Thursday, 28 July 2011

Glasshouse Walk Playground Consultation in Vauxhall - Saturday 30th July

On Saturday (30th July) from 12 noon to 2pm, there will be a consultation organised by VGERTA (Vauxhall Gardens Estate Residents and Tenants Association) held at the Carmelita Centre (corner of Vauxhall Walk and Jonathan Street) on the future of the Glasshouse Walk Playground.

Visitors will be presented with three options for the future of the playground after two sets of community consultation.  They're also offering cake...The playground campaign has been the result of months of hard work on the part of VGERTA, and I'd urge local residents to attend and look at the options for the future of the playground.

In addition, VGERTA have  produced a video that you can watch showing the playground in its somewhat dilapidated state and in case you're not sure of the exact location.  I'm hoping this is the "before" representation and that the residents will  soon be able to produce an "after" offering  too:

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Queer Fayre at Royal Vauxhall Tavern - July 2011 - Bar Wotever

This Saturday (30th July) from 12 noon to 6pm, there will be a Queer Fayre at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, organised by Bar Wotever.  The Fayre will feature everything from food to art and craft. There will be a range of stalls selling vintage clothes and second hand books etc. all with a queer theme.  All of this for a mere £2 entrance fee (adult only).   The RVT bar will be open all day.

The last Fayre featured a stall selling rude, nude gingerbread people.  This year, they're promising vodka jellies and vegan food too.  You can find anything in Vauxhall :-)  The featured DJ is Joe Pop.

Additional blurb on Bar Wotever's July 2011 Queer Fayre here.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Serious accident in Kennington at junction of Camberwell New Road / Brixton

A serious accident took place at the junction between Camberwell New Road and Brixton Road just outside Kennington Park Business Centre this evening.  Reports of the incident started to appear just before 6pm.  Traffic ground to a halt and local buses were placed on diversion.

The crash looked to involve three cars in which one car appeared to have entirely mounted a second car.  Fortunately, there were no fatalities, although several people, including a child, were reportedly taken to hospital. The clean up operation was still taking place several hours after the incident.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Heart of Kennington Cross: St Anselm's Pathways Project submitted

(Photo taken from Planning Application shown below)

Last week, St Anselm's Church finally submitted their Pathways project to Lambeth Council for planning consent- reference 11/01826/FUL.  Revd Angus Aagaard of St Anselm's welcomes comments, so as usual, go and click the "submit comments" link to submit your views to Lambeth.  I've documented the Pathways project very thoroughly in the past, procuring videos here and then publicising full .pdfs of the the plans from the second wave of consultation.  The proposal involves converting the underused church into a focal community building at the heart of Kennington Cross.  It which will house a nursery, a restaurant partly run by ex-offenders (similar to The Clink, as run in HMP Highdown), a project to provide access to university for people that might not consider attending, a new community hall, business units, residential units and a church. If you've not read the previous posts, take a look at the posters below prior to submitting comments. I've uploaded the full planning application site plans below the poster.

Monday, 18 July 2011

New Foodbank in Vauxhall

It depends on one's politics as to whether the appearance of food banks in the UK is to be, in and of itself, commended.  Some will not celebrate the arrival of a food bank in Vauxhall because they believe the State should ensure that food is plentiful for all in the UK.  Others, perhaps with Big Society or mutualist views would see that charitable-sector provision of services for people in need is preferable, as it removes costs and bureaucracy.  I'd argue that services that cater for those the wrong side of the UK's income-gap, whatever your view on how such services are provided, are an important indicator that one lives in a shared society, rather than a free-for-all market.  So... last week I requested more information from a group who have set up a food bank in Vauxhall.

Vauxhall Foodbank is part of the Foodbank Network started by the Trussel Trust, a Christian Charity.  They've rented a room from London City Mission's Vauxhall Christian Centre to run a food bank / cafe for the redemption of food vouchers.  "Clients" can redeem vouchers (given out by children's centre workers, GPs, housing association officers, religious workers and school outreach officers) for 3 days worth of free, non-perishable food.  Food is collected from local churches, businesses, schools and individuals.  Also, the Vauxhall Foodbank team gain donations by by standing outside local supermarkets asking their customers to buy one extra item from the foodbank shopping list.  Sainsbury's customers reportedly thanked Customer Services for the collection and wanted to know if there would be another (as reported to me by a Vauxhall food bank volunteer), but I'd be interested in the views of locals.  Have any of you been asked to donate?  Do you welcome the initiative?  Have you received food vouchers or parcels?  Do you know of anybody that might benefit?

All of the food bank workers are volunteers (about 40 people are involved assembling food parcels and chatting with clients etc.), and the cafe is open on Saturdays between 11:30am - 1:30pm.  The volunteers eventually intend to open on Wednesdays as well (same time).  The first client (surely "guest" might be better?)  arrived on 25th June, and 69 people have been fed to date. 

According to Lambeth's draft Poverty Reduction Strategy (p16), 37.5% (18,615) of children in the Borough are classified as living "in poverty".  (This is the percentage of children who live in families in receipt of out of work benefits where reported income is 60% below the median national average. That is classified at £294 per week for a couple with two children under 14 or £225 per week for a lone parent with 2 children under 14.  All figures calculated before taking housing costs into account.)  In Princes' ward, approximately 43% of children live in poverty, Oval has approx 41% of children in poverty, and Bishops' has 40% of children in poverty (p36).  About 21% of children Lambeth (p32) (12,000) could be living in severe poverty, which means that income is below £134 for a lone parent with one child, and below £240 per week for a couple with two children).  At the current rate of inflation, the need for extra food help to supplement household income is evident.

At present, most volunteers attend ChristChurch London in Blackfriars, but the services of the foodbank are offered to those of all faiths and none and they welcome support, donations and volunteering from everybody.  There will be a launch later this summer, which will receive mention here.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Michaela Community School: Kennington Association to hold Public Meeting concerning proposal

I've stayed out of the Michaela Free School debate so far due to a short break from blogging and because I felt that I didn't have enough solid information to make an informed post.  At present, it's not clear where the proposed school would be situated or whether any funding has been agreed for the proposed opening in 2012.  Yesterday, however, I wrote a long  post on the protest concerning the retention of the Shelley site (something that was raised at the last KOV meeting and which I've been tracking closely), which unfortunately has not yet received any comments, except to ask my views on the Michaela Free School!! So...

A representative from Michaela emailed me in May, requesting that I publicise the Michaela Free School website and noted that an open day would take place on the 21st May, which I had hoped to attend.  Unfortunately, the open day was cancelled at the last minute on 20th May, and I've not spotted a public meeting since.  Consequently, I was delighted to note that Kennington Association have seized the mantle and agreed to hold a public meeting to discuss the proposal on Monday (18th July), 7pm at Ethelred Estate Community Youth Club, 7 Lollard Street, SE11 6QH.  After that, Lurking about SE11 hopes to have enough information to put forward a reasoned response.

In the mean time, many of the arguments for the retention of the Shelley site can be marshalled for the Michaela Free School, mostly concerning the secondary school aged population projection within the next few years.  At present, Lambeth is unable to send all students that live within the Borough to Lambeth secondary schools, and has to ship them out of the Borough for secondary education.  In addition, the demand for secondary education will increase on account of the building due to take place on the VNEB developments, especially because the Vauxhall (and thus Lambeth) developments appear to being approved faster than the Wandsworth developments.  Even worse, the VNEB proposals thus far do not appear to have accounted for a secondary school, so there is a clear argument (although perhaps the case is equally strong for Wandsworth) that additional secondary school places be provided for local students.  It's not clear (and seems unlikely) that the proposed Michaela School would have capacity for all of the additional students required across Lambeth (or Wandsworth), so it may be necessary for the council or free school trust to open one large new school or two/three smaller new schools.  Alternatively, (unless the LEA wishes to continue to send its pupils outside of the borough), some inventive means to expand current schools would need to be found (which should not include eating up local Playground space!).

The reason the Michaela School appears to have become so contentious is on account of its founder, Katharine Birbalsingh.  Birbalsingh made a speech at the October 2010 Conservative party conference about how she perceived the State to be failing to provide for the nation's children and to admit that she had voted Tory for the first time. Consequently, one can see how a slightly controversial start might have put some backs up in Lambeth, which is an entrenched Labour stronghold.  That, I suspect, is most likely the reason that some local hackles appear to have risen.

There is a Guardian article, outlining some of her views on State schools, written earlier this year and you can find further information about her from a comprehensive Wikipedia article.  Birbalsingh has written about 121 articles for the Telegraph (click "older entries" to read through the list), with the most recent article published today (just before Monday's meeting), on why she thinks middle class women on bikes (in Lambeth?) want to prevent working class children from receiving a good education.  It seems a tad impolitic to raise local backs further, before people have had a chance to hear about the Michaela School proposals, but presumably she hopes people will hear the free school ideas with open minds despite an article that appears deliberately provocative.  I am already wondering whether we're going to hear open and positive suggestions about Michaela free school from a diverse range of staff and parents or a Birbalsingh-only version of what Michaela Free School might look like.  The two are potentially quite different, so it's worth listening closely...

Vauxhall: Spring Gardens robbery, Linear Walkway cancelled, Ugly pillars completed and Vauxhall City Farm small animals for sale


Well, it's all go in Vauxhall this week.  A shooting on Tyers Street (victim ok), a major fire on Salamanca Place (no serious injuries), a consultation on Spring Mews (proposed hotel/student development near Spring Gardens), and a whole host of smaller stories as follows...

1.  Twitter has been all ablaze this week with a report that two men were violently robbed on Sunday 3rd of July at 1:40am whilst walking along next to Spring Gardens / Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.  The victims were returning home when set upon by about 8 men, some of whom were on bikes.  One of the victims suffered serious facial injuries.  The robbery took place after Pride, but it was not considered to be an homophobic incident.  Anybody who was around that evening and might have witnessed the crime should call DC Annabel Davenport from Lambeth Priority Crime Unit on 020 8649 2477 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

I'd urge residents, visitors and revellers to be very careful in the early mornings (between 1am and 6am) because this area is regularly deserted and revellers are easy targets for muggers.  In preference to short-cutting through the park at that time, it's better to stick to the main roads (Kennington Lane and Albert Embankment) if at all possible.

2.  Transport Mark has been very observant and has noticed that the proposed Vauxhall Linear Walkway, part of a CLS development, which might have entailed the removal of Vauxhall ski slope bus station, appears now to be off the cards.  In a letter from GL Hearn Property Consultants to the Senior Planner at Lambeth Council, we learn that there exists "a revised scheme which no longer includes an elevated walkway".  So... bye-bye Linear walkway, and hello to some, as yet unannounced scheme that may or may not include demolishing Vauxhall gyratory and replacing it with some unknown thing that is yet to be unveiled in a consultation that hasn't yet been announced.

3.  The Vauxhall Linear walkway may be off the drawing board, but linear parks are all the rage.  Cllr Mark Harrison is soliciting views on the possibility of converting Tyers Street (not sure whether that's all or part) into a linear park.  A full consultation and public letters will be forthcoming if the idea is proceedable, but if you have any early views, do get in touch with him.

4.  The ugly pillars / giant cigarette butts or striking columns (delete as applicable) have been completed and named as the entrance to Spring Gardens / Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.  Talk about a massive waste of money.  I will not repeat the conversation I heard earlier this week about contacting Dulux to use them for an advertising campaign!  Needless to say, they are, in my view, horrific and entirely out of keeping with other local buildings.  But since Vauxhall is suffering from architectural mish-mash issues generally, it probably won't matter too much.  It has taken absolutely ages (a year?) to erect the monstrosites and it's really good to have the entrance to Spring Gardens fixed (just in time) for summer.  SE11 Action Team Princes' Ward Councillors (Labour) blog reported the finished master piece and there's more info over there.  Apparently, we're to endure an opening ceremony soon....

5.  Tradescant Road reports that the gates to Vauxhall Park which were fixed and then hit by a motorcycle have finally been fixed again.  Hurray!

6.  Cabrini Children's Centre... I'm afraid I don't know much about this one, but a petition has been launched to prevent the closure of Vauxhall's Cabrini Children's Centre.  I had no idea what this was or that it even existed, but I think it is part of the Catholic settlement project at St Anne's Community Centre, 40-46 Harleyford Road.  They're aiming their petition at Lambeth Council and the trustees of the charity.  If you've more info. and want it publicised, drop me a line (details in About Me / Contact).

7.  The Commission for Architecture and Built Environment have waded into the "there's no masterplan for the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea high towers mess", which I was going to expand upon, but Tradescant Road has a great piece on his blog, so I recommend that you go and read it there since much of the info. above is behind a pay wall.  Essentially, CABE are hoping to bring all of the Vauxhall developers together to (hopefully) stop the skyscrapers being submitted to Lambeth/Wandsworth in such an adhoc manner.  If only CABE had been reading Lurking about SE11, they could have started planning earlier...

8.  Vauxhall City Farm are selling off some of their small animals.  £35 for a pair of baby guinea pigs, £40 for a giant rabit (eek!) and chickens of varying sizes/prices.  For more info, phone 0207 582 4204 and ask to speak to Jo, or just go and visit them on the farm.

Fire in Salamanca Towers on Salamanca Place, Vauxhall - Residents report absolute chaos

The fire brigade were called to a blaze at 17-storey Salamanca Towers, Salamanca Place at 2:53am this morning and were still on the scene cleaning up and clearing hoses at 9am.

Six people were taken to St Thomas' hospital and one person to Kings College Hospital, suffering from smoke inhalation, but fortunately, there were no serious injuries.  The police on the scene noted that whilst nobody was badly hurt, the 4th floor had suffered extensive fire damage, and the floors below would likely be damaged on account of the quantity of water required to extinguish the fire.

The BBC were alerted very promptly, due to a resident with links to the organisation, and their report notes that nine people were rescued from third and fourth floors by ladder, some from their balconies.  Another ten were helped to safety via internal staircases.

There is a large fire station on Albert Embankment so response was extremely rapid, but the station needed to call for additional support.  At one point, Albert Embankment and Black Prince Road were lined with fire and response vehicles as up to 75 fire fighters tackled the blaze.

One eye-witness awoke to a woman shouting "please help me", and assumed that an assault was taking place outside.  When it was clear that the woman was stuck in her flat due to the fire, the resident tried to help the woman, but could not access her flat due to thick smoke.  Other residents were then awoken as neighbours pounded on their doors, but not everybody knew of the fire or exited the building.  A man on the 16th floor claimed to have slept entirely through the incident.  Residents report that they did not hear fire alarms sound in their flats.

Fire fighters and the residents that escaped the building were offered hospitality by the nearby Park Plaza Hotel on Albert Embankment.  At 9am, the residents still had not been allowed to re-enter the building, as the cleanup operation was still under way.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

London-SE1 has some photographs showing extensive fire damage in several flats, and smoke damage up the entire side of the building. The Evening Standard shows a fire engine with fully extended ladder during the blaze.  More photos from LBC 93.7 FM show part of the rescue operation.  A neighbour from a tower opposite appears to have videoed part of the incident.

The building is very near to Tyers Street, wher 20-year old Anthony McCalla was shot on Tuesday 12th July.  Local residents were disturbed for the second time this week by sirens and helicopters.  Let's hope for a quiet weekend.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Spring Mews: The Exhibition - new development for Vauxhall

Board 1: General introduction to CLS

Board 2:  The buildings on the current site on Tinworth Street are mostly unattractive and of no particular merit.  That's probably right.  This is generally an uncontentious planning proposal.  (See yesterday's post for a better map showing location of Spring Mews).

Board 3: Shows some of the other buildings in the area, and Vauxhall Spring Gardens/Pleasure Gardens.  I also took a close up of the map shot, as it shows Vauxhall Conservation area quite clearly.

Board 4:  The main "plus" point re. this scheme is the fact that the developers will rebuild and redevelop Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre.  It will get smaller (currently 16k square feet, reduced to 6k square feet), but nothing comes from nothing, so it's good news for the centre, which is rather tired. 

The comment about releasing family housing in the area with purpose-built student accommodation is not brilliant.  Building student accommodation might just increase numbers of local students.  That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Lambeth doesn't have a great deal of student accommodation (at least, compared with Southwark), and this is quite a good site for it, given that student accommodation won't be too close to the other residential buildings and the area is known for clubs, pubs and night life.

It will be good to have better links through to the river, as the underpasses are particularly bleak at present.  And this development would encourage more footfall in the area behind Spring Gardens / Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens which can only be a good thing as it has recently been something of a crime-spot (most recently an horrific attack on folk partying after Pride), and before that, a stabbing fatality on Goding Street). 

The architectural shots on offer weren't thrilling, but the building isn't too tall for the area, will fit in with local surrounds and bring a little life and business to an area that's rather run down.

Board 5: 80 new jobs is a good thing for the area, and I iamgine it will be popular for new social ventures.  It might add more diversity in terms of shops, although no doubt the thing will end up hosting another Tesco metro too!  The plan on this one is useful, showing the temporary community centre (which will be turned into commercial space once it has been placed back in the main development).  It looks  as though the new hotel has a relatively small footprint, with most of the site being taken up with student accommodation and retail.  Apparently, there is plenty of demand for hotel rooms in London, so we needn't fear them sitting empty.  Whether they're a good thing for local residents remains to be seen, but I hope people will be in favour of developing this patch because it's pretty dreary as it stands.

Board 6: Shows the floorplan for 400 student studios.  There wouldn't be any parking (except disabled), but would be space for 200 bikes.  Let's hope they sort out the gyratory first!  Might be nice to have some extra Boris bike docks here too!

Board 7: It might have been useful to suggest the possible identity of retail/leisure tenants.  Would residents get another gym?  Small shops?  A bar?  Artist studios?  I suppose the information is unkown until businesses are ready to sign the leases.  There's certainly a lack of convenience stores in this patch; it's a bit of a trek to Kennington Lane Teso and the offering further south on Kennington Lane isn't inspiring unless you're seeking crisps and alcohol!

Board eight: Some ideas for the architectural style of the Mews (looks like brick and glass).  This is not the Shard (thank goodness), but neither is it particularly creative!  Still, I suppose Vauxhall doesn't need any more trendy up-turned cigarette butt monuments, so there's reason to be thanful.

Board 9: Reiteration of the above, also noting that the scheme would be sustainable.  Good, good.  Doesn't entirely address added stress to Vauxhall Tube, but if the students don't need to travel in the rush hour, and just use their 200 bikes (that's 1 bike for every two students, right?), there won't be too much problem.  I guess there are also buses too.  The hotel residents might be in for a shock if they try and board at Vauxhall at 8am though...  But, in the grand scheme of things, this is a tiny development, so nobody will need to ask the "won't we all be squashed in a nasty rush-hour crush" question...

Board 10: Submission of designs to Lambeth Council is planned for October 2011, with completion in 2.5 years if all goes to schedule.

Finally, I understand that anybody invited to the preview was invited to contribute ideas re. Section 106 monies.  I asked a local resident to take the above photos for me, so now you can see the early ideas from the sensible (new fencing and improved play area) to the downright mad (new Lido!!)

Archbishop Sumner School vie with Lambeth Council for more space and Kate Hoey steps in with a mini

(Image taken from

The parents and governors at Archbishop Sumner Primary School, Kennington (the only local school to be judged by Ofsted as "Oustanding" in 2009) have been hoping for some time to expand Archbishop Sumner, converting it into a two-form entry establishment. 

There is an old school building and grounds, (known locally as Shelley School Site) located nearly opposite Archbishop Sumner Primary and it is owned by Lambeth Council, so it would make good sense to refurbish the site and extend the school.  Unfortunately, Lambeth Council don't see it that way.  They plan to sell off the Shelley site (in the same way as they're currently doing, to the consternation of many locals, with The Beaufoy) to raise funds to plug their huge hole in funding so that they can continue to provide essential services throughout the Borough of Lambeth.  Our local councillors have also provided an explanation from the Regeneration Department on why they perceive that there's "no projected demand for an educational use for the Shelley site".

On July 22nd 2010, local parents held a meeting about their struggles to get their first choice places for their own children, which was attended by Cllr Mark Harrison (Princes Ward), Cllr Pete Robbins (Lambeth Council Cabinet member for Children and Young People) and Kate Hoey MP. 

Cllr Harrison noted at that meeting,
"nobody would deny there is a demand for more places at Archbishop Sumner. The council is aiming to meet that, but the issue is that there's such a pressure on places in the South [of the borough] that there's a risk of people not getting any place at all..."

Instead of expanding Archbishop Sumner, Lambeth Council prefer to expand Vauxhall School as emergency decant space (in case of arson etc.).  Cllr Pete Robbins made clear at last year's meeting, that Vauxhall School has a kitchen that needs to be moved to the ground floor.  As a result of the space left over from that refurbishment, he claimed it was
"incredibly cost effective to put some extra places in, some extra classrooms", but then noted it was "not the [Council's] intention to fill those places."
When local residents asked Cllr Pete Robbins why the Shelley Site (at that point it was the Olive School) couldn't be converted to provide more space, he responded,
"As I understand it, the building itself would not be suitable to be converted because primary schools need specific space standards.  However, there is a site without a doubt so if we had a pot of money that was entirely unlimited, it would be entirely possible to knock it down and provide a new school."
But that wasn't his final word on the matter.  Cllr Robbins was actually rather hopeful that the Shelley Site might be preserved...
"...there will be pressure from the government to sell sites....  I  really think it wouldn't be a good idea to do that and the site needs to be preserved for educational use... these things change all the time, and it's a constant running battle to make sure we get places right.  Rather than sell, we maybe look at trying to rent it on the short-term basis so that in the future, we have it as an option.  Looking at the big picture, we know there will be a big big development possibly at Nine Elms and at the moment, they're not planning to build any schools as part of it so we could have families from there, and things might change again.  In the past, a mistake was made when we were told we didn't need schools, so we did close them and sell off the sites and now there are very very few sites that we can use.  We want to make sure we don't repeat that mistake."
So the meeting ended on a somewhat hopeful note, but in the meantime, Archbishop Sumner parents and governors have been working hard behind the scenes, have set up a "Save Shelley" website.  The deadline for responding to the Council's Consultation on the site is 15th July, tomorrow, and there's a leaflet that you could sign on the Save Shelley campaign to indicate that you'd like the school retained for local educational use.  Additionally, the campaign have produced an incredibly thorough list of residential property that is likely to be constructed within the next 5 years which they expect to contain children who would be within their catchment area.  You can make your own mind up about whether you think there will be more demand for school space within the north of the Borough of Lambeth:

(Image taken from 

Unfortunately for Lambeth's Labour Council, Kate Hoey MP has performed her age-old trick of agreeing with local residents instead of local officials, so she's zooming to the rescue of the parents this evening as they garner publicity to Save the Shelley site.  She'll be trying to cram as many school children into her mini to demonstrate the squeeze on local school places...

(Image taken from

Kennington Road receiving a make-over: Persian Restaurant, Papa Johns and new bike shop

So, it has been a while since I did any proper lurking.  In my absence, I note that the old Amici has turned into a rather trendy looking "Doost", a Persian Grill and Vodka(!) Bar...  And since you all asked so nicely, I've uploaded the entire menu so that you too can share the Persian goodness...

I'm afraid it doesn't quite compete, but Pizza lovers will be pleased to hear that as well as the already existing Pizza Hut Take away, Pizza Express Restaurant, Lambeth Pizza Restaurant and Dominos Takeaway, we can now add... a Papa Johns takeaway to Kennington Road, next to South London Pacific Tiki Lounge, complete with its own row of cheesy and irritating scooters.  We won't complain though, as it's great to finally have something in the gap.  It has been sitting empty for well over a year...

A few doors further up, on the other side of South Pacific, the most exciting piece of news is the opening of a new bike shop, Balfes Bikes, not another motorbike shop (of which we seem to have in abundance locally), but a real bonafide cycling shop.  Granted, I didn't see it open, and there are no signs or anything up yet, but Kennington People On Bikes has a shiny article and photo of the owners over at his blog.  I'm delighted about its arrival, being an enthusiastic amateur cyclist (the lurker owns no lycra), and I think it's in a great location, given the number of people who now cycle along both Kennington Road and Kennington Park Road.  You can find them at 338 Kennington Road.  Hurrah!

Finally, the ancient Estate Agent, Burns and Shield, that never appeared to do any business appears to have re-opened or re-imagined itself as Capital Kennington, and has received a bright blue faschia upgrade.  Can't get excited about estate agents, but who cares when we have our very own new bike shop?!

It's really good to see an influx of new businesses.  I'm still hoping the burned out sandwich shop opposite Pizza Express becomes something interesting, and if anybody is looking for a large retail outfit, the huge old St Aubyn's holistic centre unit on is Cleaver Street still empty.  Might suit another restaurant... Who knows?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Spring Mews - new development in Vauxhall - Public Exhibition

CLS are holding a public exhibition on a new proposed development, Spring Mews, on Glasshouse Walk in Vauxhall (bounded by Vauxhall Walk, Tinworth Street and the railway bridge). CLS are proposing a new community centre, accommodation for 400 students, a 120 bedroom hotel and some retail/business space (including a convenience store). There is a developer website dedicated to the Spring Mews proposal where you can find more info.

(Image © CLS and taken from

The exhibition will take place on Thursday 14th July, from 17:30 - 20:30 and Saturday 16th July, from 11:00 - 14:00 at Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment.

You may remember that CLS, are also developers of Vauxhall Square which I've commented on here and Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre, which will be rebuilt in conjunction with the Spring Mews development above.

More news and views will be forthcoming once I've seen the exhibition.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Shooting on corner of Black Prince Rd / Tyers Street in Kennington / Vauxhall

I've been inundated with emails about a shooting incident on the corner of Black Prince Road and Tyers Street in Kennington / Vauxhall today.  A 20 year old man was shot three times just before 1pm.  Yesterday, the SLP described the man's condition as life-threatening.

UPDATE (14/7/2011): The Sun have named the 20 year old victim as Jaden McCalla and have noted that Jaden's brother, Anthony McCalla, is charged with the attempted murder of Thusha Kamaleswaran this year on March 29th in Stockwell.

The BBC report that the shooting occurred outside of the Jolly Gardeners (known to most locally as Zeitgeist). Witnesses heard multiple gun shots and police and an air ambulance were dispensed shortly afterwards, although the injured man did not travel to hospital in the helicopter.  Locals report that police took around 15 minutes to arrive at the scene and observed that police raided Arrowsmith House shortly afterwards on Tyers/Wickham Street in connection with the shooting.

Police pictured at the crime scene by Tweeter @stephenkhay and paramedics on scene from @Cainux.

UPDATE (13/7/2011):  The BBC have issued an update in conjunction with the incident, reporting that 7 males have been arrested and the victim is now said to be in a "serious, but stable condition".

Anyone with information should call the non-emergency police crime hotline by dialling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or alternatively, email the local Princes Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team at

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