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Outrage! A word NAG rarely uses, aimed at Lambeth’s proposals to have 20 commercial advertising boards at West Norwood’s open spaces – up to 33 feet wide (in Tivoli Park).  In particular, 9 on St Luke’s Church railings (the largest would be 13 feet wide).  This is a treasured Conservation Area and Listed Site, West Norwood’s heart since 1825.
19/03052/ADV - St Luke’s Church
19/03150/ADV - Rosendale Sports Ground
19/03051/ADV - Knight's Hill Wood
19/03054/ADV - Recreation Ground Knight's Hill (Tivoli Park)
19/03055/ADV - Vale Street Multi-Use Games Area

These are all areas frequented by children.  If Lambeth should approve its own applications, will the advertising be appropriate?  Fast-food comes to mind.
The applications all have a common Technical Drawing document showing a Kennington Oval information board example.  This is misleading as Lambeth hopes to raise revenue by commercial advertising on these boards at these five local locations. Whilst our councillors know the pressure on finances better than anyone, it is known that some of them are totally opposed, and the others we haven’t heard from.
Do make your comments known via Public Access – enter the relevant application number in the search box.  NAG, Forum and Station to Station have united in making joint objections to all five, some of which are not yet displayed on Public Access.  To read our objections to each, click here

Dear Neighbour,
Welcome to the October Norwood Action Group newsletter.
Please forward this to any family or friends you think will be interested.
Click on photos to enlarge.
On a more positive note (literally)
St Luke’s chimes are to be tested at 10am on Monday.  Subject to tests and approval, it’s proposed that chimes be reinstated from 9am till 9pm on each hour, perhaps with half-hour single chime.  Tests will be muted.  Chimes are perhaps more important than one might think.  It strongly asserts a proud West Norwood identity to residents, visitors and businesses, also Lambeth that helps combat excessive and inappropriate dense urban proposals for our suburban neighbourhood.

Local roads – bad news and good news
Gas-mains replacement in Thurlow Park Road due to last four weeks, also in Avenue Park RoadLancaster Avenue junction with Norwood Road due to re-open  at the end of this month.  Water-main works are currently ahead of schedule but the project manager says there could be unexpected technical difficulties as work progresses, so completion still set for June next year.

Great North Wood 2019

This view from the roof-tops of Knight’s Hill toward London looks like a forest.  Ironic that from about 1500 till growing development in the mid-19th century the Great North Wood was continuously eroded, increasingly coppiced for poles and charcoal making, in time becoming grazed common land, till the land enclosures changed all.  From present day Knight’s Hill down to the shopping centre was then Knight’s Hill Common.  The original Knight’s Hill was further north centred over the railway tunnel and Rosendale Allotments at present day Tulse Hill, as still shown on Ordnance Survey maps.  The Lord Chancellor and infamous lecher Lord Thurlow owned in excess of 1000 acres till his death in 1806 when it was sold-off for development, piece by piece.

The John Rocque 1746 map isn’t accurate, more a sketch map.  The ‘roads’ were dirt, and some have shifted, but others still remain more or less where they were.  The Horns tavern is shown, and Knight’s Hill Farm (at top, just left of centre) was about where Lancaster Avenue is now.  Development from a rural area began in the early 1800’s becoming a fashionable district for villas, and accelerated with the dedication of St Luke’s Church in 1825 and the Cemetery, consecrated in 1837, even more with the arrival of the railways a few years later.

Cherry Tree Nursery co-op?
We understand (but unconfirmed) that Cherry Tree Action Group has set-up a not-for-profit coop and hopes to reopen.  The issues are summarised here.
Local crime
It’s more and more the case that police will not attend minor incidents, but reporting crime is extremely important to achieve more resources.  Shopkeepers struggle with a major shop-lifting epidemic which Station to Station is engaged in combatting.  The new Lidl is reported as having an immediate problem.
Thefts from cars continue, particularly overnight.  Your car is not a safe, so don’t leave any valuables inside.  Catalytic converters still going.  House break-ins on the rise.  We have reports of a man on a bicycle looking for houses in darkness, then keeping watch whilst accomplices burgle.
However, crimes in all three wards are significantly lower than the London and borough averages.
If you wish to be informed and involved with dialogue and initiatives do join Norwood Forum’s brand-new Community Safety Partnership.  In the Forum 
NCSP link on their excellent web site you can find further links to your local Safer Neighbourhood Teams, also local crime statistics.
Feast this Sunday…

There’s Black History Month programme of events including a celebration of black talent, from entrepreneurs to poets, and an African drumming workshop. To mark Harvest Festival, Chatsworth, St Luke’s and St Matthew’s are joining together to form a single choir to sing on St Luke’s steps.  And Dr Bike will be there to fix your bike.  We ask Feast goers to bring donations of food for the Foodbank to HQ.  More on
Facebook.  There’s now an on-line way of buying food for the Foodbank. 
Launching the Green Town Charter
Norwood Planning Assembly says: “Following the launch at the very inspiring Air Quality event last Tuesday (that we plan to do a follow up on soon) The Norwood Green Town Charter is now online.  Meeting report in Norwood Forum’s newsletter.  Also, NPA and linked community groups would welcome local representation of Mums for Lungs.  In the meantime you may wish to check this out.  Its accuracy is unknown as most figures will be estimates or projections from known levels.
NPA commended
Being a neighbourhood planning forum is very challenging, particularly in urban areas.  It seems that Herne Hill’s and Tulse Hill’s are not currently progressing despite the latter having the benefit of Lambeth officer support.  It’s possible that a Dulwich Neighbourhood Forum is in the offing.  If you would like to help create our neighbourhood plan, go to the NPA website.
Lambeth Community Solar…
…whilst supported by LB Lambeth, it is an independent organisation seeking to provide solar power for Norwood and Elmgreen Schools.  It invites investment which is estimated to give a non-guaranteed 3% return, as well as helping reduce greenhouse gasses and school operating costs.   You can find out more here including a full share-offer document.
Nature Vibezzz
…is the name of the Lambeth sponsored community group centred locally on Knight’s Hill Wood and Tivoli Park.  In coordination with Friends of Tivoli Park they arrange work parties to improve both areas AND present open-air fun for the young, including such good old stuff as checking-out creepy-crawlies, swinging from ropes and hot drinks round a campfire in the wood.  Every Saturday 2 till 4pm.  Also, Nature Vibezzz is preparing a booklet and documentary of the Memories, Heritage and Community of Knight’s Hill Woods and Tivoli Park. Due to be shown at Picturehouse!
Friends of Tivoli Park…
…are holding their annual general meeting on Saturday 2nd November 2pm at West Norwood Fire Station.  Everyone invited to support this group that is doing so much to make the park a pleasure and joy for everyone, especially the young, to enjoy.

Rathbone Society, great half-term events
RS tells us: “We are running a half-term programme for young people 11 to 19 years old (and up to 25 for young people with special educational needs or disabilities) from the Norwood area”  More info and contact details here.

CPZ consultation
Until 24th October there is a public consultation into the proposal to extend the Controlled Parking Zone on Croxted Road, from the railway bridge to Turney Road.  It would operate 10am to noon Monday to Friday.  The consultation isn’t showing on Lambeth’s website so unclear how to comment!

400 years of the Edward Alleyn Foundation

As part of the celebrations, the
New Orchard and Heritage Trail opened on 1st September.

Rumours of a legal challenge
It's rumoured that The Dulwich Estate is to make a legal challenge to the parking charges introduced by LB Southwark at Belair and Dulwich Parks.

Current Lambeth Consultations…
Meanwhile on Rosendale Road
Some people live in vehicles with attendant sanitary problems.  Interestingly the location is recommended in a book The Stopping Places by Damian le Bas (in 2018 this was a Radio 4 Book of the Week).  Here’s the relevant extract.  More here.
Removal of abandoned and scrap vehicles
These vehicles are a problem on many roads, particularly in and around Windsor Grove.  With constant pressure from NAG and much help from our MP Helen Hayes, Lambeth seems to be upping its game with exercising its legal obligations and rights.  A new tactic is also to issue Fixed Penalty Notices so that the removal is not without cost to the owners when they can be traced.  This may help deter dumping, instead scrapping through an authorised site.

Windsor Grove corpse
Cycling on pavements
…is hazardous and unlawful punishable by an on-the-spot £30 FPN (but police have bigger fish to fry).  It’s been illegal since 1835 – Yes! Before cycles were invented, under Riding on Footpaths, so horse riders take note too.  Interesting link here.
Artists’ Open House this weekend
Difficulty in finding more info, so you will have to delve!

South London Theatre
…our own local theatre triumph!  The Night Heron starts next week followed by Lear.  Next musical is Sweeney Todd, in November.  Full programme here.  Get to know and relish live theatre, close-up!
Rosemead Lates
On 17th October Vanessa Potter talks about being suddenly rendered blind and paralysed by a rare illness, and how she overcame this.


West Norwood Free Film Festival
… continues till late October.  More here.
Lambeth Horticultural Society
…invites new members.  Wonderful local group offering meetings, events and benefits.  Its gardening shop ‘The Hut’ is open every Saturday and Sunday.  More here.
Busker in West Norwood
…seemed popular as many coins deposited.  Contrary to a widely held view, busking is unlicensed and legal in Lambeth (and most London boroughs).  Street music leading-up to Christmas?  Local business improvement group Station to Station is considering.

Planning and Related News
The big news is that approval was given by Lambeth Planning Committee for the redevelopment of the big empty Brooks Laundry site behind the west side of our shopping centre.  All our local community groups campaigned for better use of the land than just flats and an unwanted office block.  The Planning Committee understood our concerns but felt it had insufficient grounds for a refusal.
We consider it a lost once-in-50-years opportunity to improve our town centre. However, we did secure some improvements such as a generally accepted enhanced appearance.  Will it be built?  We don’t know as it’s quite possible that the site will now be sold and a new owner may want new plans, leveraging on the precedents now set.
The forthcoming planning application for
Windsor Grove car breaker’s site is likely to be controversial.  Southwark Metals wishes to move its Peckham business to this site and it currently handles 33,000 tonnes of scrap each year.  To this they wish to add car decontamination and disposal (no parts dismantling and sales) to about 3,000 tonnes each year.  Although the site would have only electric powered equipment it will attract about 100 trips in then out each day by vehicles of all sizes.  SM tells us the largest will be 40cu yd skip lorries with trailers, capable of carrying a 32 tonne load.

These vehicles circulating on the site will have significant noise and air pollution implications for the immediately adjoining housing, Kingswood Primary School and Park Campus, as well as the local road network.  SM promises a public consultation meeting this month – more when known.
The proposed application is also key to SM’s plans to sell-off its other site at Herne Hill for residential development, as replacement capacity has to be found for that ‘Lambeth safeguarded waste site’, currently operated by Norris Waste Management.
The closed One-Stop mini-mart at
Ira Court seems set to become a dentists’ surgery.  With the adjoining fitness club, pharmacy, doctors’ surgery and clinic, Ira Court has found its role as the neighbourhood’s second Health & Fitness Central.
Planning application 19/03225/FUL concerns the entire
White Hart building on the corner of Station Rise.  The proposal is to add a mansard roof, convert all the upper floors to residential and keep the ground floor and cellars as a lock-up ‘wet’ pub (one that relies more on drink and does not offer substantial food).  There’s discussion between local community groups and councillors as to whether this is a genuine aspiration or a manoeuvre to ultimately make the entire building residential. Active frontage on Station Rise has almost been eliminated due partly to illegal conversions to residential and, despite informed, Lambeth’s failure to effectively challenge
The old
Probation Office at 248-250 Norwood Road (next to Salvation Army) looks likely to be converted to flats.  A planning application was approved in 2017, but a 2019 application to squeeze ‘more into a pint pot’ was refused.  Maybe the first approval will be actioned.

Application 19/00398/FUL concerning the rear of
Knowles of Norwood was due to be decided in August.  It’s open to the applicant to make an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate due to non-determination within the statutory time limit.  Antic, the pub group and individuals with interests in the whole site still seem incapable of making the empty half of the frontage into anything useful, or even presentable.

Other delayed application decisions
125-133 Norwood High Street (corner of Windsor Grove)
Knolly’s Road railway bridge enlargement for road traffic (since 2016)
Tennis Club (appearance details only)

Illustration not showing the set-back metal-clad fifth floor
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