for the park. We have continued to support the Brockwell Park Community Partners (BPCP) on-going project to regenerate Brockwell Hall as a venue that could host weddings and other commercial events, with a direct revenue stream into the park. This has successfully completed the first stage of the application for a multi-million pound Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

We have also been working on proposals to redevelop the disused football pitches to convert them into a site, which can be rented out for sports training, including five-a -side football leagues, with the income going into the running of the park. We are also looking at a number of other options none of which involve fenced-off commercial events to allow the park to be run on a sustainable financial footing. 

Simply to keep Brockwell Park open, the bins cleared and the grass cut costs over £400,000 each year. Due to on-going austerity from central government the park service has been severely cut in recent years with millions being squeezed from Lambeth’s parks budget. All events that take place in the park have to pay three sources of money; a commercial rent to the council, a Park Infrastructure Levy (PIL), which is paid directly into the park, and a damage deposit to act as security against any expenses occurred in repairing damage. The commercial rent for an event like Field Day in 2018 is in excess of £200,000 and PIL – which goes directly into Brockwell Park – was over £36,000. All costs of fixing the park were also born by the event organisers.  Field Day also ran an extensive community fund, which put sums of money into a number of projects in and around the park including the BMX track.

Following a reorganisation of the events and parks department, the delayed review of the events policy will be taking place this month. This is something we as your Councillors have been campaigning hard on as we want to ensure that environmental impact assessments are carried out before events take place and that set up times are reduced where possible to guarantee residents access to the park at all times.  

This will be starting in the next two weeks and we will be arranging to hear from residents on this process shortly with an interactive group session to be held in the ward in the next few weeks to gauge opinion on the matter.