Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Beaufoy Site to become housing and Lambeth Council U-turn on Shelley site - KOV September 2011 update

The Cllr Mark Harrison (Prince Ward) had plenty to say on behalf of Lambeth Council at KOV last night, which I've broken down into six main points, as follows:

Beaufoy site
Lambeth Council had hoped the Beaufoy sale would be concluded by last night, but since it hasn't, the developer couldn't be present at the meeting due to commercial confidentiality issues. Local residents still don't know who the developer is to be. Cllr Harrison informed the meeting that the Beaufoy would be brought back into use and restored with housing brought to the site (40% to be affordable). The Beaufoy Trust will gain capital receipt to help young people into training and education, and a portion of the money they receive will be spent in the immediate area. Due to central government cutting the Council's capital grant budget by 60%, the Council are having to bridge the gap by selling off assets.

Until last night, I was optimistic that the site could be developed as part of a mixed-use education/housing site, but that is clearly no longer possible. I'm afraid I can't think of anything positive to say about this, so I will refer you to a statement made in 2006 by Cllr Sam Townend (old Labour councillor in Princes Ward) who said that Lambeth Council wanted to see:

(1) Ownership [of the Beaufoy] being taken away from the Council and handed back
to local people as trustees (obviously under the supervision of the Charity
Commission) if there is sufficient interest by local people to make this viable.
(2) A modernisation of the objects of the [Beaufoy] Trust to reflect the
educational needs of people living in Kennington and Vauxhall now.
(3) The deployment of this community asset towards the educational needs of people
living in Kennington and Vauxhall now. The way this would be done would be a
matter for the new trustees in consultation with residents of Ethelred TMO,
Vauxhall Gardens and Kennington.

I don't think there's any doubt that this represents a failure on the part of the Council. Yes, it could certainly be argued that there has been a major financial crisis and a change of government, but the Beaufoy has been empty for over 10 years, well before either the financial meltdown or the ConDems.

Shelley Site
As well as a U-turn on the Beaufoy, Lambeth Council have conceded to local pressure from the Save the Shelley School campaign and will be adding an additional 2011-2012 school class on the site, to be run by the Archbishop Sumner administration. You may remember that Lambeth Council argued the case that school places were needed in the south of the Borough, and made a statement accordingly in May 2011:

As there is no projected demand for an educational use for the Shelley site we
propose to sell the site to raise funds to help every child in Lambeth have a
primary school place in the future.
A common sense reading suggests that Lambeth Council have changed their mind. Fair enough. But in an amusing manner, the expansion is not a straightforward concession to local pressure. Indeed, the 2011-2012 Archbishop Sumner primary class is only being added because excess pressure in the south of the Borough has meant that two "bulge classes" had to be added at schools in the centre of Lambeth (it wasn't possible to add classes in the south itself), which in turn put pressure on the centre of the Borough, and pushed the "bulge" upwards, creating a "domino" effect. So the Shelley site pressure group parents' have got their own way, seemingly against the wishes of the local councillors! Feel free to read the September 2011 Scrutiny Committee minutes if you're interested.

The Scrutiny minutes even state that the VNEB expansion won't require significant additional places until 2021, but who knows? Cllr Harrison did note that the Council was taking the Shelley site's population projections very seriously. Anyhow, having added a bulge class for 2011-2012, the bulge has to progress upwards throughout the school, so it will be nearly impossible to free up the Shelley site for six years! The Council are clear that there's no permanent funding for expanding Archbishop Sumner, but Cllr Harrison noted that it does keep the options open for the time being, and that much depends on what Southwark Council have planned because Archbishop Sumner could also be affected by a domino affect across the border due to the development of Elephant and Castle. All very complicated predictions...

Also, read those minutes carefully, and note too that a German-English bilingual free school seem to have made an application/expression of interest on the Shelley site, of which an outcome will be made known this month. Could it be that Lambeth Council is adding the bulge class to Archbishop Sumner (rather than, say Vaxuhall School) to prevent their site being purchased by a free school? If a Free School wanted to purchase the site, the Council would not be able to sell and claim their sought-after capital receipt, as the site would be tied up in Free school battles for years. Hmm. Very interesting, eh?

Black Prince Trust
The Black Prince Trust is close to finalising their lease on Site A of the old Lilian Baylis school. Site A comprises sports facilities which will be run by Sports Action Zone, which was handed over by Lambeth Council into a public trust earlier in the year. Work will start on the new gym once the lease has been finalised. The Council is concluding its selection of the developer for Site B, (that part of the school site to be sold off, including listed buildings). Work is being undertaken with community groups using the current site to help find them alternative accommoddation. eg. Your Story will be housed in the shops at Lambeth Walk.

Stock Tranfer for Ethelred Estate
There will be a ballot on Stock Transfer to a Housing Association for the Ethelred Estate which, if it went ahead, could unlock £100 million of investment into the Ethelred Estate and other Lambeth estates. The Association proposed is the only tenant lead housing association in the country.

Linear Park for Tyers Street
Cllr Harrison is, with VGERTA, looking at the posibility of turning Tyers Street into a linear park. This would certainly ease some of the green-space deficiency in the north of the Borough, and since all of the coaches were moved on, the streets seems to be under-parked. The proposal is still at a very early stage. Email your thoughts to Cllr Harrison mharrison@lambeth.gov.uk or Chrys (VGERTA Secretary) vgerta.secretary@gmail.com

VNEB Manifesto
Finally, Lambeth Labour have assembled a VNEB "manifesto". Technically, that's party-political, so I'm going to direct you to the document that was handed out by Councillors at the KOV meeting and likely say no more until election time.

Planning updates on Kylun Towers and 8 Albert Embankment - KOV meeting September 2011

Tall Building and silhouette Image taken from http://www.silhouettesclipart.com/
A full agenda for the Kennington Oval Vauxhall Forum, which kicked off with apologies/reasons for absence from TFL and Treasury Holdings.

Absence by TFL re. the Vauxhall gyratory plans:
Lambeth Council are leading on a visionary exercise which will precede any other work by TFL. Carolyn Dwyer, Divisional Director of Public Realm, is the contact concerning the visioning work at Lambeth Council. Once the Council have undertaken their consultation, TFL will be able to present further on the future of the gyratory. [You can read my last post about Vauxhall gyratory options here.]

Absence by Treasury Holdings re. the Northern Line Extension:
Treasury Holdings' current consultation on the NLE finishes at the end of September and they can't release information prior to sign off and analysis, so there's nothing to add until that point. [The most recent statement on the NLE adds little to the discussion, but can be found on the TH site.]

Vauxhall Island Site - Kylun Towers
In other news, the developer Kylun have appealed, concerning their proposed Towers, to the Secretary of State against Lambeth Council on account of non-determination. To read the plans for the Kylun Island site in the middle of Vauxhall, see here. Vauxhall Society recently wrote a rather withering post on Lambeth's inability to come to any decision at all about the site for a whole 13 months. The Kylun discussion will go to committee on 18th October and there's still time to make submissions. Apparently, the hearing won't be held until April 2012.

Cllr Jane Edbrooke emailed me a few weeks ago with Lambeth Council's "official line" on Kylun which comes from a Lambeth Council "spokesman":

"We have already made clear to the developer that we are refusing their current application and we’re surprised by their comments and actions. Senior Cabinet Members met with the partners of Kylun Towers in July and were very clear about Lambeth’s expectations for the site. It is crucial that the development is to the benefit of the established local community and general public realm and these aspirations must be met in any planning application."

8 Albert Embankment - Fire Brigade Site
I posted back in August about a re-submitted planning application for 8 Albert Embankment which contained a few changes on the previous application. However, it often takes a while for community groups to notice certain applications and to get organised, and as you can see from the comments of the August post, that is the case concerning 8 Albert Embankment and Whitgift TRA.

Last night at KOV, we heard an eloquent and impassioned plea from the residents of Whitgift House of Whitgift Tenants and Residents Association who are concerned about the impact of the 14 and 22 storey towers on their homes and Lambeth High Street Recreation Ground. Whitgift House is the building which would be most impacted by the re-development of 8 Albert Embankment. In winter months, the ground floor and first floor of Whitgift House would only get one hour of sunlight each day. Their "anti"campaign is, they noted, supported by Cllr Mark Harrison, Cllr Steve Morgan and Kate Hoey MP. All residents in Whitgift Hosue have signed up to the campaign against 8 Albert Embankment, and indeed, every resident (excepting one) has put in an objection to the development.

The TRA's main objections concern over-shadowing, blocking of the light, too much parking and low levels of social housing in the development. Whitgift residents wanted a third assessment on the light issues, but after speaking to Planning Aid, they've been told there's no point as Lambeth Council have performed their own assessment. The Council's assessment says the minimum standards have been transgressed but that that's fine for Whitgift House because they're within an urban environment! There are only 25 flats in Whitgift House. Additionally, residents are arguing that 8 Albert Embankment falls within Vauxhall Conservation area, containing amongst other bits and pieces, the Royal Daulton Building and thus arguably constitutes a separate area from the rest of "main" Vauxhall where tall building has been ear-marked by the Mayor. (Whether this will work is debatable on account of the permision granted to 81 Black Prince Road, but we shall see...).

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Funding awarded to Lady Margaret Hall Settlement and Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre

Well done to Lady Margaret Hall Settlement (north Lambeth charity, currently based at Mowll Street in SW9) and Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre who have been granted monies from Capital Community Foundation to run various projects in the area. Take a look at the news section of their blog for more info.

LMHS won their monies to run a business training course for their All Sewn Up students to enable them to set up their own businesses. They'll also be running ESOL food/hygiene courses in conjunction with the currently centre-less Portuguese Community Centre.

Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre have won a grant to enable them to run a Memories Project in the area, aimed at older people. I look forward to being able to link to their findings.

Readers might also might like to know about the following LMHS courses running this term (all cost £125). If you're not personally interested, you might consider forwarding these to members of the local community whom you think might benefit:

Clothes Making courses:
6.45pm - 9.15pm (Monday evenings) beginning 19th September and running for 11 weeks
10.00am - 12.30pm (Friday mornings) beginning 23rd September and running for 11 weeks

Soft Furnishing courses:
10.00am -12.30pm (Thursday mornings) beginning 22nd September and running for 11 weeks
1.00pm - 3.30pm (Thursday afternoons) beginning 22nd September and running for 11 weeks
6.45pm - 9.15pm (Thursday evenings) beginning 22nd September and running for 11 weeks

For further information on any of the courses, call 020 7793 1110 or email mailto:admin@lmhs.org.ukwho are based at Unit 1, 11 Mowll Street, SW9 6BG. Nearest tube Oval.

One Nine Elms in Vauxhall by Green Properties: New development of the week

Hello, good morning, and welcome to, yes.... another tower consultation!

Today's new development is brought to you by the owners, Green Property, and imaginatively titled "One Nine Elms" on account of it being placed on the site of the current 22-storey Market Towers at 1, Nine Elms Lane.   The building will be a re-development as it's not currently an empty site, but the leaflet below indicates that the office tower has become "outdated", and I think most would agree that it is a bit dingy:

© Copyright Thomas Nugent and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I cannot mask my excitement about another tower, but sadly, there aren't really any published details on the development as yet.  All they say is that they hope to be a gateway to the new linear park, which is similar, I think to something Vauxhall Square developers claimed, what with their proposed twin towers appearing to form a mouth at the entrance to the linear park.

All we know is that Green Property hope their proposals will create an "urban oasis" which will deliver new homes, jobs and local amenities.  Since 30-60 South Lambeth Road already suggested the swimming pool (in what is already likely to be an interesting battle), and Vauxhall Island site proposing the cinema (although the developers their have suddenly gone quiet), One Nine Elms will have to come up with some even more interesting amenities.  Perhaps a bowling alley!  Ha!  We'll find out soon, since Green Property intend to submit a planning application to Wandsworth "later this year", which doesn't leave a lot of time to consult.

Anyhow, the dates/times as follows:

Thursday 15th September, 4pm - 7pm
Saturday 17th September, 10am - 2pm

Venue will be Ground Floor, Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW8 5NQ

Once the consultation has taken place, they'll have a website http://www.onenineelms.co.uk/ which you'll be able to visit in case you can't make it, along with the usual crew, to scrutinise shiny posters and point at miniature plastic models of Vauxhall.


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