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NAG and get things done!
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Filming outside Electric Café on Wednesday….  For an Anchor Butter commercial.  Needed a mere 8 location trucks and a crew of about 25!

Dear neighbour,

Click on pix to enlarge

So many headlines this month:
B&Q site freehold acquired by Lambeth Council for £10.45mill
Barclays Bank planning to leave West Norwood in June
Water-mains replacement to take nine months


Our colleagues at Norwood Forum report all of these in its most recent newsletter, so check it, though we can add the following.
 
B&Q
The B&Q site is central to Site 18, the town-centre redevelopment area.  Lambeth ownership of the site, alongside policy control, gives them the potential to dictate development of the whole.  Lambeth says it is “A key asset in the regeneration of West Norwood”.  Current Lambeth pressure on the developers of the Brooks Laundry portion (more info under Planning News below) shows that the “suggested” layout below from West Norwood & Tulse Hill - A Manual for Delivery is what is likely in broad principle. 

 
This will completely change the appearance of our town centre, with high-rise, high-density development on the west side.  NPA, was born out of the 2013 “Say No to High Rise”  meeting, the largest ever locally with around 250 people vigorously attending, with a change to Lambeth local policy achieved against the proposed high-rise policy. Its members continue to hold this view in NPA workshops. NPA is yet to comment on the illustrative proposals for 11 storeys. 
 
Latest NPA bulletin

here, leading with its proposal to make West Norwood London’s Greenest Town by 2030.
 
Barclays
Thurlow Park councillors are leading the campaign to persuade Barclays to stay put, and avoid the chilling effect it will have on local vibrancy, convenience and business.  Sign
the petition! But if Barclays plc are obdurate, ideas are being explored to provide alternative key services.  For example, it would be great if the highly rated Lambeth based London Mutual Credit Union (which also offers current accounts as well as savings, and low cost loans) can be persuaded to have a local representation.
 
Water-mains replacement
We can add that the provisional period for work is 6th April to 12th December, though this could change.  Station to Station has been meeting regularly with the Thames Water and TFL teams to input the priorities and issues that the local community and businesses have. The designs and timetable for the project are being worked on. Station to Station are also lobbying for effective and extensive promotion of the area throughout the project to reduce the likelihood of a drop in footfall caused by the works. This is to minimise the economic damage that may be done to the traders in the shopping centre due to the changes to bus times, traffic, parking and access to the area. 
 
Part of the answer
Local groups that engage and support young people include
Rathbone and Big Kids (both based locally). All could do with volunteer help and monetary support.  All are remarkable, but Big Kids in particular is worthy of mention as it was founded by sixth former Shaninga Marasha nearly 20 years back as a peer mentor, now CEO.  Its patron is Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE.

Helping the homeless
Robes is a fantastic Lambeth and Southwark organisation that assists the homeless and needy, providing overnight accommodation, including within churches, such as our own St Luke's, also home to Norwood Food Bank.  Heavily relying on volunteers and the generosity of the public, it deserves your support.

Police, Operation Sceptre…
…to tackle knife crime in London commenced in 2015.  Next week sees a
special focus.
 
Action on shopping centre crime
Levels of shop-lifting and even shop-invasion have increased markedly, here as elsewhere, sometimes with intimidation and violence, quite apart from the losses.  The local Safer Neighbourhood Team and Station to Station (our local Business Improvement District company) are working closely with the police to turn the tide.  There have been recent arrests of known offenders which in itself should make a marked difference.  There is a Station to Station phone-group to share information and warn, as well as collating information to assist the police.  If you are a local shopkeeper but unaware, do
contact them.  It is also important that all incidents are reported, emergencies 999.  Lesser matters may be easier to report and collate through Station to Station rather than using Met Police 101 or on-line.  These need an urgent, thorough review and changes to make them practicable means of reporting crime, which currently they’re not.
 
Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks…
…music events weekend of 8-9th June at Brockwell Park.  There’s a second “community consultation event” on Wednesday 13th March.  More
here.
 
Lots at The Portico…
…find out
here.
 
All Saints’ Church
in Lovelace Road always has a busy
programme.
 
Spring at Hoopla Gardens

 
For 70 years, Lambeth Horticultural Society
LHS, a wonderful local group for nearly 70 years, always welcomes new members.  Whatever your level of gardening interest, LHS has events to please, entertain and inform.  Plus there’s The Hut (off Knight’s Hill) where at weekends you can buy all kinds of garden needs, plants and seeds.  There’s nowhere else local with the range and value. More
here
 
LHS Spring Show is at St Luke’s on 6th April with 66 categories including plant, floral display, handicraft, cooking, photographic and of course, a children’s section, with prizes in each for 1st, 2nd and 3rd !  
You don’t have to be brilliant to have fun, even win – so give it a go!  Show info here.

CPZ Croxted extension
Citing lack of funds, Lambeth is resolute against demands to consult wider than Croxted Road itself (north of S.Circular), despite the impact it will have on adjoining roads, even though the existing CPZ has generated more than £1mill revenue.  If you’re a resident and concerned, contact Thurlow Park councillors.
 
Car Parking charges…
…coming to Belair and Dulwich Parks.
 
Crystal Palace Sports Centre and Pools
There are plans for major negative changes.  The Crystal Palace Sports Partnership says:
If adopted, headline impacts will include:
  • A fraction of the current parking capacity, and further away from the main centre.
  • Loss of the popular training dome, and loss of all indoor football.
  • Demolition of the Lodge.
  • Demolition of the Jubilee Stand, potentially replaced with an indoor track (but overall much shorter than present).
  • Demolition of all Stadium seating except the covered seating area on the West Stadium
  • Outdoor 400m track remains, but uncertainty on surface of the infill.
  • Numerous access issues (motor and foot) thus-far unanswered by planners
  • Sizes and final locations of dedicated Strength and Conditioning, potential new ‘Club House’, gymnastics, and NHS and Sports Injury Physiotherapy Services remain vague.
  • Option to maintain the 25m pool.
  • Potentially enhanced hockey facilities, with reduced outdoor football.
 
Full CPSP news report
here.  Plus Inside Croydon reported in detail in February.  Consultation is well under way, and the final date is 12th MarchUser input is vital, so click here pronto!
 
Time stood still
Installation of microwave communications in St Luke’s clock tower has resulted in power failure to clock face and tower illumination, plus two involuntary clock stoppages due to structural work dust generation gumming-up the clockwork.  Cleaning should follow soon, and hopefully return of light to “The Light on the Hill” as St Luke’s is also known.  It’s possible that the microwave installation may have put paid to ambitions for a return of chimes.
 
NAG and get things done…
Sorting Office at Windsor Grove
No more news of Royal Mail plans to close it. RM shares have tumbled for multiple reasons, so cost cutting may become priority.  In the meantime, NAG’s constant lobbying has at last achieved clearance of Windsor Grove of the derelict cars, and there’s been a clean-up.  For the time-being at least, the short-term parking can be used when collecting mail by car or van.  Our particular thanks to Helen Hayes MP for her constancy in pursuing this outcome.
 
Norwood High Street railway bridge
Constant NAG reporting has led to the pigeon-proofing mesh issues being dealt with.  Previous work had trapped some pigeons so the mesh had been deliberately disrupted to release them, but not before some had died from dehydration.  Pigeon corpses and guano have been cleared.  Regular maintenance will be needed to prevent reoccurrence.
 
Rosemead Lates…
…is the name of a series of evening talks at Rosemead Preparatory School that are open to all, particularly parents and young people.  The next is Thursday 14th with author Elaine Halligan talking about her book My Child is Different
More on Norwood Forum’s website, where you can find many more local events too.
 
South London Theatre
programme.  Celebrate our fabulous local theatre group of over 50 years!  Our own great theatre within walking distance. Too late for this weekend’s Alan Ayckbourn Communicating Doors – a dystopian time-travelling comedy-thriller – sold out!  Book early for future events.
 
Street drinkers
Street drinking is illegal in Lambeth.  Local police say they will deal with this. The St Luke’s and Library area seem to have become Street Drinking Central with shouters, cans and dogs.
 
Norwood & Brixton Foodbank March News
here.
 
Tulse Hill, Gipsy Hill and WN stations
Cllr Pete Elliott reports that these stations have been nominated for improvements to access under Access for All funding – though among 300 others.  The ‘winners’ should be known in April.  West Norwood already has level access to both platforms from the side streets.
 
What next for Quietway 7?
We’re told: “TfL’s contract with Sustran for the introduction of Quietways (a pan London contract) has ended and TfL has taken Q7 back in-house.  It considers Lambeth’s plan not ambitious enough ie ‘their’ plan has been watered down too much.  It’s likely Lambeth was funded by TfL on condition that they deliver what TfL wants, but Lambeth has declined.”
 
Openings (and no closings)
Norwood Road has a remarkable level of shop occupancy with currently only two up for grabs – at Ira Court, and the old Creative Aroma (the few other closed shops are not being marketed for whatever reason).  New openings include: Four Hundred Rabbits - pizza and craft beer (with a great street blind); Siyam Nyom - Thai cuisine; The Eagles BarbershopSalon 21 is to open in about three weeks as a beauty salon.  Opposite the bus garage is Second Wave Brewing, tap room open at weekends.
Meanwhile at Crown Point, Lidl expects to open by the end of April.
 
Planning news
The Planning Committee deferred consideration of the Brooks Laundry application due to not advising some parties of the meeting date.  It’s now expected to be heard on 26th March.  We have the bizarre situation of council officers requiring the applicant to amend the plans to accommodate Lambeth’s intention to build on Waylett Place car park – something that isn’t even part of adopted policy, or even at planning stage.  NAG, Forum and NPA have been commenting at various points, yet these are not all open to the usual public view.  These are centred on the principle of the land use which does not in our view conform to Lambeth’s own site specific approved policy.  Current council officer report
here, but will be amended in light of recent events before the PAC.
 
The decision on the Yeatman redevelopment has been put back, possibly now late April.  Presumably planning officers have requested changes or raised issues that the applicant needs time to address.
 
The owner of the currently closed Car Wash opposite Tulse Hill Hotel has appealed to the independent national Planning Inspectorate against Lambeth’s decision to refuse permission, and to and take enforcement action against it. If you agree with the concerns of local residents and others about the impact of the proposed use on highway safety and the appearance of the area and on neighbours then please go to the
Planning Inspectorate web site, the search reference is 3205181. Representations must be received by 25th March. 
 
The Tennis Club redevelopment still has details to be approved by planning, but the principle is irreversibly approved.  The project manager says that work will start soon and likely to be completed second half next year.  The scheme is for flats with tennis and squash courts, gym, general purpose hall and a café.
 
What’s missing?
The scaffolding that had been there for 2½ years with no work ever in evidence.
 
Phone boxes and the High Court
A recent High Court decision has effectively granted new powers to councils to control the proliferation of these advertising sites that have increasingly cluttered our pavements, and fostered a whole gamut of problems.  More
here.

Free valuation day...
...at Rosebery's auction rooms, 70-76 Knight's Hill this Saturday 10am to 2pm.
 
Sushi!
And yes, we even have
Yoshida Sushi on Norwood High Street! Self-describes as “the best Japanese Sushi in Norwood”.  Takeaway and home delivery.

 
NAG  annual general meeting in April.  Details soon. 

Best wishes from the NAG editorial team
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